Yep. Another book has been declared “problematic” because the villains in the story are non-white. This time, Veronica Roth’s latest, Carve the Mark has been deemed problematic by Justina Ireland, an author and blogger I have not heard of (not an insult; nobody’s heard of me, so it’s all good).
Why? Because the antagonistic rulers of the planet the two main characters live on happens to be brown-skinned people with a culture that seems to be inspired by Islam. This is according to Ms. Ireland. I have a copy of the book and so far I have read the first chapter, so I can only go by what she’s saying.
Ms. Ireland also mentions The Continent, the book by Keira Drake that was torpedoed before its release no thanks to a bunch of SJW book bloggers who insisted that it was raaaaaaaacist because one non-white race was described as “savage” – I wrote about that here.
Her blog post is entitled “The Continent, Carve the Mark and the Trope of the Dark-Skinned Aggressor” and it’s pretty much what you expect. Lots of whining about racism and blah blah blah. The post was also published in December of 2016, before the release of either book (The Continent was slated for a January 3 release, but was postponed after much SJW whining; it will now be published next year, after the bad guys are turned into Catholic white men, presumably).
Ms. Ireland gave a listing of all the awful characteristics assigned to the bad guys – kinky, curly hair, tribal-ish body markings, war-like, aggressive behavior, etc. Uh, this is all based on reality, people. Or, more accurately, history. Yes, Native American tribes and African tribes were really like this, and many centuries before the Europeans discovered either of them, the European tribes were like that too. SO? That’s how they were, and both authors were obviously drawing their inspiration from history.
As for Ms. Roth, she shows her ballsiness once again by daring to include Islamic characteristics in the culture of the Shotet, the antagonist tribe. Not many mainstream authors would dare offer any sort of criticism of Islam.
I have yet to read the book in its entirety, so we shall see. I’m fine with a rival or antagonistic tribe being non-white. It doesn’t bother me. That does not mean I consider non-whites to be illiterate savages or anything. Quite the contrary — I am non-white. I can claim two different Native American tribes as part of my ancestry (one of which is Cherokee. I cannot remember the other one, and yes, I am ashamed of that). But I’m not going to deny reality or history to appease anybody. Those tribes, in many ways…well, let’s say they were different. Some of their customs were just concerning to me, like the human sacrifices of the Mayans (if you were to see a picture of me, you’d recognize me as looking very Mayan, because I can claim them too, I guess. I seriously look like Lord Pacal, I really do). Maybe I’m biased because I’m a (bad) Christian.
What would bother me would be that all the non-white characters are uniformly evil, violent and stupid. Then that would be flat-out racist. You can tell if an author is blatantly racist by how they treat their non-white characters. It’s especially apparent if the characters are ridiculous, one-dimensional stereotypes. I wish I had some examples to give, but I have none.
I really hate double standards. I really, really do. If it weren’t for double standards, the left wouldn’t have any standards at all. They routinely engage in these double standards, and the culture tropes in stories are no different.
Pick a mainstream novel. Any novel. I guarantee you that ninety percent of the titles you choose will feature antagonistic characters that are white, straight Christian people that are uniformly evil and irredeemable. I’ll bet you a million dollars that those characters are flat and one-dimensional. I’ll bet you that they’re nothing more than ridiculous stereotypes. I actually have an example for you.
Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan. It’s the first in a series, and I have not read any other books in the series because frankly, I don’t want to. But I had heard about how anti-Christian this one was, and wanted to see for myself. The critics were right.
Briefly…the story revolves around Jenny, who has a very deadly ability – her touch is lethal. She lives in the Deep South and has to wear gloves all the time so that she does not kill people. She eventually earns the ire of the Popular Girl who is this big Christian conservative. The Popular Girl goes on a radio show that’s obviously hosted by a Glenn Beck-Rush Limbaugh composite character that is fat and disgusting. The Radio Host and the Popular Girl are cardboard cutouts. They are not real people – they exist only to portray conservatives in a negative light. There is a random scene in which the Popular Girl sucks some guy’s dick – it serves no purpose other than to give some dudes wank material, and to portray Christians as hypocrites (because any Christian that has an orgasm ever is a raging hypocrite, amirite?). It’s graphic, yet totally unnecessary.
It’s been a while since I read that book, so there’s probably stuff I missed. There is also a scene in which Jenny and her friend go to some sort of Christian haunted house, and they ruthlessly mock it. I am not sure what they’re called, but Christian haunted houses don’t have the usual jump scares, like coffins, cobwebs, ghosts, etc. Instead, they have scenes of traumatic, sad stuff like the scene of a car crash caused by drunk driving, the carnage of an abortion, etc. Liberals, for some reason, absolutely hate these haunted houses.
It’s okay for Christians to be uniformly portrayed as horrible people, but doing the same to one of the left’s pet victim classes…oh, that’s bad. And more often than not, their claims of racism in such books are completely exaggerated.
I shouldn’t be surprised. These are the same people that insists upon the non-existence of Islamic terrorism. When they do acknowledge the horrible aspects of Islam, they insist we respect it in the name of “diversity” and “understanding different cultures.”
Oh, and I almost forgot. I only learned of this via r/YALit, in a thread about some book blogger burning an ARC of Carve the Mark, screenshots of which were posted to the blogger’s Snapchat. And the kicker? The Redditors at r/YALit are defending the book blogger, stating that there’s nothing wrong with burning a book. Oh no, it’s not THAT bad.
Really? Because if I were to burn a copy of, say, Simon and the Homo-Sapien Agenda you people would feel very differently. Then you’d shriek about how book burning is horrible and all.
I agree that one person burning one copy of a given book is not censorship. After all, it isn’t keeping me from reading it. However, it still strikes me as hypocritical coming from a bunch of leftists. As I said, they’re the ones usually shrieking about book burnings and censorship and whatnot.
By the way, I am not much of a book burner. I have no desire to burn any book because it’s counterproductive and it’s just…ugh, it’s just wrong. It doesn’t conjure up a positive image, unless one happens to be in Siberia or something, and has no firewood to start a fire. I’m just, once again, pointing out their hypocrisy.
So this post is already really, really long-winded. I’m going to go read Carve the Mark and once I finish it, I will post my assessment of it at my book review blog.