I’m reading So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading by Sara Nelson as my “back up book”. So far I really like it but after coming across two sentences in just a few pages that made me take a mental step back from the book, I decided I needed to blog about it.
My first issue is with this sentence (quoted from the book):
And while I admit that I heard a false note when Charlotte confuses Goldman Sachs, the investment bank, with Saks Fifth Avenue, the department store–no one could be that dumb, not even a model!
Screech! Yeah, that’s the sound of my eyes screeching to a halt on that sentence. My issue is thus: I have a few friends who might confuse the two. Why? Not because they are dumb, but because they aren’t rich. They have no need for an investment bank as that would require something to invest. And shopping at Saks? I don’t think so. More shopping is done at TJ Maxx or Ross. That priveleged type of stereotype would have made me toss the book aside had I not liked the rest of it so much.
Sentence number two, the one that sent me over the top, needing to blog (quoted from the book):
…and arrived, on page 11, at Charlotte’s first glimpse of Milo, in which she unabashedly remarked, “Strange, to see a black man carrying skis.” Wow, I thought, Kate Manning’s going to take some flak from the PC police for that! It was the first of many times in this otherwise traditional “women’s novel” that I was stopped short by the author’s bravery.
So many things are wrong with that. First off, let me just say that I am torn between wanting to read Whitegirl (the book she was referring to) so as to know exactly what it is I am opposed to and have a clear arguement against the book, and not reading it. I doubt I’ll read it because, as I learned recently with The Wal-Mart Effect, life is too short to waste on a book that is pissing me off with every other sentence.
Next, “PC police”? Um, no. I object, on so many levels, to the simplifying of the issue to that base statement. That is a racist statement, pure and simple. “Strange, to see a black man carrying skis.” is not cool. Black people ski, surprise, surprise. I find that statement so offensive. Sure, you’re not going to see more black people at a ski resort than white people, but dude, how the hell do either of these women think that they are authorized to speak on black people and what they do?
Lastly, the fact that Nelson called her “brave”. No. Not brave. Racist. Ra-cist. That was a racist statement, pure and simple. And the fact that Nelson thinks the statement was “brave” and not “RACIST” leads me to believe that she must hold the same misguided views.
I’m going to continue reading So Many Books, So Little Time and hope that she lets go of the race thing, sometime in the next few pages. Apparantly she married an Asian man and like many other white people I’ve met who married “out of their race”, she seems to think that gives her a gold card which allows her to say whatever she pleases about race issues. Not cool. Talking about your individual situation, and even situations similiar to your own: cool. Using that to jump the line and speak on a race issue so far from yours that it could smack you in the back of the head while you muse on how “brave” it was to do so: not cool.
I abhor when white writers write as if their only audience is other white people. It makes me feel like I may as well stop reading as they are obviously not wanting my patronage.
Sigh… I’m going to get back to reading. The book, overall, is a good one. So I’ll let this one pass. Hopefully there won’t be another such offensive statement.
*Final thought* I’m going to get some of those sticky note flags. I really didn’t want to get up and blog this right this second but I knew that if I didn’t, I’d lose the page and thus lose my thought. Anyway, back to reading.