UPDATE: Amanda has publicly apologized:
I didn’t pick the offensive imagery in my book, but I should have caught it sooner than now. I didn’t and there’s no excuse. It was my first book, I was excited and happy, but I needed to have a more critical eye. I would do anything to remove racist images from the first printing of the book if I could, and I am relieved and happy to say that they will be removed from future printings.
Seal Press has apologized, as well.
I don’t mean to say “well, that’s over with; no need to worry about this anymore!,” when I say that I’m relieved and happy that Seal and Amanda have taken this step.
Original post follows.
* * *
Dear Seal Press,
I’ve been a fan of Amanda Marcotte’s writing for years — since before she was on Pandagon. I think of Amanda as a friend. I’ve been looking forward to her book for many months. I regularly buy and read nonfiction books, including feminist books, and recommend them to my friends.
But I simply can’t buy a book that blithely uses blatantly racist illustrations. I can’t. Nor can I recommend to anyone else that they buy it.
It’s not funny. It’s not hip. It’s just racist.
Please, stop it.
This was a painful post for me to write; I am mindful of the fact that at a time when huge portions of the feminist blogosphere were writing me off, Amanda did not. That means a lot to me.1 I don’t want to hurt Amanda, and I genuinely want her to have a great career.
But there are more important issues at stake here.
UPDATE: Read Holly’s post, as well. Here’s some of what she suggests Seal Press needs to address:
So I would like to call on Amanda Marcotte and Seal Press to do the following — while also keeping in mind that nobody should be making assumptions about exactly who was responsible for what, saw what parts of this book while it was in progress:
1. Please explain what process led to the selection of these images for this book, and what the intentions of those involved in decision-making were.
2. Please tell us whether you think it’s appropriate for a book about feminism, which the author describes as not really covering race issues, to include depictions of white heroines beating up stereotypical violent, spearchucking dark-skinned people, who apparently represent the “politically inhospitable environment.”
3. Please tell us what steps, if any, you hope to take to address the criticisms that have been raised.
NOTE REGARDING COMMENTS: Feminists or WOC (or both) and allies are welcome to comment. No comments from right-wingers, please.
- It may be relevant to mention that BFP also didn’t write me off, and that means a lot to me, too. [↩]