Hi, Best Listeners.
We know that our podcast and our general online presence is usually a pleasant distraction for you all, and we are usually happy and grateful to fulfill that role in the content economy. We believe that people who are concerned, caring citizens still need to take breaks from the news from time to time; we need doses of lightness and fun from time to time to preserve our mental wellbeing.
We also know that it’s been a little absurd seeing every corporation on the planet suddenly come out with statements about how Black Lives Matter. We’re not a corporation, we’re just three women (and a cat), but we do just want to dust off our mostly-abandoned blog to speak up and make sure that whatever platform we have is being used to clearly say: Black Lives Matter.
The last four years have been hard on us personally. They’ve been hard on Black people, on queer people, on trans people, on disabled people, on pretty much everyone except for a handful of rich white straight cis people. But god, the last few weeks have been fucking brutal, right? We’re sending extra love and support to our Black listeners.
We are exhausted and angry and sad and hurting, and we have been donating and marching and speaking out and contacting our representatives, and it’s not enough but it’s what we can do. We are mourning George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and David McAtee and all of the other Black lives lost to police brutality and white supremacy.
We are donating all of our Patreon proceeds this month to this ActBlue community fund of 70+ bail funds and other BLM organizations. Thank you to our Patreon patrons for making this possible. (A version of this statement went out in our monthly Patreon newsletter, along with an expanded version of the Best Bestsellers by Black Authors list we posted to social media last week.)
You’ve probably noticed that for the podcast, we almost exclusively read books by white authors. That’s intentional for a lot of reasons–mostly we are trying to read books that seem to have been over-hyped so that we can talk about them in a funny way. Books that are, well, worst. And due to racism at every level of the publishing process, books by Black authors (and other authors of marginalized identities) very rarely end up being over-hyped. If a Black author gets a book published and on the bestseller list in the face of all that racism, it’s generally because that book was fucking great, which is awesome to read but like…not that great for a comedy podcast? (Exception: the always-exceptional Tyra Banks.)
Basically, we’re trying to “punch up” when we pick our books to read specifically for the podcast, which generally means reading books by white people. (And by straight people, abled people, and so on…) (Except when we pick our occasional Best Bestsellers, like A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole.)
But we do try to read widely in our non-podcast reading time, and we always make an effort to make sure that our “readers advisory” sections of the podcast include books by authors of color (as well as LGBTQ/disabled/etc authors). Unfortch, we often get pressed for time by the time we get to “readers advisory” on the actual podcast so we don’t always say those books out loud on the podcast? But they’re always up on our website, and going forward we’re going to try harder to make sure we always say them on the podcast, because, uh, more people listen to the podcast than look at the website. But from the beginning of the podcast, one of our goals has always been to promote diverse books, even if we haven’t always been successful in the execution of that goal.
Okay. Take care. We love you. Black Lives Matter.