Victoria Foyt: It's Not Enough to Say You're "Colorblind."
Victoria Foyt has published a novel and accompanying book trailer which she claims is "postracial" and creative for its portrayal of a reversed-racism situation where dark-skinned people oppress whites. This is not a problem in and of itself; novels are an appropriate place to explore difficult issues (cf. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman). However, Foyt's work clearly employs derogatory language, her actress uses blackface, and she appropriates the struggles of people of color which continue to this day by completely ignoring her own white privilege.
Check out the video for yourself, as well as Foyt's weak defense blog posts and other book information at http://savethepearls.com
Signers: This letter is not the place for personal attacks against the author. There is no reason for personal attacks when there are so many ethical, moral, personal, logical, sociological, cultural, etc etc reasons why this book should go away.
Here is what other intelligent people have to say about this book:
Also, for a primer on talking constructively about race and racism:
Acknowledge your insensitivity and cluelessness to racial issues
Victoria Foyt, you have published a novel and accompanying book trailer which you claims is "postracial" and creative for its portrayal of a reversed-racism situation where dark-skinned people oppress whites. This is not a problem in and of itself; novels are an appropriate place to explore difficult issues (cf. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman). However, your work clearly employs derogatory language, your actress uses blackface, and you appropriate the struggles of people of color which continue to this day by completely ignoring your own white privilege.
You have addressed this on her book's blog and on the Huffington Post by claiming that you does not "see color" and that you "abhor racism." Not only are these completely empty statements that mean nothing, but to say one doesn't see color is an act only someone with privilege can say, as it erases the experiences and challenges people of color have had and essentially says to them that they have nothing to fight for or complain about, and that there is nothing different between white people and people of color. Clearly this has never been and is still untrue. In addressing these issues, too, you consistently does so in forums where comments are closed, indicating that you is at least somewhat aware and embarrassed of the implications your work makes. By using "pearl" and "coal," you are making further implications about the values of the people these groups represent in your dystopian world, so you essentially still put white people in a position of power even when you claim to be exploring other perspectives.
Dystopian fiction works because it takes real life issues and fears and magnifies and exposes them as deeply flawed. SAVE THE PEARLS does no such thing. In positioning a white girl as the protagonist and depicting her in blackface as the only way she can survive under the cruel, savage regime of the "Coals," you reinforce the same racial values that keep our society fractured today.
You should take the time to seriously evaluate your creative work and your own prejudices and experiences. You claim that there is "not a blip" of criticism for your book, but perhaps it's because you seek reviews only from people who share your privilege and position in society, and you have not read the criticism from the very people you further demean in your book and trailer.
You should be ashamed of what you are presenting to the world and further ashamed of claiming that "abhoring racism" gives you the right to ignore race and the experiences of people to whom colorblindness isn't remotely an option. Until you take the time to learn about history, sociology, and critical race theory, and until you are able to understand why your work is (whether intentionally or not) extremely offensive and dangerous, you should remove your book from all points of sale and seek to deeply edit it. Just because you don't intend to be racist does not mean you cannot be held accountable for being unwilling to look past your own privilege.