As usual, there’s this sense of uselessness. I’m not sure what I can be doing. I try to be as vocal as possible, and talk about it and write about it. Which helps, maybe?
There’s a lot of diversity-talk happening in the publishing industry right now, which is amazing. There is a gross lack of diversity in the workforce, and people are starting realize it (though, it did take them a minute). Conversations are finally starting to happen about how to fix that problem. And of course, We Need Diverse Books really jump-started the conversation by pointing out our abysmal lack of publishing with and of PoCs*.
But this isn’t enough. Books are my world, obviously. And we will hopefully have more diverse books to have an effect on the way people think in the future. But they’re still a very small part of the world at large.
I want everyone I know to be as angry as I am when movies come out with all white-casts (ahem, Skeleton Twins and What If). I want them to notice when a book or TV series has no major characters who are PoC. I want them to care when movies like Moses have all white leads and have PoCs cast as slaves and thieves. I want them to notice when video games have no PoCs or just stereotypes. Or to notice when their job or club or whatever are all one color. I want them to care about cultural appropriation and not support it. I don’t want them to laugh it off. I don’t want them to rationalize it away. And I don’t want to be written off or have eyes rolled when I point these things out.
I don’t want to feel like the angry brown girl.
I want people to realize how important this is.
This never turns off for me. There is never a moment when I am not aware of my race or how it is being reflected in society.
I want to see more of a response and recognition to how we’re represented in the media, because that is where normalization comes from. Until there’s more representation, we’re still seen as other or exotic. We’re not seen as real people. Normalization means that maybe we won’t get talked about in a certain way, or reacted against so violently, or just maybe we’ll be the default setting instead of the afterthought.
I’m not calling out white people for being there, I’m calling out content creators, companies, casting directors, anyone who makes a decision about who is on the screen or in the workplace or on the page for not doing more to represent society as it is. And I’m calling out people who don’t need to care about it for not caring about it.
*PoC is how I refer to myself, so, uh, apologies if it is not your jam.