I want to share this with everyone because I think it’s one of those things that should be embraced and talked about at length.
We have a lot of problems in this world – seeing other human beings who are different than us as somehow less human is a big ugly one. Whether we’re talking about race or gender, religious choices or sexual choices, we have a major problem with accepting people for who they are.
When Hunger Games went up and Cinna and Rue were cast as being black, a lot of discussion happened because of it. Good discussion, bad discussion, maybe some surprising insights for some people into how they view the world.
Now it looks like Finnick may be cast with a black actor and all the same confusion and disbelief and discussion is building again. It’s not an easy topic for a lot of people to talk about – but I am a big believer that talking about it is the only way to take its ugly power away. We are a beautiful crayola box world and I long for a world where you are who you are and there aren’t restrictions on caring about things based on color, sex, gender, body type, or ethnicity.
We should be able to turn to someone who is not like ourselves and say, hey, I have questions. Is it ok if I sound stupid for a minute and just ask them? I don’t have any black friends and I’m confused about some things. I don’t know any one who is Asian, who can I talk to if I don’t understand something? I need to know more about girls. Boys seem really weird to me, why do they act like this? I think we need to get to a point in the world where we can do this. Just talk.
I also hope more authors keep talking about this topic – about writing characters not like us and reading about characters not like us and how a book with a black character doesn’t have to be a story about a character not being white. I think it’s the dialogue that will get us to a new place in our society. Not talking about it is why we have to have a Tumblr called HungerGameTweets specifically designed to highlight the non-discussion we haven’t had so we can start having the ones that need to happen now.
And clearly this topic is too big for one post, so I hope to revisit it again and again and again. Until we don’t need to anymore.
Kate Hart dissects the 2011 YA covers with gender and race in mind