A Discussion On Why We Cannot Have Nice Things

Monday, August 31, 2020

Image: Black Woman With Blue Glasses Side-eyeing

The last couple of days on romancelandia twitter has been a complete and utter shit show. 

Two top Desi reviewers brought to light a review (written by a white reviewer) that both reviewers agreed would do harm to Desi readers. And instead of being listened to, they were piled on by some very well known authors of color whom decided to center the narrative to and around themselves. So many unnecessary word salads came into fruition, it was truly a sight to behold. 

I cannot understand for the life of me why some authors fail to realize that BIPOC reviewers face the same “higher standard” arguments I saw. BIPOC reviewers face the same racism arguments I saw. Shit we can’t even get our hands on ARCs written by BIPOC authors.

These authors not once listened to what the reviewers who pushed back against their mess were saying. They decided to stick their feet in the sand and remain hard-headed and obtuse EVEN when other authors backed up the reviewers. 

Truly a shit show of all shit shows. 

After this debacle came to a slow pace and I say slow pace because these authors didn’t apologize or gave one of those I’m sorry not sorry apologies. I mean...keep that shit. 

Many reviewers, especially BIPOC reviewers were drained and many are ready to pack their bags and move on, if they haven’t already. And I say to them, yes as many have stated your voice is needed but also...who needs this shit? this unappreciative shit? I mean for the love of gawd, reviewers were called a “mob” because they decided to speak out against a harmful book and defended people in their community. I wouldn’t blame one damn person if they decided to tell the romancelandia community to kick rocks with their shoes off. Who needs the additional stress? Have you seen our cities across the US? THAT is stress enough. Are we not still in the middle of a pandemic? So to get on sm and get attacked for voicing that a book will cause harm to fellow readers is enough to make you scream into a void. 

People have continued to encroach on reader spaces and its getting extremely exhausting and annoying.

This blogging thing especially in the book community is FREE labor. Many people do it for the love of sharing their thoughts on books they loved or didn’t love with other READERS. No person comes into this with the expectation to even interact with authors, it use to be an exciting feeling. I think many after this face it with a feeling of dread. I for one am starting to see that it may not be a good thing. The lines are beyond blurred. Readers do not work for authors, nor publishers. It is not our job to appease y'all every time we read a book and trust me a “free” book is nothing compared to the time that many of us put into blogging, booktubing or bookstagramming.

To the bloggers/reviewers and readers that were unnecessarily stressed this weekend, I hope you all take a break and have some time to yourselves. And if you decide to take a match and set this shit on fire, I say “welp”. 

Angela Bassett GIF

I won't name the reviewers here, they've been through enough. But if you follow tweets on this book, then you will find the rabbit hole. 

I'll end with this, some people have become so use to being a victim, they've failed to realize that they are part of the problem and the reason why the romancelandia community remains at a stalemate. 

Stay safe, wash your hands and wear a mask. 

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