Underlying theme of racism in America...

Use this forum to discuss the March 2018 Book of the Month, "Final Notice" by Van Fleisher.
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Re: Underlying theme of racism in America...

Post by N_R » 06 Apr 2018, 00:01

I did notice this at times, but I think that the author did a good job of bringing it together. There is definitely a hint of it at times in the book.

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Post by BookishCreature » 06 Apr 2018, 12:19

I appreciated the author's willingness to tackle such a touchy topic in his work, and I agreed with his views. When it comes to the writing/story alone, though, I just didn't like the way he inserted those views into the plot. Maybe it's just me, but that whole exchange between the three couples over dinner felt more like an allegory to serve a point than a conversation between characters. Everyone was speaking in well-reasoned paragraphs as if they'd rehearsed! I think the author's point could have actually been stronger if he used a little more subtlety.

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Post by Mouricia25 » 09 Apr 2018, 00:20

I have noticed that most times race issues are responded to better when they come from a white person. Otherwise if it comes from the person suffering, or persons of similar background, then it is not seen as such an issue.

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Post by AnitaM » 13 Apr 2018, 04:08

I thought this was a very important theme, and the author did a good job. It is also such a timely topic, some very sad stories in the news about fear of difference, which ultimately ends up in racist actions. I think that trying to put yourself in other people's shoes, and practicing empathy and acceptance are vital for a peaceful world.

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Post by Zain A Blade » 13 Apr 2018, 11:08

I think the author did a wonderful job in trying to show empathy for minority races. Whether the race is white or not is not the case here, since even a white man can be discriminated against if living as a minority race in another country. But once you are in the majority, be compassionate to those in the minority.

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Post by Jamasenu » 13 Apr 2018, 23:45

VictoriaMcMillen wrote:
25 Mar 2018, 17:25
Many of the characters in the book were from diverse backgrounds. Throughout the book the author seems to use the two main characters, who are white, to bring about a better undersanding and compassion for those who are not white. Did you notice this as well? What are your thoughts before and after the book on how the media portrays diverse peoples verses real-life? Was the author able to grow compassion within you for others? Please feel free to answer whatever question you feel comfortable doing so.
I never read the book but that sounds typical when an author tries to explain how non-white people are treated. All races have contributed to this world we live in and it's amazing that when things occur, the first question asked from people I know is, " Were they black or white?" I myself have asked this question. The question should be how do we get past differences that make us all unique?
To survive, you must tell stories.
― Umberto Eco, The Island of the Day Before

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Post by Jamasenu » 13 Apr 2018, 23:47

Mouricia25 wrote:
09 Apr 2018, 00:20
I have noticed that most times race issues are responded to better when they come from a white person. Otherwise if it comes from the person suffering, or persons of similar background, then it is not seen as such an issue.
:tiphat:

I totally agree. If you've never been mistreated because of your race, you won't see it as an issue.
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Post by Jamasenu » 13 Apr 2018, 23:52

Zain A Blade wrote:
13 Apr 2018, 11:08
I think the author did a wonderful job in trying to show empathy for minority races. Whether the race is white or not is not the case here, since even a white man can be discriminated against if living as a minority race in another country. But once you are in the majority, be compassionate to those in the minority.
Racism is the case. African Americans and any other minority group are seen as subservient or incapable of performing as well as their white counterparts. Discrimination isn't fair to anyone but we must see people for who they are and not prejudge them.
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Post by ValBookReviews » 15 Apr 2018, 18:55

I actually did not notice. But that's a great point of view. Racism is often noted as the underling backdrop to our society as I would appreciate if the real life media follow suite. In other words: "And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise".
"And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life". (Revelation 20:12 (NKJV) :reading-7:

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Post by nobunkum » 16 Apr 2018, 17:38

Tzara Drusak wrote:
26 Mar 2018, 16:33
I'm thinking about when the officer was conducting his investigation on the events leading up to the shooting, and the relative of the shooter. The officer was African-American, and the son of the mass shooter, Sean, was slightly apprehensive of this fact considering the rise of anti-black murders that were cropping up and the probable attitude of the officer in regards to this type of discrimination. As the visit progressed we could see where the son got relaxed by the officer's easygoing manner.

I think this was a wonderful portrayal of the interaction between persons of different races and how the feelings of such people are in actuality. I could read between the lines that perhaps the officer was used to dealing with these circumstances, and felt a sort of respect for how he handled the situation, and consequently, how members of the black community oft feel.

This is only with respect to Caucasian/African-American interactions, but several other forms of racial interactions are seen in the novel.
That's an interesting point that I didn't see when I read the book. Good point.

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Post by nobunkum » 16 Apr 2018, 17:48

I think readers here have made good points about portraying the good side of immigrants and people of different races. And as someone who loves and appreciates different cultures I can relate to many of the scenes and sympathies of the main protagonists but I feel like the book does a disservice with it's explanation of racism and growing irritation with immigration.

The writer basically says that he has no idea why people have a problem with immigrants and that anyone who does is an idiot. He makes it seem like all immigrants to the country are superb people with no problems and it is only the racist people in the country that are causing problems. This obviously isn't the whole picture and there are a lot of political, social, economical, and cultural factors at play that cause conflicting feelings regarding immigrants (legal and illegal) but he completely ignores that any rational reasons might exist other than hate.

Technically I am an immigrant (born in Canada to American and Canadian parents but grew up mostly in the US) and my husband is an immigrant from South America. I'm not naive or ignorant or filled with hate. But I acknowledge that there are several logical, rational, real reasons other than blind hate that cause different (often heated) opinions about race (and the attached culture) and immigration in the US.

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Post by Ebonez_nahmi » 18 Apr 2018, 07:48

Mouricia25 wrote:
09 Apr 2018, 00:20
I have noticed that most times race issues are responded to better when they come from a white person. Otherwise if it comes from the person suffering, or persons of similar background, then it is not seen as such an issue.
As soon as the book is made available for me to read and review I'll read it. Are you saying that whites complaining about racism get heard better than those who actually suffer from it?

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Post by Mouricia25 » 18 Apr 2018, 11:35

Ebonez_nahmi wrote:
18 Apr 2018, 07:48
Mouricia25 wrote:
09 Apr 2018, 00:20
I have noticed that most times race issues are responded to better when they come from a white person. Otherwise if it comes from the person suffering, or persons of similar background, then it is not seen as such an issue.
As soon as the book is made available for me to read and review I'll read it. Are you saying that whites complaining about racism get heard better than those who actually suffer from it?
It's what I have seen happen alot. Unless of course there is some mass revolt and outcries..

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Post by cianarae » 22 Apr 2018, 12:31

I am always wary of an author using white people as a device to talk about racism. I think that discussions about racism are more powerful (and probably accurate) when they come from people of color themselves.

I can also see, however, that discussions of racism are more well received by white people when they come from white people.

I guess this is something I'm torn on...

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Post by jo89220n » 22 Apr 2018, 21:07

I hadn't always realized the lack of diversity in different forms of media. Reading books like this is really eye opening for me as a result. I'm a University Student in Manhattan, so I'm becomingly increasingly aware of the bias and stigmas in media. This book definitely enhanced my compassion for those who aren't represented or who haven't been able to relate to the characters they read about like I can. It makes me very aware of my own privilege.

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