Anti-Diversity, a Response (EXREMELY LONG POST)

Indie author Bre Faucheux posted a video on Youtube early last month about diversity.  Well, anti-diversity. 

So, I’m going to go through her video point-by-point for my responses. 

Note:  There's another video where, between the insults to SJWs, she says her first video really had two main points:

1.  Just because an author writes all white characters doesn't mean they're bigots (same with not writing about LGBT people).

2.  Writers shouldn't be bullied or guilted into writing about something they don't want.

But, the problem is, this video said so much more.  Not all of it appropriate, either.  If she would have stuck to the points, I may have agreed.

When your eyes inevitably glaze over, just read the bolded and highlighted stuff.
Also:  Don't go harass her.  Okay?  Be kind.
1. “ One of the worst words in the entire human existence—the entire English language, I hate it—and that word… is diversity.”

Hmmmm.  You’d think “war”, “genocide”, “torture”, or anything else would at least have been in the running.  But, that’s her opinion.  So… we go on.

2.  “Diversification of viewpoint is a very good thing.”

Yes, yes it is.  Go on.

3.  **Shows a bunch of articles about diversity in books, or how people think there needs to be more diversity.**  “That alone makes me irritated…”

Why?  She just said diversity is good.  With all the headlines about books WITH white, cishet, able-bodied people in them (and praised) you’d think she (who just got done saying diversity of viewpoint was a good thing), would like that various other stories are being given the spotlight.  She just said that all views must be counted.  Differences in religion, ability, etc. CAN INFLUENCE POINT OF VIEW.

4. A troll pointed their finger at V.E. Schwab for not having white characters in Vicious.  Schwab explained her reasoning and was very apologetic.
Bre claims if Victoria Schwab would have had people of color in her story the response would have been, “What would you know about being black?”

Well, Bre has me there.  Some people might have called Victoria out on writing characters unlike herself if her story would have had QUILTBAG (LBGT) characters, people of color, etc.  Some people will call a writer out on nearly any issue, whether important or not.  Since Bre only posted Victoria’s responses to said troll and not what the “troll” said, I have no idea what angle the person was coming from.
 But, if a character is well-written and well-researched, the backlash and criticism from that is generally minimal.  I know many writers who do damn good jobs writing various kinds of people who look and act NOTHING like themselves.
Victoria is a great writer and her stories are set in vast landscapes.  it would make sense to have more diversity in her stories because there are different geographic regions and huge amounts of space but…  If she doesn’t want to for whatever reason, that’s her right as the author.

5.  Paraphrasing:  Are we going to ban historical novels because they use racist language and make people uncomfortable?

Nope.  Accurate history isn’t anything us Social Justice Warriors get defensive about.

6.  Reads a comment pinned to a Twitter account “shaming” someone for asking a question about why we have to have diversity in books.  The thing she took most offense with was the text above it which reads “PSA:  Stop.  Stop doing this.  There is no excuse.”
She claims the person was trying to silence and humiliate the other person.

 The question (and thought) was respectful.  The answer the booktuber gave was respectful.  The “PSA” part I can kind of see her point on, in a way.  The message could have been conveyed better.  The person who asked a question gave their opinion and, I thought, not really an excuse.
This exchange took place on Youtube first, so the whole “putting it out in the open” Bre disagrees with, I can’t follow her on.  It wasn’t like it was a private email to begin with.  If I would have used the comment, though, I would have blacked out the person’s name. The booktuber's message was all right, calling out the "anti-diversity" person specifically for asking something… not as much.

7.  There are very few cultures throughout history that have encouraged diversity.  It’s a very modern concept.
Claims people never wanted to assimulate. [sic]  Gives examples.

True, partially.  That was before globalization, which has made traveling easy, communication with different people even easier.  Religion was more of a hindrance back then (witch trials, crusades) and science was in a shadowed corner.  We were superstitious fools who barely came into contact with anyone who wasn’t like us.

But, also, not true.  America has always been founded on freedom, on being a melting pot.  There are other countries that are the same way.  Americans believe that everyone who is yearning to be free is welcome here.  And that, my dears, is valuing diversity.  We’re built on it.

