STUPID RACISM & A LITTLE BOOK NEWS
Mostly, I struggle with what to write here. Should I talk about books? Or movies? Struggles? Yes, struggles. People like reading about struggles.
I've been trying to stay away from the political issues and all that. I didn't write about how bummed I was that Trump won. A lot of racial issues have been in the air... like a sneeze (there are always racial issues, just have been even more). And like a sneeze, I've been trying to hold my breath and hope that I don't breathe in germs (like that really helps). Then, Ksenia wrote this post the other day where she talked about being hyper aware of racism while out and about and that post really put me over the edge to write about it.
I can be somewhat naive when it comes to racism, always giving others the benefit of the doubt ("Maybe the cashier didn't open her lane up while we were standing there because she really wasn't ready to open it yet.") I don't like to just jump to conclusions, especially something so ugly as my skin color not being the right skin color. And when I am the victim of being treated differently it nearly knocks the wind out of me.
I have no idea where this is going. I'm not even going to edit it. So this, my friend, is my stream of conscious on racism and all of that. I don't have my own personal horror stories of it happening to me. I mean, I've experienced it but not nearly as bad as my husband.
I think the first time I truly realized how much he dealt with it was about 3 or 4 years ago. We went to Wisconsin for his job. He came home one day very upset, because the customer's house he was sent to to install service had treated him very badly. This was not the only occurrence. The whole two weeks we were there he had it rough. He never wants to go back to Wisconsin. He's convinced that there is too much racism there.
Another time was when we were at an author event. He went with me as my assistance (and goodness did I need him!) Anyway, he coached me really quick on how to talk to people to get them to come over to the table and buy books. Every time the traffic would get low he would come over to me and give me tips, then when the traffic started up again he'd step back out of sight where he could watch. The next time traffic was low and he came back to me I told him not to leave, to just stay by my side. He said he couldn't, because the customers were predominantly white, he could sense the resistance in them when they saw him, and as a result they'd walk right past us.
"You're lightskinned and pretty, they feel comfortable with you," he told me. What made me sad was not that he seemed hurt, he wasn't. It was how he'd said it, like this is just how life is. A fact that would never change, like the sun rising in the east.
I was once asked how is it to be a woman of color in the publishing industry. I have no clue what challenges I'll face. Right now, my biggest problem is saying that I'm an author and others thinking straight away that I must write hood books, or nasty ones.
I'm sure I could write more but I'm not. I'll just leave this here. We can talk about it in the comments if you want.
In other news, my next book is coming (*jumping up and down*) yes, it's coming! Early March so make sure you follow me in all the places (Instagram, twitter, etc.) to hear more about it, because I'll be offering free copies of it soon;)