“Save the Pearls” is a vanity published YA novel trying to bill itself as the next “The Hunger Games.” The publisher says that “‘Save the Pearls turns the tables on racism.’”
It uses blackface as a plot device.
In author Victoria Foyt’s futuristic world, no one wants to mate with white people—or “pearls”—considered to be the ugliest humans oppressed by people of color. In order to survive, they must put on blackface make up to be attractive to the ruling class of “coals.” Hoyt explains: “their stunningly dark skin that carries the greatest amount of melanin…makes them the strongest, most powerful race alive.” The protagonist is a white girl who must smear her face with “midnight luster” make up in order to protect herself from radiation and in order to look beautiful to the oppressive “coals” in hopes that they will mate with her.
The rule in Eden’s post-apocalyptic world is: the darker the skin, the higher the mate-rate. Other factors calculated into one’s mate-rate include wealth or employment status. For example, Ronson Bramford, a handsome Coal titan of industry, is at the top of the heap with a mate rate of 98%. At age twenty-two, he only has two years left in which to mate—or else he’d probably have a 100% mate-rate. Tiger’s-Eyes, or Latinos, usually rate above Ambers, or Asians, in the future race wars. White-skinned Pearls offer little resistance to The Heat, and therefore, are at the bottom. Only a Cotton, or Albino, would be lower.”
THE MIND IT BOGGLES.
wow we can only care about racial oppression when it’s about white people
it’s not like there aren’t already people who believe that reverse racism is a real thing or anything
not like the story of racial oppression is more complex than a difference in populace and biological differences.
You know how they say that homophobia/heterosexism is just this fear that “men will treat you the way you treat women” and anti-feminism is fear that “women will treat you the way men have treated them”? This is kind of like that, right, this fear that people of color will treat you like how white people have treated them without any real reflection on what privilege means.
“TURNS THE TABLES ON RACISM”
The claim: “TURNS THE TABLES ON RACISM”
The reality: No it doesn’t.
If you’ll notice:
|*| White ppl? Pearls - A pretty precious/semi-precious gem
|*| Asian ppl? Ambers - Another pretty semi-precious gem
|*| Latin@s? Tiger-eyes - Another pretty semi-precious gem. One striped w/ dark and light.
|*| Black folk? Coals - Something to be used; something which pollutes, something that rubs off on you, something not precious.
And yes, I did this list in this order on purpose. It’s the author’s chosen names, I only organized it according to current valuing of the materials. Turns the tables on racism my left tit. All this story does is expose the writer’s racism in stark, honking, stinking relief and their belief that anyone in the minority SHOULD be doing everything possible to appeal to the majority and fit in with them.
I’m not even touching a world full of PoC who’re obsessed with mating at an early/young age. Someone else can deal with that. My blood pressure says no.
Also there’s this, from Huffingtonpost (always trust Huffingtonpost to bring the RaceFail)
“Conceivably, if the book had not reached the African-American community of readers, if such a category still exists, perhaps there might be some backlash. The first young African American reader who responded to me loved the book. But then, she’s the kind of free spirit who would eschew limiting herself to a single category.
Or perhaps — and this is what I hope — the YA generation sees race in a way that is unique to them, unique in our history. After all, they have arrived on the scene decades past the integration of schools and Jim Crow, even well past the days of The Cosby Show.
Soap-mouth-washing words that were forbidden in my youth now populate rap songs so often I wonder if, happily, they have lost their vile connotations.”
I repeat; this white woman is failing hard. Crap, I’m going to end up having to do a proper post on this bullshit on my regular blog. ‘African-American community of readers, if such a category still exists’? That’s some Louis McMaster Bujold shite right there. Along with this - ’ free spirit who would eschew limiting herself to a single category’ - ie if Black readers DO exist, they’re not often reading SciFi/Speculative Fiction type things. All followed up by ‘It looks soon like I’ll get to say the n-word!’
ETA: People keep mentioning what else the terms could be. But I think wanting to use the terms as is was the author’s original intent. Cause seriously - off the top of my flipping head?
Glass. Glass ass. Sun goes right through white people like glass. Meanwhile you’ve got Jets (seriously, between the terms Jetset and Jet magazine and the jewel Jet, makes so much sense for an culturally and economically dominant group). But all that requires not being a racist ass.
And before people even get into Crosses and Noughts? Do not forget there’s BEEN a book about what if Europe had it’s own people hunting in their small towns, selling them off to rich African tribes people and slavery had gone the other way. I forget the name right now. It was a British author, I believe. But even though it wasn’t the best, it at least thought about things like culture, appearance, beauty standards, being owned and thus controlled by a child, forced impregnation, the selling off of one’s children and the like.