White privilege and literary racism

By now, I’m sure everybody has seen or heard about Grey’s Anatomy actor, Jesse Williams BET Award Humanitarian acceptance speech, where he so eloquently spoke out against police brutality. If you somehow missed it, click the Youtube link to watch it below.

 

Not one word he said was a lie. However, conservative white people (and token ass-kisser, Stacey Dash) are beyond pissed off that this Black man chose to use his voice and tell the entire world that he’s sick and tired of the genocide of Black people. You know, because for decades, Black folks have been told that we’re supposed to sit by and watch our people be hanged, raped, and shot down like animals in the streets, and shut up and just deal with it. Yeah, we’re not doing that anymore, and it kills certain people. The media has belittled this man every hour of everyday ever since he gave this speech, and anybody who agrees with and supports him, has also been considered a racist and a supporter of violence against police (no where in his speech did he promote this) but people hear things the way they want to. I’ve always been told that a hit dog will holler the loudest, so Jesse obviously stepped on some toes during his speech.

Of course, Conservative Trump supporters- who go around hollering how much they’re ready to ‘take their country back’ want to censor Jesse and anybody who applauded him, by any means. I’m sure Jesse hasn’t had a peaceful nights sleep ever since his speech, due to Facebook/Twitter keyboard racists and thugs bomboarding his page with hateful comments, but they’re taking it a step further to try and silence anybody who has re-posted and/or agreed with him. This just happened to me today. Some white lady took the time to write a long, drawn-out letter on my page, telling me that ‘since I agreed with Jesse, I must be racist’ and she asked if I realized that I’m excluding the ‘few white people who are all for equality’ by re-posting his speech. Yes, she really said that. It was like she was threatening me to either shut up about how unfairly Black people are still being treated in this country that loves to claim everybody is free and deal with it, or she won’t buy my books.

I had to get her told real quick. First of all, if me speaking out against police brutality and the unfair treatment of Black people offends you, you clearly weren’t checking for me or my books anyway, so please have several seats. Second of all, I have NEVER in my life been an ass-kisser. If you like me, cool; if not, that’s cool too. What you won’t do is come on MY platform and try to think you can tell me what I can and can’t say, and basically threaten me as an author that you won’t support me- knowing good and damn well you weren’t buying/reading my books anyway- if I don’t behave like a good little darkie and shut up. No ma’am/sir, I am not the one to try this with, because it won’t work.

These are the same people who are so quick to call a Black person racist. These are the same people who turn up their noses at Black romance authors and their books- because Black love isn’t a real thing to them- when the story lines are the exact same as white authors who consistently grace the NYT Bestsellers list; but because the cover models and authors are brown-skinned and don’t have blue eyes and blonde hair, they choose to bypass that book. I once read a certain Black authors’s interview where he talked about this crime series he’d written and he said a traditional publishing house told him that the only way his book series would ever make it to the big leagues (on the book shelves and/or Kindle’s of white readers) was if he changes the main character from a Black man to a white man..make him more relatable to white readers, and only then could they guarantee him a spot on the NYT Bestsellers list. Yes, racism still exists, even in the book world. Black authors are excluded from mainstream bestsellers lists constantly,being told our books aren’t good enough, aren’t mainstream enough, and aren’t relatable to non-Black readers. If we don’t conform to and write what non-Black literary agents think we should, we’re overlooked and tossed into the not interested pile. We have to fend for ourselves, start our own publishing companies, create and organize our own literary awards if we want recognition, which is truly sad in 2016. Yet, people get so mad when we voice our concerns and opinions about the lack of equality.

To that commenter who felt the need to look down your nose and judge me- threatening not to support me if I don’t sit back and accept Black people being shot down and killed every single day in the good ol’ USA, while nobody is ever held accountable for it- you and anybody else who shares your sentiments can do me and yourselves a favor and un-follow me. Trust me, I won’t care. You made the claim that I’m ‘excluding potential white readers’ because I used my First Amendment right to free speech and quoted Jesse’s speech in a post I made, when the truth of the matter is, as a Black, self-published author, I’m often excluded from white readers view anyway. As soon as AA Fiction and/or Urban Fiction is recognized, most non-Black readers choose to bypass my books, simply because of the book genre. Just as Jesse mentioned, our freedom (success) has always come with conditions, and we’re sick of it. If there have to be conditions on whether or not you’re going to go out and buy a book by J.L. Sapphire, I don’t need or want your support anyway. And you can call me a racist until you’re blue in the face, I will not be quiet or stop voicing my concerns. As the mother of a young Black man who is about to graduate high school and go out into the real world soon, I can’t afford not to speak up. That you expect me to do so shows more about your character than it does mine. The thing is, what God has for me is exactly what will be- with or without white conservative conditional support. You can’t stop my blessing, no matter how hard you try. I suspect I will lose followers after this post, and that’s perfectly fine with me. Having a certain number of followers isn’t what sells books, trust me on this. I haven’t made it this far in life by placing much value on random people’s thoughts and opinions of me. Take your conditional support somewhere else, because I don’t need it.

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