Article written by castenmiller on ontd-feminism.livejournal.con
It uses blackface as a plot device.
In author Victoria Foyt’s futuristic world, no one wants to mate with white people—or “pearls”—considered to be the ugliest humans oppressed by people of color. In order to survive, they must put on blackface make up to be attractive to the ruling class of “coals.” Hoyt explains: “their stunningly dark skin that carries the greatest amount of melanin…makes them the strongest, most powerful race alive.” The protagonist is a white girl who must smear her face with “midnight luster” make up in order to protect herself from radiation and in order to look beautiful to the oppressive “coals” in hopes that they will mate with her.
The rule in Eden’s post-apocalyptic world is: the darker the skin, the higher the mate-rate. Other factors calculated into one’s mate-rate include wealth or employment status. For example, Ronson Bramford, a handsome Coal titan of industry, is at the top of the heap with a mate rate of 98%. At age twenty-two, he only has two years left in which to mate—or else he’d probably have a 100% mate-rate. Tiger’s-Eyes, or Latinos, usually rate above Ambers, or Asians, in the future race wars. White-skinned Pearls offer little resistance to The Heat, and therefore, are at the bottom. Only a Cotton, or Albino, would be lower.”
The claim: “TURNS THE TABLES ON RACISM”
The reality: No it doesn’t.
If you’ll notice:
|*| White ppl? Pearls - A pretty precious/semi-precious gem
|*| Asian ppl? Ambers - Another pretty semi-precious gem
|*| Latin@s? Tiger-eyes - Another pretty semi-precious gem. One striped w/ dark and light.
|*| Black folk? Coals - Something to be used; something which pollutes, something that rubs off on you, something not precious.
And yes, I did this list in this order on purpose. It’s the author’s chosen names, I only organized it according to current valuing of the materials.Turns the tables on racism my left tit. All this story does is expose the writer’s racism in stark, honking, stinking relief and their belief that anyone in the minority SHOULD be doing everything possible to appeal to the majority and fit in with them.
I’m not even touching a world full of PoC who’re obsessed with mating at an early/young age. Someone else can deal with that. My blood pressure says no.
Also there’s this, from Huffingtonpost (always trust Huffingtonpost to bring the RaceFail)
“Conceivably, if the book had not reached the African-American community of readers, if such a category still exists, perhaps there might be some backlash. The first young African American reader who responded to me loved the book. But then, she’s the kind of free spirit who would eschew limiting herself to a single category. Or perhaps — and this is what I hope — the YA generation sees race in a way that is unique to them, unique in our history. After all, they have arrived on the scene decades past the integration of schools and Jim Crow, even well past the days of The Cosby Show. Soap-mouth-washing words that were forbidden in my youth now populate rap songs so often I wonder if, happily, they have lost their vile connotations.”
First of all, it does a great job of romanticizing oppression. and it goes from ignorant to what seems like concious hostility - saying that the coals (black people) are the “federation of free people.” It ACTUALLY seems like this book is suggesting that this is what our future is destined to become. Like groups aimed at justice are actually going to become so big that white people are going to be wiped from the planet. I’m glad we’re selling this book to kids.
Second, its clearly intended to conntect to an audience that never faced oppression but *really wants to know what it feels like* and wants to serve as that voice.
Third, there’s a video where this pearl is like falling in love with a coal. I stopped the video when I realized his name was Jamal. IDK if its just me, but I feel like names like Jamal are the “go-to” coded names that white people use when trying to make a joke about black people without saying “black people.” Like I’m PRETTY SURE the actor playing Jamal isn’t even black but his name is Jamal so the audience would believe it. I didn’t even think they would use modern names in a POST APOCALYPTIC SCI-FI NOVEL.
I hope this trash doesn’t end up a best-seller with a cult-following, I’ve already seen quite a few people say this book is promoting “Utopian” ideologies.