8.  The Muslim slave trade was even worse than the American slave trade, but you don’t see people asking for reparations from Muslims.

And, how is this about diversity in literature and "not caring what color people are"?  But... okay, we'll discuss it.
Maybe Muslims aren't mentioned because America said it OWED the former slaves reparations?  You know, the whole “forty acres and a mule” thing?  Therefore… maybe that’s where people got the idea from.  You know, from it actually being SAID.  I know it was overturned, but...

9.  People even killed each other to prevent diversity.

Well... maybe, at times.  We were mostly ignorant and fearful (see point number 7).
But, why is she so hyped about how we USED to be?  I thought we were supposed to learn from the past and our mistakes so we can improve.  A hundred years ago, a great many concepts and technologies didn't exist.  Does that mean we shouldn't have them?

The fact that people tend to congregate in like groups is (logically) justification for certain books to have all white, rich, etc. characters.  There are still people outside of that circle, though, so that reasoning only works depending on a particular story.

10.  People want to be around people like ourselves.  And that is NOT RACIST.

People often fear difference, even now.  Some people will despise others outright for being a different hue, religion, etc.  It feels safer being among those who look like us, who have things in common.  Sounds to me like we need MORE diversity, especially in literature (which is what started Bre down the rabbit-hole rant).
If we interact with more people who aren't like us, and read/watch/listen to media with a variety of perspectives, it will help us understand those who aren't like us in some ways.  Media will also shine light on common ground.  Great reasons TO have diversity.

11.  "To write well is to have diversity is historically inaccurate."

To ignore diversity on our current world (in countries like America) by not addressing it in books, or giving minority authors the same shot the majority has, is also (at least somewhat) inaccurate too, no?  I mean, if she's worried about facts...
How far back are we going?  Before women could vote?

12.  Diversity of race, ethnicity, and values (in particular) is designed to degrade and segregate us.  All it does is completely destroy the idea of having diverse viewpoints.

Uh... what? Because realizing more than just one kind of person in the world will make everyone's head explode?  Not sure how acknowledging difference while reading/writing degrades people.  Pretending someone's struggles don't exist is disrespectful.

13.  And, directly pointing out that an author only has a book of a white cast of characters is designed to attack them.  It's only ever called upon to destroy one person's particular viewpoint.  Paraphrasing:  It's telling people who don't share your viewpoint to shut up.

How so?  Pointing out that something has nothing but white people is telling them to shut up?  It's not destroying someone's point of view, it's calling to their attention people who notice the absence.  Perhaps, to question WHY certain types of people are absent in a story.  It isn't saying "stop writing".
If a novel takes place on a planet that earthlings have colonized and it is a bustling, crowded place, I'm going to wonder why, say, no disabled people exist.  We're about 20% of Earth's population.  Could disabled people be restricted from a space flight?  I can see that.  But, what happens to those who become disabled after landing?  Are they killed?  Cooked and eaten?  If an imaginary world could easily accommodate diversity, why doesn't it?  It doesn't mean one of the major characters has to use a wheelchair.  If the writer has a valid reason, it's fine.  And, honestly, I don't think every book SHOULD have disabled people in them.  But it isn't wrong to want to see people like yourself in a book.  It isn't wrong to ask why a writer chooses what they do.

14.  You might as well just get down to bare bones and say what you really, really mean when you call out an author for having an all-white cast of characters... we need fewer white people.

Ummm... like, in literature?  Because this seems like we're climbing off the subject of diversity in books and going into... something else...
I've talked about this before with literary magazines.  If white, able-bodied, etc. poets were consistently on (around) 47 out of 50 pages per issue of Hot Poet Quarterly Review before the magazine actively sought a more diverse lineup (by advertising in more places that cater to QUILTBAG poets, getting more people of color on their staff, etc.) and then those white poets only appeared in 36 out of 50 pages, the majority wouldn't like it.  Who wants to have fewer chances and opportunities?  The majority would be featured somewhat less so... those damn minorities want them gone!  Forget that most of the magazine would still be mostly white.

