No list of “diverse books” should ever include a work by an author with privilege on whatever axis of oppression the book is being chosen as an example of.
If you’re recommending books about women, do not recommend books by men.
If you’re recommending books about characters of color, don’t recommend books by white authors.
If you’re recommending books about indigenous characters, don’t recommend books by settlers.
If you’re recommending books about LGB+ characters, don’t recommend books by straight authors. If you’re recommending books about trans characters, don’t recommend books by cis authors.
Etc. across all axes of oppression, — ableism, classism, what have you — including books where there’s overlap: if you’re recommending books about LGBTQIAP+ characters of color, recommend books whose authors are both POC and LGBTQIAP+.
I don’t care how good the books are: don’t recommend them as diverse books. Doing so just gives people a way to feel good about themselves for reading books by privileged authors, instead of actually amplifying the voices of authors who are members of these groups.
White (cis, straight, settler, neurotypical, what have you) authors don’t need your help to promote their books — the institutional privilege they have already makes it likely that anything they write featuring marginalized characters will receive more attention than anything written by a marginalized author.
This seems to me like it should be obvious, and a lot of the time people are really good about it (especially, in my experience, with characters of color). But not always.
A Marine Park family was attacked last Sunday by a self-professed Marine who targeted them because they’re immigrants from Pakistan. According to the Brooklyn DA, Andrew Laina, 29, approached Marine Park mom Shabana Chaudhry as she pushed a stroller with her 2-year-old son through a park at Avenue S and East 32nd Street. Chaudhry was wearing a traditional hijab and kameez gown, which apparently infuriated Laina, who allegedly asked her, “Where is your husband? What are you doing here?”
Chaudhry tried to ignore Laina and continue walking, but Laina allegedly blocked her way. Chaudhry’s husband, Muhammad Rizwan, was nearby and intervened, at which point Laina allegedly yelled, “What are you doing in my neighborhood? Get out, you Arab!” Prosecutors say Laina then punched Rizwan multiple times in the chest, knocking him to the ground and causing “bruises, cuts, abrasions,” and “substantial pain.”
Laina then allegedly tried to abduct the couple’s child from the stroller, screaming, “Hey, you got a beef? Is there a beef? Do you want more of that? Make sure you take your family back to Afghanistan!” Rizwan and Chaudhry are Pakistani immigrants.
The broad daylight attack terrified Chaudhry, who is nine months pregnant. She tells the Daily News, “It was really scary. He wasn’t fighting with anyone else, but he wouldn’t leave us alone.” According to court records obtained by the News, Laina has pleaded guilty to petty crimes “at least five times over the past two years, doing a few weeks in jail at most.”
The NYPD tells us that Laina, who lives a few blocks from the park, was arrested a half hour after the assault. He’s charged with assault and harassment as a hate crime, as well as menacing and endangering the welfare of a child. During his arrest, Laina allegedly told cops, “We should work together. I am not the enemy. They are the terrorists. I am a Marine, I was in Iraq, I killed 14 people.”
For many of us Pakistanis, living in the U.S. doesn’t afford us much freedom as people like to think. This is a prime example of how the same mentality that is used abroad to kill people based on their religious view is applied here at home as well. This piece of shit deserves a painful death.
"They are the terrorists // I killed 14 people.”
This is the cognitive dissonance we peddle.
The u.s. creates these monsters that terrorize people…
started from the closet now were queer
I wanna watch a movie but I also wanna finish this book but I also wanna go to bed but I also wanna eat something but I also wanna finish that tv series but I also wanna drink something but I also wanna do something with my life
do you see my dilemma
Stretch marks should be kissed not dissed
Reject the notion that you are supposed to be at a certain place by now.
Don’t measure yourself to some colloquial set of social constructions.
August 22, 2014 Tsuyoshi Arakaki of Ryukyu Shimpo On August 20 and 21, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) investigated on racial discrimination in Japan. They also discussed policies on the U.S. military bases in Okinawa. One of the committee members pointed out that it is important to discuss with the local people and get their agreement on the planned construction of a new base in the Henoko district of …
To the Japanese government which does not recognize Okinawan people as “Indigenous People,” one of the committee members pointed out that it is important to consider how people in the Ryukyus identify and define themselves. Another pointed out UNESCO recognizes that Ryukyu/Okinawa has unique language, culture, and tradition and urges the Japanese government to recognize and protect such uniqueness. There have also been many inquiries about policies to protect Ryukyuan languages (Shimakutuba). A representative of the Japanese government asserted, “Those who live in Okinawa Prefecture or natives of Okinawa are not generally considered to be a group of people who share distinct biological or cultural characteristics. Therefore, they are not considered to be the subject of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.”
Okay, so you act like you didn’t put display Ryukyuan people in cages like animals or call Ryukyuans monkeys for being tan/hairy with big eyes or make Ryukyuan people wear dialect cards and be shamed or even killed for speaking even a word of their mother tongue or post signs on buildings saying “No Ryukyuans allowed” cause Ryukyuans are “THE SAME” as Japanese people, right? You (though not without the U.S.) caused an estimated 1/3-1/5 of the (civilian) Okinawan population alone to be killed during the Battle of Okinawa through starvation, using them as human shields, and ordering them to commit mass suicide and on top of that, basically flattening the island to rubble, destroying precious cultural monuments and FAMILY TOMBS and also leaving those that did survive with nothing to eat…but that’s just cause Okinawans just so happened to be LIVING ON THAT ISLAND FOR CENTURIES and you just decided to continue to use it as your battleground like it was nothing, right? Oh, but everything’s fine now in 2014, we don’t treat Okinawans like lesser-thans, they’re “one of us” after all…we just shove the majority of the U.S. military bases on their tiny little islands (which are causing irreversible destruction to the environment, disturbance amongst the local people, and even kidnappings, rapes, and deaths) while we just have a few specks on Honshu and Kyushu all while continuing to try to erase any negative actions that the Japanese military did towards Okinawans, Ainu, Koreans, Chinese, Filipinos, and other people from textbooks.
Newsflash, if Ryukyuans were so damn “similar” to Japanese, you wouldn’t have had to ban our languages, culture, or religion and you wouldn’t have had to imprison the last Ryukyuan King and overthrow the Ryukyu Kingom. There would be no need to forcefully assimilate Ryukyuans but you DID and the consequences are still painfully evident. You banned Ryukyuan languges and certain aspects of the culture for so long that young Ryukyuan people these days are barely even knowledgeable/aware of them and this is all adding to your erasure of our identity as a whole. It’s so sick.
Such bullshit. When UNESCO is getting on your ass, you know you’ve got issues.