Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth has been released – if you didn’t know this then you haven’t been on twitter.
There have been many, many complaints from marginalised groups, that this book is racist/ableist. I have not read this book (and not planning on it), so I can only take others’ word on it.
On top of criticism of the story, there has also been criticism of Authors who have supported this story. One of these authors is Sabaa Tahir, author of An Ember in the Ashes. She recently posted on her blog. Sabaa has read the book and has said that, to her, the book isn’t racist.
Sabaa did say however, that you are right to disagree with her, because that is your opinion.
Yes, I understand that people are angry. However, I feel that because of that anger, Sabaa’s explanation has been misconstrued. Here is what I think she is saying:
- Sabaa doesn’t think CtM is racist – however that is HER opinion. She is definitely NOT saying, that this book isn’t racist to other groups.
- She is saying that everyone has a right to feel their OWN feelings towards the story. If you find this book racist, she is not saying you shouldn’t.
- Sabaa herself has had issues with books where other people haven’t seen the issue. The same PoC who have issues with CtM could very well have read the book she had an issue with and not found an issue at all.
- What one person finds racist, another might not see it that way. Whether they are white or PoC. It is a difference of opinion and open to debate, but just because someone doesn’t agree that something is racist doesn’t mean that they are racist.
So like I have said before, educate your peers. If they don’t agree, move on. We all have the right to a difference of opinion. Don’t call people out by sub-tweeting or screen shotting – how is that educating? Calling someone out does more harm than good, talk to them quietly about it and you might actually make some ground.
What I don’t agree with, is when a white author tries to define racism – you just can’t do that. I am white. Have I had PoC be racist against me? Yes, but probably only once or twice in my life. Have people had prejudice towards me because I am white? No. Have I been beaten or bullied because of the colour of my skin? No. This basically applies to every white privileged person, and we therefore DO NOT have the right to define racism.
I would just like to note – I am not saying the book is/isn’t racist as I haven’t read it. I do trust when people say that they find it damaging towards their ethnic group. I am just trying to explain what I think about Sabaa’s explanation.
The most important thing – respect each other and your opinions.
Anyhoo, that’s all for now. If you would like to voice your opinion below, please feel free.