Tales From A Literary Bully
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Last month I wrote a Goodreads review of Revealing Eden. I read the book, checked out SaveThePearls.com & concluded (not surprisingly) that the book’s premise was offensive and the writing was terrible. Of course that landed me a spot on the Stop GR Bullies blog. Some of Foyt’s fans found their way to my Twitter account & after a few rounds of “I’m not racist but…” I gave my block hand a workout and moved on. After all the book is self-published, the promo materials highlight the racism, all in all it’s a tempest in a teapot right? Right. Except now there’s an excerpt of the book running in Weird Tales & editor Mark Kaye is insisting the book is thoroughly non racist. I’m not sure why anyone would ride to the defense of Foyt’s book, especially in the age of the internet when a boycott is sure to follow as soon as the story breaks. But hey, I don’t run Weird Tales.
Mind you, Foyt’s book relies heavily on racist stereotypes (It’s like a bingo game of fuckery. Spot the Jezebel! Spot the Sapphire! Spot the Shiftless Black Man!) with more than a hint of fetishization (there’s a black man that turns into a beast, a literal beast & that’s who the protagonist falls in love with eventually, but only after she spends a significant chunk of the book in love with another black man who she thinks can overlook her white skin & save her with his penis!), and that’s just the beginning. Foyt’s protagonist frequently slips up & admits that Coal is a racist slur, but we’re supposed to think that Foyt’s fighting racism with this book? How? Meanwhile Foyt’s videos (a how to guide for blackface?!), and even her ongoing Facebook & blog posts defending her work include plenty of dog whistle racism (the much cited bit about not being sure a community of African American readers exists is just one spectacular example), but all of that apparently doesn’t matter as much as defending a bigot from the consequences of her actions. Apparently as long as Foyt claims she has good intentions we’re all supposed to ignore the execution and the impact. Turns out I’m totally willing to be a bully if that means I don’t have to pretend that bullshit is true. She can tell herself whatever lies help her sleep at night, & her defenders are welcome to join the fantasy if it pleases them. But don’t be shocked when we mock you too.