Monica Jackson declares me a racist because I refuse to pursue the Millenia Black issue further.
I had hoped that my polite stance would be enough, but, if the cuffs are off, then my findings must be laid down on the table. Who knew that myopic demagogues like Monica Jackson were out there? People so fixed in their worldview that they cannot consider the entirely reasonable assumption that something that one person says on the Internet without a shred of supportive evidence may not be true.
First off, I am not in the habit of reporting a bullshit rumor and I am always grateful for reader corrections. I try to confirm information when I can through emails and phone calls. Here, for example, is what I’ve done about the Millenia Black matter:
I’ve talked with Millenia Black herself. I’ve talked with various people inside Penguin. I’ve attempted to contact people in the law firm who is allegedly handling the case. I’ve had exchanges with the bookstore owner. And the upshot is that the story doesn’t check out. This scenario is, as far as I can tell, a great deal of noise from an author who has no recourse for attention other than finger-pointing and lawsuit threats. Ever wonder why print journalists haven’t pursued this story? I mean, think about it. A major publishing house commits an act of apparent racism in the 21st century. It’s a perfectly interesting story that I’m sure any decent editor would lap up. Could it be that the facts are in question? That this may be a question of journalistic integrity? Could it be the same reason that newspapers didn’t immediately report the rumor planted by the National Inquirer and the Book Standard last week about O.J. Simpson getting paid $3.5 million for a book deal? Perhaps because it was utter horseshit denied by O.J. himself?
I find it ironic that the color of my skin is now being laid down as a qualifier. Is this not the same racist assumption that Ms. Black herself has accused others of all along?
Call me a racist all you want, but as Frederick Douglass once said, “I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.”