There’s little doubt that some passages in romance novels are racist, particularly in years past. But such language was largely ignored until Courtney Milan began pointing out the language. Now she has been disciplined by the Romance Writers of America (RWA) while those who write in an unobjectionable manner have received no censure.
While I agree that the RWA got carried away as to Ms. Milan, I am conflicted and torn about how far back current standards should be applied. For me, the line should be drawn where racist activity would encourage others to think it appropriate.
Now the controversy has shown up in the Washington Post. Milan’s discipline has been revoked but the fallout has become so acrimonious that this year’s awards (the RITA awards) have been cancelled.