15.  Bre points out that Martin Luther King wanted us to judge people by character, not skin color.

And he also wanted black children and white children to play side-by-side which, according to her anti-assimilation point, isn't something people do because... diversity bad.  Besides, I don't believe Martin Luther King would say segregation in books is a valid, holy thing.  I'm fairly sure he liked equality... and was on the pro-diversity team, could be wrong, though.

16.  Does it [having a cast of all-white characters] negate the theme (or beautiful lesson) to a story?

No.  It doesn't.  Just like a book with mostly Asian characters doesn't negate the lessons.  Few people would say it did.
She makes it sound as though diversity in books means more pressure on white authors to write diverse books.  That's really (in my experience) only a small chunk of the discussion.  There is a bigger focus on DIVERSE AUTHORS writing diverse books and getting the same support.  One of the only reasons people are talking to able-bodied, cishet authors about diversity is that they're still getting more attention and resources.  Minority stories are considered niche.

17.  Paraphrase:  People who want diversity in books have a false sense of superiority. She makes it sound like it's only those who aren't authors who want diversity.

Really?  Has she asked us?  All of us?
We want what we think is best.  All of us, her included.  Maybe she should focus on WHY people want diversity before making these arguments.  Readers are allowed to want diversity, even without writing their own books.

18.  Brings up racism against white people.

Prejudice against white people does exist but, since racism is systematic, it doesn't apply to whites.

19.  Starts talking about how the publishing industry only picks the best-of-the-best stories to publish and how nothing else factors in.

Right.  Which is why people with ethnic-sounding names won't get called back for a job interview but people with vanilla names do.  Why books with certain cultures are in the "special interest" section instead of with their genre.  Why someone was told by an agent she can't sell the book because the protagonist isn't relatable but... "I could if he weren't bisexual.  Rethink it."
And, if a book has a Latino protagonist, an agent may think the author is Latinx... so the skin color thing she brings up right after (about an agent not rejecting because of skin) is false.

20.  Bringing up a character's sexuality, ethnicity divides people.

I can't see her logic.  Maybe it divides people who don't want to read about a gay man from those who do or don't care about the man's orientation.  Otherwise...

21.  Says people who bring up diversity in a novel think they have the moral high ground.

If someone wrote a book with entirely able-bodied characters, I wouldn't think they're ableist.  If someone writes (or says/does) bigoted stuff, however, they're a bigot.  But a straight vanilla world does not (most often) a bigot make.  And the vast majority of people who WANT diverse books don't think that, either.

22.  What makes a community thrive is sharing common core values.


23.  If you throw people together with opposing morals you have disaster.

Sometimes.  Which is why laws are in place, we we don't clash overmuch.  But diverse books can also help us see other viewpoints, even if we don't end up agreeing.  Right now, we're speaking of literature Bre, not an apartment building.  And, there are people who legitimately reach compromises, shocking as it is.

24.  The need to talk about race and ethnic groups is becoming more and more invalid and irrelevant each and every day.

I disagree.  Racism still exists.  Bigotry exists.  Division still exists.

25.  The birthrate of the white race is MASSIVELY on the decline.

It doesn't invalidate racism.  And, globally, white people are a minority.  Poor argument for needing race to NOT matter.  And... we're sliding out of literature... into... bad territory.

26.  My grandfather used to say we need those minority laws because, one day, whites will be the minority.

But, I thought she didn't care WHAT color anyone is.  I thought she only cared about values and viewpoints.  If so, why does she CARE about this?  Hmmm...

27.  Talks about people who have different morals with high birthrates.  Brings up Osama Bin Ladin and all his wives and children.  Says whities can't compete with that and still have a nuclear family.

Why Bin Ladin?  There are plenty of other examples.  Why pick an evil brown person?  She's equating different morals and whatnot with evil brown people against saintly whites.  This is... ignorant, at best.
Also, the nuclear family isn't even sacred among white cishet people, she shouldn't go there.  Many white people are single parents or are in multi-generational households.  Grandparents are raising their grandchildren.  Divorce is common.

