Gather round, kiddies, and let me tell you a tale of woe! Recently, some white lady wrote a novel about some Mexicans. Oprah Winfrey swooned over it and gave her official endorsement and said white lady cashed in. Stephen King and Sandra Cisneros both gave it their official seal of approval and Ka-fuckin-ching, kids. The lady is rich and a movie deal is in the works. The internet, as is custom these days, pissed and shit themselves silly over it. The result? A clusterfuck of fashionably late, butthurt victim culture, best sellers galore and the cherry picking of sacrificial lambs. Huzzah.
Note: I am not going to link any of the “woke” butthurt articles here about this lady’s book or screenshot any tweets. There’s a bunch. Do your homework. The work in question is called American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. Look it up.
I posted the following on my Instagram account the other day:
Dear people crying foul over this book:
You have a point but here’s the thing; Yes, we have a voice that the mainstream ignores, but it’s fucking hypocritical to complain when WE don’t support our own voices! Ask me how I know! It’s fucking ridiculous to watch people bitch and moan about not having our voices heard when WE routinely ignore them ourselves and then wonder why we are invisible. Fuckin’ dummies. Spare me your butthurt and victim complex. 🙄
And before you go asking what right do I have to give an opinion on this, well lemme tell ya something, pal. I publish books! I’m a so-called “author of color” who has been ignored by the mainstream publishing industry for decades! I own and operate a tiny press that publishes books that struggle to see the light of day because guess what? No one wants to support anything that ISN’T mainstream. So, yeah! I have a stake in this. Welcome to the party.
I have been writing about this particular issue for YEARS. It’s one of the main reasons I started my own publishing company. Few, over the years, have bothered to care. I’ve been telling people that the publishing industry is overwhelmingly white and that even big box bookstores are segregated by race.
People yawned. Their eyes glassed over and then they went on to order another best seller via Amazon. The end.
I have been asking people to support indie and unknown books and authors for as long as I can remember and it all falls on deaf ears. But now you want to make a stink? Why?!
You know how many of these “woke” people reviewed or helped support my last book? None. Not a single goddamn review from any of these folks who are so, sooooo concerned about the visibility of black and brown writers. So excuse me if I roll my eyes over your temper tantrum. You’re all full of shit.
Further, Please enlighten me oh woke know-it-alls and educate me on when it became the law that Mexican immigrants have to write their own novels? When did that qualifier get set in stone? I missed the memo.
Since when does a person need to belong to the tribe that the characters they write about belong to? You’re telling me that the woke prerequisite in 2020 is that you must be black to write black characters, Mexican to write Mexican characters and so on ? That is insanity!
If I write a book set in Ireland and with Irish characters will I be crucified for “cultural appropriation?” Should we all just resign ourselves to only writing what we are and never, ever daring to use our goddamn imaginations?!
To quote Mr. Hand: are you people on dope?
It’s fucking hilarious to me to see people who call themselves LATINX call this book “inauthentic.” Really? You don’t see the irony there? The people who use “latinx” are seemingly clueless to the fact that the term they use is wholly embraced and or endorsed by the very corporate machine they are trying to cancel.
In fact, you enlightened folks are making so much goddamn noise about this book that you are doing the exact opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish…you’re driving up sales, geniuses! It’s a best seller!
I dunno if you folks are just dumb or what but let me tell you a publishing secret: publishers LOVE controversy! It sells books!
Sandra Cisneros endorsed it. Are you going to call her a sellout now? Get the fuck outta here with that shit.
And now you have the Calvary involved. Here some all the SJW white knights who want to be offended on behalf of anyone brown and in peril.
No one seems to mind much when Hollywood makes “trauma porn”- so what makes this book different exactly..?
Do I seriously need to make a laundry list of “trauma porn” that has been not only produced in the past few decades but also endorsed…by you!
You folks love trauma porn. You eat it up.
When will this culture of censorship stop??
I absolutely will NOT endorse the idea that people should not write about things they don’t belong to. That is authoritarian horseshit. People should be free to create whatever they want and if it sells, so fuckin be it. No one says you are required to read this lady’s stupid book.
I mean, honestly, who fuckin’ cares? IT’S. A. BOOK!!!! And a fictional one at that! You are making a bigger deal out of it than it would ever be without the “controversy.” What are you nutjobs advocating? That we should burn the book?! Get a grip!
Are you people pissed because she got paid? Is this a jealousy issue? Would anyone be this upset and would this book be “problematic” (dear lord I hate that word), if this book flopped and no one ever heard of it? I fuckin’ doubt it! I think you’re all jealous and want Oprah to come and shine your shoes!
No one minds when cultural appropriation is shoved up your ass via Hollywood films and corporate products. Hell, Disney made a gazillion dollars making a cartoon about Dia De Los Muertos and no one minded.
I have to remind myself once in a while that I don’t think like other people do. I have long considered what I do to be “punk rock” in its spirit for the simple fact that unlike many, I don’t want to sell out.
And I said this back when the great Chipotle paper cup travesty happened and they were putting author’s works on their cups. I didn’t wanna be on their fuckin’ cup! And I don’t want Oprah’s endorsement of my work or her dirty money. Fuck Oprah!
If you are seriously out here begging and grovelling for the corporate mainstream to come and scoop you up and bring you into their bosom, what the fuck are you even doing?
Fuck the New York Times and fuck all the mainstream publishing dipshits who spend all day smelling each other’s farts.
Fuck all the academic dickwads with their noses up in the air who furiously masturbate over their own credentials and look down on those without them. Fuck the shoe shining industry and all the maggots who can’t wait to suck corporate cock for a sweet deal.
And fuck this book! Seriously, it’s a fucking book! Nothing more, nothing less. I am not going to read it. I could give a fuck about it or its author or Oprah’s goddamn book club.
And for the record, fuck Don Winslow, who also endorsed this book and who seems to have carte blanche on writing seedy novels about the cartel, despite the fact that he’s a lilly white, milquetoast, brown noser who somehow eludes the criticism of “not having lived that life.” You people LOVED his books, so shove it up your ass.
Let me end this rant by clarifying a couple of things: You certainly have the right to criticize the book for being garbage…assuming you actually read it, which I doubt. And to criticize the author for being ignorant and an ass. And to criticize the publishing industry for being a beacon of blind whiteness who ignores the little people. And Oprah for being a piece a shit.
But let’s be fuckin’ real here: most of you are simply jealous a lady got paid and wouldn’t support an indie book if it bit you on the ass.
Listen, if you want to take a sobering look in the mirror about this whole “controversy,” I would suggest that the next time an unknown, small-time author/publisher/artist comes along and has a story to tell, help out.
Buy their book! Promote their work as fiercely as you criticize “white supremacy” online and come up with snarky hashtags. Endorse them! Review their work! Recommend their work to friends and colleagues. Do everything in your power to help elevate that person!
And if you don’t? Then just shut the fuck up.