David Baldacci. James Dashner. James Frey. Stephen King. James Patterson. Christopher Pike. Rick Yancey.
What do they have in common aside from being authors I’ve read in recent months? They’re all white men.
The only Asian female author I’ve read is Jenny Han. Despite that her book, The Summer I Turned Pretty, revolves around a Caucasian teenager. If my memory serves me correctly, there’s not a single character who isn’t Caucasian in that story.
Safe to say I’ve never encountered an Asian character written by an Asian author.
I do appreciate writers who try to include diversity in their stories. But often times people of colour are portrayed inaccurately. As a result they are in inferior roles while perpetuating negative stereotypes.
Try naming a book, movie, or TV show that features a Chinese female as the main character who was created by an Asian woman.
Does that sound like a feat? Well, it shouldn’t be.
I’ve also come to realize that there’s a fundamental problem with the way events are reported and the way stories are told.
Listening to one side of the story is one thing. But only hearing one side from one person is something else entirely.
We aren’t the same. We’re vastly different from one another. And because of our differences in race, socioeconomic status, etc., it’s important for everyone’s voices to be heard. All voices. Not just the typical voice we’re used to hearing. Not just the voice society has deemed to be the “majority”.
Individuals of other ethnicities tend to be pushed to the background. It sometimes feels as though their struggles aren’t as significant. But their stories are just as important, if not more so.
Fortunately Toronto is a very multicultural city. While Toronto isn’t terrible in respect to its diversity of individuals in the media, that isn’t to say the city doesn’t have room for improvement. Over these past few years, I have noticed the publishing industry and blogging community isn’t as diverse as I initially thought.
Society needs to stop discriminating against people of colour, people perceived to be part of a minority. If not we’ll continue to perpetuate these stereotypes and sustain all sorts of stigma, which ultimately leads to more discrimination and less diversity.