28.  A booktuber wants to read a book with themes of abuse because, though the book has those themes according to cishet white people, people of color in the QUILTBAG community like it and the booktuber tends to trust the PoC LBGT+ community more in those matters (the book's themes).  How is my opinion less valid because I'm a white woman?

I'm unsure the reasoning this person had.  I'd honestly be fascinated to know why he/she trusts them more.  Does the booktuber have great friends in the community, a mentor?  The book is about a PoC LBGT couple so, maybe that's why this person chooses that particular community for insight.
Instead of asking respectfully about the booktuber's thoughts, Bre gets offended.  She says the booktuber condemned abuse in one book but it's okay in the book with minorities when all the person said is they want to read it, NOT that abuse was dandy.  And, she wasn't silenced, either.  She didn't even GIVE an opinion.  She stated what she heard and asked if the person was going to read it.  That's it.  How does answering her silence her?

29.  Twitter posts on diversifying your bookshelf is virtue signalling. People who post those things are anti-intellectual.

Or, it's just sharing what people love and are passionate about... like people who post about cooking, or jogging.  There doesn't have to be an agenda.
And, anti-intellectual?  Seriously?  Who says a diverse book is only chosen because it's diverse?  She said herself that books only get published on worthiness and nothing else.  Or, is that only when she's trying (without statistics) to say publishing isn't biased?

30.  Bring up what small percentage of the QUILTBAG (LBGT) community exists.  States how the minority is guilting the majority and calling it progressive.

At this point, I'm curious to know if characters in traditionally published books match their percentage of existence in the country they were written in.  And, it isn't about guilt, it's about knowledge... and representation.

31.  Diversity of race and ethnicity is meaningless.  Diversity of values is dangerous.  Diversity of viewpoint is something we need to treasure until the day we die.

But our race, religion, sexuality, disability, gender, class, age, size all alter how we view the world thus, influences our viewpoint... therefore... diversity of people... is... good!  Diverse people have diverse views.   *Spins wheelchair in frantic circles.*
Diversity of values isn't dangerous, it's tricky and requires us to be thoughtful and compromise.  Close-mindedness and bigotry are dangerous.

32.  People who talk about diversity are the first to silence other viewpoints.

If you're for diversity, isn't the only other viewpoint... anti-diversity?  And, she's really painting everyone with the same brush there.  Funny how she does that when she doesn't want people to do it to her...

33.  If you're concerned about diversity, volunteer at a youth center or go make friends different than yourself.

Many of us who want diverse books already DO those things.  Some do them BECAUSE they read diverse books.  Some people who want diverse books want them because it doesn't represent them or the community they already give to.


  1. We always hear the "write what you know" argument and it makes sense. I'd also add, "Write what you are compelled to write." If adding diverse characters doesn't make sense for the story you're telling then adding them will create a stilted artificial story. For example, I grew up going to schools where there were no blacks and few students from other racial groups--that was the nature of the neighborhoods in which I lived. If I were to write a story based on those school days, throwing in characters for the sake of creating diversity would make the story unauthentic.

    I guess in the end it depends on what you are writing about, the message you wish to convey, and what interests you. Demanding diversity in writing sounds like a bit of a totalitarian approach to writing.

    Or maybe I'm missing the point here.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. No one should be forced into writing what they don't want to. A lot of people who are against diversity in books say one reason they ARE against it is because some writers feel bullied into writing stories that don't resonate with them.
      I'm very pro-diversity in books but, while I may wonder (and perhaps ask the author why) there were no types characters in a story that might call for them, I wouldn't demand it. That's not what creativity is.

      People who are anti-diversity think we don't need books about people of different races, religions, etc. at all. They are wrong about that. Everyone needs to see themselves represented... counted. Especially when young. It's important. Those who have plenty of representation in books think it isn't a big deal... because they have it.

      Her points (the ones she claims she was making) are completely valid. The stuff she brings up along the way is... ignorant.