Save the Pearls – A White Woman’s Worst Nightmare

Save the Pearls – A White Woman’s Worst Nightmare.

This is so frightening that I had to comment. I feel that I’m in a particular situation to understand it. As a child, I grew up being told I wasn’t white by most people in school, because I was Jewish. Even to the point that I was told on questionnaires I had to mark my ethnicity as “other.” While, I’m Caucasian, I feel far from the notion of white privilege. Why? World War II and the fact that anti-semitism is rampant, either overtly or covertly. Nonetheless I am white.

Foyt’s portrayal of the “Coals” and “Pearls” is overtly racist! Read this article and you’ll CLEARLY see why. The very names of the two peoples is glaringly offensive. Pearls are seen as beautiful, fancy stones. And coals? Well, we all know how valued coals are OUTSIDE of material value (i.e. being USED for fuel).

So, Foyt’s portrayal may seem outlandish and horrible. Horrible? Yes. Outlandish? No. When I’m in a group of Caucasians, who don’t know I’m Jewish, it’s quite interesting…wait…horrifying to hear what some people say.

And where does this sense of freedom to speak openly when there are no PoC around? Well, I’ve noticed since Affirmative Action came around (note it was prevalent beforehand anyway) bitterness has spread through the non-PoC’s culture. It’s called, “bullying” or “unfair” or my least favorite, “Reverse racism.” There’s no such thing as reverse racism. Racism is racism.

This bitterness has led to a number of white employees suing employers who’ve promoted PoC over them simply because they were “minorities.” All things being equal, yes ethnicity may have been the reason. And…too bad.

You have four hundred years of AMERICAN slavery to thank for that. If it weren’t for Affirmative Action PoC would be losing out far more than whites are right now. It still happens anyway. In high school I applied for a job at a store around the way, and was told “no jews.”

Now that PoC are given leg-up, it’s considered horribly unfair. This is where the bitterness comes in. So, I’m sure Foyt’s frightening portrayal of the “coals” stems from this same resentment. PoC are recognized as equal, which means whites are actually losing out on jobs. Throw in a mix of immigrants and well-fare…people used to being given all the advantages begrudge those that take .1% of their “treasures.”

As you can see, this has me all fired up. What’s the icing on the cake? Foyt doesn’t get it! She’s surprised people are offended by the racist overtone. She expected readers to take offense at the presence of an interracial relationship!

As someone who’s almost been in only interracial relationships that makes me want to…I won’t say it. Interracial relationships have only been on the rise as have the number of mixed race peoples.

I’m going to end this, before I get any more angry. This post may seem disjointed and hard to understand, but I’ll chop that to the mood in I’m writing this in.

Victoria Foyt needs a reality check…bad.

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Comments

  1. I found out about this book a while ago and it flabbergasts me that Foyt is so… blind to what an awful thing she did. Worse yet, have you heard how she compares the love story to ‘Beauty and the Beast’? It’s like saying that the ‘Coals’ are beasts and only ‘Pearls’ are beautiful… Of course, there’s also that whole panther DNA thing to add in but I highly doubt that was what she was referring to when she made the comment.

    You’ve probably read it already, but she tries to justify it here on goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/2673697-white-and-in-the-minority?page=2&type=authorblogpost#comment_55171138

    She’s such a fool… and makes us all look so bad.

    • I think she either IS that misguided, or is racist and is trying to cover her tracks by playing dumb. The panther DNA angle only adds to overt racism for obvious reasons. I actually did read that, and to suggest she thought people would be offended by the interracial relationship is…baffling. It’s almost as if she is in her own bubble and hasn’t had contact with anyone or a newspaper in decades.

      Foyt is an impediment to the cause.

      Thanks for the comment! :)

  2. I like to use racism as a tool. However, if I am overt about it, I don’t hide from it and I certainly don’t apologize or make excuses. If my character is a racist, then that’s how he or she is and usually it makes a difference in the story. Hiding racism seems to be a worse sin than the racism itself.

    And I’m so glad to finally hear somebody else say there is no such thing as reverse racism. Every time I hear it I feel like it is anti-white and the person saying it is either too stupid to know better or trying to insult me but doesn’t have the guts to outright call me a profanity.

    Sometimes you just have to use the correct term for something and stop attempting to change its nature. If it is a tree, call it a tree and get on with it.

    • Thanks for the comment, friend!

      I agree that racism can be a great tool for a story. I think the difference in using it appropriately and what Foyt did, is in the delivery. Such as dialogue. Making a character say, believe, or do racist things reflects that particular character. But to use racism in narration, or in the OVERALL scope of a novel is unacceptable.

      As authors, or at least for me, there is a duty to NOT write in such a way as to try and hurt anyone, especially a whole people. I read a lot of WW II novels and please believe there is a lot of offensive/disgusting dialogue/things happening. But these are to show the horror of Nazism and the suffering of those who perished/survived, or to promote remembrance. Not as a hidden racist agenda.

      To be honest, I think Foyt has a hidden racist agenda.

      As for reverse-racism…yes, it’s a stupid term. Oxymoronic. Racism is racism. And reverse-racism is a termed used by a lot of KKK, Aryan Nation, White Supremacist factions.

      Perhaps, Foyt doesn’t remember “coal” has often been used as an ethnic slur…which would be alarming.

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