When Laura Moriarty decided she wanted to write a dystopian novel about a future America in which Muslims are forcefully corralled into detention centers, she was aware that she should tread carefully. Her protagonist is a white teenager, but one of her main characters, Sadaf, is a Muslim American immigrant from Iran, so Moriarty began by diving into Iranian books and films. Moriarty explained via email that she asked two Iranian immigrant friends to read an early draft and see if Sadaf seemed authentic to them, and whether the language and accent fit with their memories and experiences. A friend of Pakistani and American descent who is a practicing Muslim gave additional feedback. Moriarty asked a senior colleague at the University of Kansas, Giselle Anatol, who writes about Young Adult fiction and has been critical of racist narratives in literature, to read the book with a particular eye toward avoiding another narrative about a “white savior.” And after American Heart was purchased by Harper, the publisher provided several formal “sensitivity reads,” in which a member of a minority group is charged with spotting potentially problematic depictions in a manuscript.
None of this, as it turns out, was enough to protect American Heart from becoming the subject of the latest skirmish in the increasingly contentious battle over representation and diversity in the world of YA literature. American Heart won’t be published until January, but it has already attracted the ire of the fierce group of online YA readers that journalist Kat Rosenfield has referred to as “culture cops.” To them, it was an irredeemable problem that Moriarty’s novel, which was inspired in part by Huckleberry Finn, centers on a white teenager who gradually—too gradually—comes to terms with the racism around her. On Goodreads, the book’s top “community review,” posted in September, begins, “fuck your white savior narratives”; other early commenters on Goodreads accused Moriarty of “profiting off people’s pain” and said “a white writer should not have tackled this story, and neither should a white character be the center of it.”...
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Apple’s VP of inclusion and diversity, Denise Young Smith, made an appearance this week at the One Young World Summit in Colombia and caught fire for some of the statements she made. According to TechCrunch, however, the Apple executive has apologized to employees for her choice of words…
At the event this week, Smith was explaining how Apple focuses on diversity and commented that there could be 12 white blue-eyed blonde men in a room who are still diverse:
“Diversity is the human experience,” the Apple executive said. “I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color, or the women, or the LGBT.”
“There can be 12 white blue-eyed blonde men in a room and they are going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation,” Smith remarked...
Friday, October 13, 2017
President Trump declares the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization and imposes sanctions against it. Something which should have been done decades ago, but which previous presidents lacked the spine to do.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
If there were any doubt, there is no more: Canada is the stupidest country ever.
The evidence, already all around, is now irrefutable.
The Toronto District School Board, in its efforts to remain ahead of the Ontario government curve on all gender-cultural-political sensitivities, is not only contenting itself with following Education Minister Mitzie Hunter’s directive of early this year to review all potentially indigenous-offensive team names and mascots, but also has declared war on the word “chief.”
“I can confirm that the title ‘chief’ is being phased out in various departments at the TDSB,” board spokesman Ryan Bird told Postmedia in an email Tuesday.
“It’s part of the ongoing work that the school board does through the TDSB’s Aboriginal Education Centre with regards to Truth and Reconciliation (Commission, or the TRC, which produced its massive final report in 2015).”...
Friday, October 6, 2017
Hypocritical Palestinians want self-determination for themselves but want to deny self-determination for the Kurdish people
A recent report in Al Arabiya revealed that PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat is opposed to Kurdish self-determination because it will encourage other countries to separate from the Arab states: “Kurdish independence would be a poisoned sword against the Arabs.” Erekat also stated that he is disturbed that both Kurds and Israelis enjoy a covert relationship.
An op-ed that was published in the Kurdistan Tribune pointed out that the international community and Muslim world frequently champion the Palestinian cause but fail to support the Kurds, even though both groups are Muslim and stateless. The article noted that this remains the case even though the Kurds are the largest ethnic group without a nation that has been struggling for statehood since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and has been fighting against the radical Islamists, while the Palestinians have only been seeking a state since 1948 and are not dedicated to fighting against the radical Islamists...