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Monday, June 08, 2020

Reader's Diary #2167- Curtis Sittenfeld: White Women LOL


This morning Donovan Bailey remarked that Canada had "racism with a smile," explaining that there is less blatant racism and more insidious and subtle racism in Canada, which is often harder to fight.

Similarly Curtis Sittenfeld's short story "White Women LOL" takes on this theme. A white woman asks a group of black people to leave a room after assuming they are party crashers, they record the interaction and post it on social media, and she goes viral as a racist. She's shocked by this assessment. In her head she's appalled by the Klan and that sort. But like many of us white folks, we deny that there are degrees and varieties of racism. It's much easier to be smug in our declarations; that we'd never be like those hood wearing idiots than it is to reflect upon our own actions and attitudes. Vodka Vicky in this story is forced to reflect upon this. At first, I'll admit that I read it thinking she had been judged too harshly for a misunderstanding especially by the social media outrage machine, but in the grand scheme of things, what were these but a few stressful weeks in an otherwise privileged life, especially in comparison. Hopefully she'll emerge a better person.

Wonderful, believable, and provocative story.

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