Okay, kids. Time for some real talk. As most of you have probably noticed, I’ve moved away from talking about political topics for the most part. I made this decision because I’m convinced most people are so thoroughly entrenched in their own world view that no conversation will change any minds or sway any opinions. Political discussion will only cause argument.
I am, however, still willing to talk about those issues I consider to be solidly bi-partisan and of which I have a modicum of knowledge–things like Russian interference in our elections, Russian disinformation, espionage against America, etc.
Today, I’m going to add one more universal issue to that list. Racism.
Regardless of your political stripe, if you believe that the color of human being’s skin makes them somehow different, other, or Heaven forbid, inferior to any other human being, you should probably go ahead and unfriend me right now.
Last week at the Romance Writers of America national convention, the board of the organization made a conscious effort to identify and call out institutional bias and racism within the organization. To that end, the national ceremony to present the Academy Awards of romance writing–the RITA–spent the evening celebrating trailblazers in the field of romance, those who broke race, culture, religion, gender, and sexuality boundaries for the entire industry.
I have one thing to say about the transcendently triumphant moments when the first two black women EVER won RITA’s — Kennedy Ryan and M. Malone. This is the 39th year of the RITA’s with 8 to 12 or so of them being given out each year.
If those moments made you uncomfortable or you found yourself angry or squirming in your seat, there were fourteen exits from that room and there’s a big fat one from RWA by not renewing your membership. Use one of them.
There is no place in the world going forward for people who can’t see past the amount of melanin in a human being’s skin. We all bleed the exact same color, we all have the exact same brains and hearts, wishes, hopes and desires. We all love our kids and want a better future for them.
If you’re a racist, I’m going to go ahead and say you’re on the wrong side of history. And you’re surely on the wrong side of a professional organization devoted to advancing novels of hope, novels of love conquering all obstacles, and novels celebrating the universal nature of love.
I am only a member in good standing of RWA with no particular role in the organization when I state my opinion flatly: RWA doesn’t need racists. If you are one, don’t let one of those doors hit you in the ass on the way out.