55327_girl-writing_mdAnother example of Internet censorship is Victoria Foyt’s book Save the Pearls: Revealing Eden. The book won the 2012 Eric Hoffer award for young adult fiction.

The novel is set in a sun-blasted dystopian society and follows Eden, a young white woman, as she wears blackface as protection and tries to survive in a society where whites are oppressed by blacks. Despite this situation, Eden continues to think of herself in the traditional white custom as privileged and beautiful. Although Foyt said her intentions were to present questions about racism, the book was denounced as racist. An organized campaign left large numbers of 1-star reviews for the book on Amazon.

This novel also caused a scandal within the SF community. Weird Tales Magazine published a supportive editorial by Marvin Kaye and initially meant to publish an excerpt, but then backed down and apologized after a backlash. Jeff Vandermeer and NK Jemisin blogged against the book and Ann Vandermeer resigned as editor of the magazine, apparently in protest. The publisher eventually removed Kaye’s editorial and issued an apology.

Note: This should not be taken as support for racism in any way on my part. I just support Foyt’s right to freedom of expression.

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