Racism: Literary Genocide?
An issue, one of many perhaps that sheds of a bit of a dark cloud over the literary world is that of racism. It is a subject that makes many a potential reader cringe. Likewise, it is a topic in which has blacklisted a number of otherwise, best-selling, classic titles. It has me wondering:
Can the subject of racism or racial genocide be presented in fiction?
A Matter Of Perspective
How one character is seen by another character within the pages of a book can create quite a bit of chemistry. Imagine what that is like ten to a hundred fold! I can already see heads shaking, eyes maybe even rolling. Fiction or Non-Fiction one thing readers do not want to see is the condoning of racism or vivid illustrations of cruelty.
Still, what if more fiction began to incorporate characters standing actively against such injustice and triumphing? Would it even matter? Would readers still commit themselves to the turning of the page? Or have we, as people become so intolerant, that the issue cannot be addressed at all?
You may be wondering, why do I even ask?
Race, Magic, Ethics, & Politics
My current project, Warlock’s Chronicle, takes its readers into the realm of Styvynia. One of the focuses within this realm is magic and the manner in which it is practiced. As any thriving nation, this realm has kingdoms with a pretty vast number of peoples of different race, gender, as well as color. Of course, each person has his or her own understanding of right and wrong. Naturally, no kingdom or civilization would be well adjusted without having some form of power mad tyrant or corrupt circle of officials now would it?
What Does This have To Do With Magic or Racism?
A lot! Each character’s perception of one another is based on the knowledge of his or her kingdom. Likewise, their view of magic is bound to be influenced by the same. Imagine a world where magic is seen as one of the following:
- A form of energy and force that is as natural as the air we breathe that requires a certain discipline to wield as well as maintain the balance thereof.
- A power of will that can be twisted, bent, molded or shaped in accordance with individual purpose, intention, or design
- A gift bequeathed and mastered solely by those who are willing to seek their full potential. Thus, perhaps being a necessary evil in order to maintain order.
- A responsibility placed upon individuals who have the capacity to harness particular gifts that are to be used for a singular purpose.
How Does This Have To Do With Racism?
What if one group of magical thinking had it out for another? Imagine then, if the targeted magic users just happened to also be so exclusive that those who were of that mindset were of a certain race?
Now put that one race, this one civilization against the rest, and what do you get?