Even though most, if not all, of this has probably made its way across your dashboards today, I just wanted to articulate all of my thoughts on this, especially after reading part of the first book.
So this Save the Pearls business, the book that’s allegedly “turning the tables” on racism…let’s talk about it. After this rant, I won’t have much more to say on this, hopefully.
First of all, the book/series is being promoted by a white girl in brown makeup and a black wig, i.e. blackface, which, I’m pretty sure has been established as not okay time and time again… But, I mean, that’s what happens in the book so it’s okay, right? (/sarcasm)
Next, let’s talk about the title. Save the Pearls, which in this case is literally saying save the white people, which, apparently also happens to be the name of some white supremacist group out there in the world. Wonder why?
Let’s talk about why the “pearls” need to be saved in the first place. The story takes place during the apocalypse/in some post-apocalyptic future/something like that, in which white people are deemed “ugly” and “weak,” so darker skinned people don’t want to make babies with them. During this time, Earth has become so hot and sunny, that, I’m guessing, darker skinned people have a better chance of survival and white people burn to a crisp and die, therefore they aren’t valued in matters of survival of the human species (see: biology, evolution, natural selection). So they’re dying out because they are, in fact, “weaker,” in a sense. Now, the problem with that is, the author, Victoria Foyt, is trying to use this as a story of reversed racism, more or less, by using the situation of white people lacking mate value as a metaphor for years of systematic oppression and how it’s messed up. But, dear Victoria, you’re doing it wrong. This story is about saving the white race, because they’re not the dominant one, and there needs to be some pretty white babies in the world or else the world is fucked, but the mean black people don’t want pretty light-skinned babies so they leave the white people out in the sun. Hm. That’s not quite how racism works..
Now let’s talk about the names of the different races.
White people become “pearls.” That’s a pretty, elegant name for a race.
Okay, cool. But, I mean, there are black pearls, and pink pearls, and…whatever. Moving on.
Asians become “ambers.”
Latin@s become “tiger-eyes”
Well, that’s pretty.
And then, there’s black people.
Coals. Black people become “coals.”
I don’t know about you, but that’s not something I’d wear around my neck. Compared to the other stones, coal kinda sucks. Coal is dirty and dusty and…not as cool as the other three. There are a number of other black stones that could have been used to describe black people. Coal does not compare to any of the other three. And, you would think, in a story in which the darkest people are the most powerful, those dark skinned people would come up with a better name for themselves than “coals.”
This just doesn’t work for me…
Also, Victoria Foyt is romanticizing the idea of species survival. It’s a book for young people about acceptance and forbidden love. This isn’t really the platform for that subject matter, I think.
Now, let’s go to the actual book. The first book in the series is called Revealing Eden, part of which has found its way to the interwebs.
If you read around, she falls for a black guy named Jamal. (>__>) If you pay enough attention, he’s not so much of a “beast,” he’s just a swole black guy (with a tattoo on his face?). Why is he a beastly man? Did I miss something there? And what human-animal hybridization is happening in here? Are we talking about the biracial babies, or is there something else happening? Because bestiality is not only frowned upon, it’s…not right. And I don’t even think it’s possible to combine human DNA with the DNA of another species to make a hybrid baby. (Biology was a fun class.) Also, what species is endangered? White people aren’t a species by themselves. The human species, however, is just fine. It’s just a little darker.
In the first couple of pages, the first two black characters are introduced. And they are assholes. The first woman, named Peach, is described as “plump,” and she’s a boatload of sass. The other woman, Ashira or something, is basically lazy and inconsiderate. Already, the “coals” are being portrayed as generally terrible people. And, because of this generalization, the main character, Eden, hates “them.” She utterly loathes black pe—er, “coals.” I mean, maybe she just has a strict boss and a shitty coworker, but I mean, they’re not so evil and spiteful that they wouldn’t even give her a job with them…because she has one. Furthermore, Eden’s father, who is apparently a super-genius, was given a pretty decent position at his job or whatever. If coals were that awful and racist, I don’t think they would have done that.
I really, really think Victoria Foyt thought this was a good idea with seemingly good intentions behind it. It just wasn’t executed properly at all. I think someone mentioned that this is like a writing project done by someone in sixth grade that looks back on it when they get older and facepalms hard. Part of me wants to read this book, just to answer a few of my questions. I want to support an emerging writer, as I know how difficult it must be to write something for a large audience and hope that they like it. But I honestly don’t think this series is a very good idea. I also don’t want to spend my money on it, because, frankly, I don’t support it. I just sincerely hope it doesn’t become a movie.
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