I might make a separate blog post about that thread, but in this one, I want to deal with this fellow's prejudgment of my novels. Apparently, because I stood up to his leftist pablum about "hate and racism," he checked my profile, which has references to my novels, and he subsequently posted this:
"I *am* the one with the degrees, training, and experience. Debating this on [social media] with someone who writes pro-white, confederate, romanticized slavery, apologist romance novels (with all due respect to earning a buck) is like debating womens rights with the Taliban."I asked if he'd ever debated women's rights with the Taliban. He didn't say. In any case, I replied:
"Well, do let us know if anybody who writes pro-white, confederate, romanticized slavery, apologist romance novels shows up in this thread, so we can watch you debate them. I'd really like to see you debate, since you haven't done so with me. ... BTW, thanks again for showing us again your slavish adherence to the false dichotomy. If one doesn't write anti-white novels, voila, one writes pro-white ones. Those are the only two choices in binary, mind-split thinking like yours."Later, I posted,
"Definition of 'pro-white, confederate, romanticized slavery, apologist romance novels' -- any novel that does NOT portray white Southerners as as scum-sucking racist hicks, religious bigots/zealots, inbred idiots, philanderers, domestic abusers and/or rightwing terrorists but portrays them, instead as realistically flawed but decent and personable human beings. ... Just out of curiosity (again), was this -- 'pro-white, confederate, romanticized slavery, apologist romance novels' -- supposed to be a description of one or more of my novels?"As noted, I'm considering a follow up post covering his lengthy, self-aggrandizing non-reply to this question , and my tirade in response, but the only part of the latter I'll cover here was this challenge to him:
"Who on this thread has written pro-white, confederate, romanticized slavery, apologist romance novels? -- Have you read my novels?"Of course, he hasn't read them. He followed my question with some of his own, presumably designed to strike conviction of my "hate and racism" in my heart, followed by abject contrition. Didn't work....
Him: OR, let me ask you...do any of your novels feature black lovers?
Him: Are there any interracial lovers in your novels?
Him: Do your novels feature any black leaders, heros or high ranking members of society? And if so, why did you feature these black leadership roles?
Me: No. So, do you think my novels (which you've never read) are racist because they don't have blacks front and center? If so, hundreds of thousands of books are racist, by your definition.
Him: ---its not like you have a huge black following eh? Common? Youre not hurting book sales by being honest.
Me: Is it necessary to write novels with the aim of having a huge black following? Is any novel that doesn't have blacks prominently and favorably positioned racist?
Him: Of course not...but with such strong preference for confederate ideology .....favoritism for white characters/leaders....a disliking of segregation and integration...call me provincial Connie.
Me: Did I say I dislike segregation and integration? I believe the operative words, which you're ignoring, is "government forced." Here, let me make it bigger: GOVERNMENT FORCED... Get it now?Following this, I posted a link to a scene from one of my novels that relates an encounter between 18-year-old Randy Stevenson (white) and his friend since the first grade, Keyonne Jackson (black). The social media poster told me by private message that he read the excerpt, but didn't further comment on it. I think he was a little shell-shocked by the content because it didn't have the "hate" and "racism" he expected... In any case, for whatever reason, he disappeared from the thread after reading the excerpt. Makes me wonder if he also read my follow up comment (the last one in the thread as of today):
That excerpt is from Sweet Southern Boys, a sequel to Southern Man. In 2007 or so, I considered submitting the manuscript of Southern Man to publishers and agents, though I was pretty much already sold on self-publishing. Anyway, as a lark, I wrote this in a query letter to an agent....
Dear Ms. ---,
I'm writing you because I saw your entry among recommended agents on the Romance Writers of America website, and your own website indicates your clients author a wide variety of romance-based fiction. I'd like to tell you about my recently completed project.
Southern Man is an atypical, offensive 100,000-word mainstream love story I wrote for the impolite purpose of honoring Southern, white, Christian males. I have the effrontery to portray the title character, Troy Stevenson—coalminer's grandson, corporate executive, and former college football star—in a positive light.
Contrary to prevailing American beliefs, Troy hates and harms no one, despite being culturally traditional and politically conservative. He's an honorable man who provides for his family and helps others as he can. But he's far from perfect. The novel's conflicts revolve around his personal weaknesses, chiefly a nascent drinking problem, the haunting family secret that underlies it, and the mistakes he makes confronting them.
If an admirable Southern hero isn't odious enough, Southern Man also commits the unpardonable cultural sin of dissing feminism. The heroine, Patty Stevenson, is a homemaker happily fulfilled by her husband and children. The villain comprises three women—an amoral 1980s material girl romantically obsessed with Troy and two radical feminists who help her file a false sexual harassment complaint against him after he rejects her advances.
Perhaps the most egregious cultural sin I have committed in Southern Man, though, is my refusal to take on the obligation so many Southern (and other) writers evidently embrace—to atone for the South's “sins” and accelerate its “rehabilitation” by portraying white Southerners, especially men, as evil racists, religious bigots/zealots, inbred idiots, philanderers, domestic abusers and/or rightwing terrorists. My characters are flawed but decent and personable, not the repulsive regional stererotypes all too common in pop culture.
Although not a genre romance, I wrote Southern Man to appeal to romance readers through the tender, tenacious and sensual love relationship between Troy and his wife and the happily-ever-after ending. Studies commissioned by the Romance Writers of America indicate that 30% of the 64 million romance readers in the USA reside in the South. I'm convinced a hefty percentage of them would welcome positive portrayals of their region and its people, if only more of them were offered.
Two other points. The story is set in the early 1980s, in moss-hung Verona, Georgia. Although written with a culturally Christian worldview—because that's how the South is—this is not a Christian romance.
If you aren't thoroughly offended by now and would like to see more, I can send a synopsis and sample chapters or the entire manuscript for your consideration. An SASE is enclosed for your reply. You can also contact me at the phone numbers or e-mail address above. While you're online, I invite you to watch a video trailer at http:----
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.
What this experience with the social media commenter illustrates is the sort of mentality that Brooks Devious Simpson had exhibited on his blog on occasion when referencing my novels, which he hasn't read, either. It betrays an attitude, a belief, that white Southern writers are obligated to:
- prominently feature blacks in their stories, either as (a) interracial lovers or black leaders, heros or high ranking members of society or, (b) as the miserable, helpless victims of Southern white evil...(The latter seems to be the favored view of anti-Southern bloggers like Simpson, Levin, Hall and hangers-on/wannabees Meyer and Rob "Tu Quoque" Bakur.)
- portray Southern whites as as evil racists, religious bigots/zealots, inbred idiots, philanderers, domestic abusers and/or rightwing terrorists.
Presumably, NOT doing this is racism and hate -- and ranks right up there with eating white turkey meat at Thanksgiving.... (I'm not making this up.)
I've blogged about his prejudice hypocrisy in that area several times:
This mentality also comes from perfect strangers who haven't read my books. I discussed one such incident here:
That blog entry includes this comment from me: "I feel no obligation to trash the people of my region, and that really annoys some folks, as two of the comments at Red's blog -- and countless other internet comments, blogs, books, magazine articles, movies and TV shows -- attest. How dare Southern writers portray their people positively? How dare Southerners show the unmitigated temerity to be comfortable with who they are? How dare they not totally define themselves by their faults, as yankees and neo-scalawags think they should?
Nope. Not from my keyboard, folks