This going to work every day shit feels weeeeeeird. Seriously, the last time I worked at this desk for three weeks straight was at the end of May / beginning of June. The last time I was here for longer than that was five weeks ending in the first week of March. (I was here for almost all of January, too, but that was broken up by a week-long department meeting including an offsite day or two and onsite time elsewhere.) I’m here now until another department meeting in September. After that I think time will collapse in on itself like a singularity and there will be a planned trip home in October and then it will be end of the year. And then I will go somewhere else.

Onto topics more interesting than my life. You may have seen the news about Weird Tales; in summary, the magazine has now decided not to publish the first chapter of Save the Pearls. The which attempts to convey an anti-racist message by depicting a society in which whites are the minority and are persecuted by majority blacks (as are Latinos and albinos). By the accounts I’ve seen, it fails miserably. (Details here, here, and here.)

But it got me curious. Now I’m trying to figure out, purely as a gedankenexperiment, if it would be possible to write a non-racist novel based on that inverted-racism scenario. Heinlein certainly failed when he tried it (Farnham’s Freehold is downright unpleasant to read), but I think it could be done, at least in theory.

ETA: Please note: the following scenario has been thoroughly and correctly shot down. See the LJ comment from Marissa Lingen for a clear explanation. I could delete this entry, but I think it’s more honest to leave evidence of where I’ve been wrong.

I think what you’d need to do would be to have the viewpoint character be a member of the majority racial group – say, a teenage black girl. Then over the course of the story she could move from being a Jefferson-style anti-racist (that is, “I like feeling virtuous and so I will define myself as anti-racist no matter what my actual words and actions say”) to genuine appreciation and attempts to understand the experience and culture of minority groups. And because I like happy endings, she could work with majority and minority characters together to bring about the beginnings of change in her society.

There’s a broader theme I’d want to see incorporated, relating to other recent news. I’m getting fed up enough by people countering prejudice with prejudice – I’ve long been annoyed by “real women have curves” (implying that skinny or straight-figured women aren’t “real). Now I’m seeing comments on Todd Akin’s recent outrageous statements on rape that stereotype the entire US South as ignorant and hateful. (Actual sample: “Tell me again why we didn’t just let them secede?” Note historial inaccuracy, because Missouri was a border state that actually sent more regiemnts to the Uniuon army, but I digress, as usual. ) I don’t believe you can counter hate with hate or prejudice with prejudice. So I’d like to see a world depicted whose believable basis is that, as blacks and Latinos become a majority in the US, a prejudice against whites arose, along the lines of “It’s our turn now, let’s give them what they deserve.” And then I’d like to see the characters in the novel get to know and like each other, and work together to get past that, to achieve the ideals of the original Civil Rights movement by countering hatred and prejudice with understanding and appreciation.

I’m not a fiction writer, but I’d love to see someone try it. Science fiction and fantasy writers have often shown us possible futures: this is one I’d really like to see.