DISCLAIMER: THIS IS BASICALLY ALL MY OPINION. NONE OF IT IS FACT, IT IS SIMPLY MY OPINION. FEEL FREE TO DISAGREE WITH ANY OF THE OPINION I GIVE HERE, BUT NO BASHING, PLEASE.
This post is about my opinion on the portrayal of race in fiction books.
The whole issue with the portrayal of race in fictional books, is, well…that the number of characters of people of race is not equal among all races. You can find way too many articles online about this giving numerous statistics on how many people of colour are actually protagonists in the novels, or how many people of colour in the novels are seen as helpless damsels that can’t do anything and act like stereotypes of themselves or something like that. It’s annoying to me.
I mean, take a look at your bookshelf (or shelves) and check every single fiction book you have. How many of them have Caucasian protagonists? Or if they don’t say specifically what race or skin colour the protagonist has, try to visualize them yourself. What ethnicity does the protagonist look like in your head? If you’re immediately thinking of the protagonist being Caucasian, you’re not the only one visualizing it. Our culture and set up basically encourage that sort of thinking and instill it in our minds.
We live in a culture where white Caucasians are often seen as the protagonists, the heroes that can do anything and only the sky is the limit for them. When we try to visualize people of colour in media such as fictional books, we often see them as supporting characters at most. Nothing wrong with supporting characters, but still—it’s not the same as a protagonist. People of colour could also be portrayed minor characters, stereotyped as a nomadic group out in the wild or something rather minor, or as antagonists. In a world which is incredibly globalized with much more diversity around the world than less than a century ago, I find it appalling that we don’t have as many fiction novels or other forms of media where people of colour are just as much represented as heroes and protagonists as their Caucasian counterparts.
I will make it clear though—I’m not trying to bash Caucasians in this post just because they happen to be fictional protagonists most of the time. I’m not trying to bash anyone in particular in this post. I just believe that in a world such a this where we have much more diversity than ever, we should honestly rethink how we portray others in fiction. Even though there is news about it all over the internet and so on, I hear no one talking about it. No one is taking any action, in my opinion, and we need to change that. If you’re a writer, especially, you have the power to change that.