Saturday, October 24, 2015

Racism in Nancy Drew

As you can tell from yesterday's post, I'm going to review the sixth Nancy Drew book. One of the culprits is an "Oriental" who is described as "squint-eyed".

How should I discuss racism in my Nancy Drew book reviews? The official rule is that I can use offensive terms while summarizing the book, but not while commenting on it. For example, I can say, "Nancy meets a drunk negro in the first book", but I can't say, "It's racist that the negro is a drunken buffoon". I have to replace "negro" with a modern term like "black" or "African-American" when describing that character.

I don't remember where this rule comes from, but that's the one I use. It's convenient to me, because I normally keep the book summary and the book commentary in separate parts of reviews, anyway. I haven't gotten any complaints about it so far, but I figured I might as well outline the official policy I'm using, in case anyone is curious.


Katie Nelson said...

That rule sounds just fine with me. Using it in your review is proffessional, and not meant for harm, while using it in your commentary part can be more offensive.

Katie Nelson said...

Not that you would ever TRY to be harmful.

lence said...

Sounds like a good policy.

Anonymous said...

to me , it sounds offensive in both cases, cause it sounds like you talk like that and think it is ok (which I am sure is not your intention.)

In editing they put sic, to mean you are writing it the way it was in the source material and it is not your viewpoint.

so the summary would read

In this book, Nancy meets a Negro (sic) while out solving a case.

That shows the book was racist not you : )