Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 7 months ago

Would it upset or anger you to read a story where a racist is presented as funny and charming?

I am writing a story about a young teen who becomes a criminal due to the influence of an older man who befriends him. The older man is a racist and a murderer, but I have made the character funny and affable, as I don't think the kid in my story would have befriended the stereotypical racist archetype you usually see in fiction.

Would it upset you to see an otherwise funny, likeable character acting in a racist manner and using the 'N' word?

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  • 7 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Would it upset me that you wrote a three dimensional character? No, I know racists who are great, helpful friends, loving spouses and parents, people who'd jump on to a busy street to rescue a stray kitten, and who are the light of a party, many even have non-white, non-Christian friends (like me e.g. These friends of course being the exception to the RULE). Despite all their good qualities, I still find them difficult to be around, and as I have gotten older, I've kept as much as a distance as possible to them.

    What I wouldn't like, would be if the purpose of the story was to promote racism and where it was obvious that the author was a racist, attempting to defend his views, but that's not the same as having a racist character with likable traits.

    • bluebellbkk
      Lv 7
      7 months agoReport

      This is the answer I wish I had written. I was fumbling round the edges but never got to the heart of it. A BA that's really deserved.

  • Anonymous
    7 months ago

    No, people are too sensitive these days. Of course outside I've have to pretend I hate it.

    • bluebellbkk
      Lv 7
      7 months agoReport

      Why would you have to pretend to hate it? We can all dislike the character's BEHAVIOUR without thinking the author or the book itself are evil and wicked.

  • Anonymous
    7 months ago

    Nationalists can be funny, but racist certainly not. People who insult others based on their skin colour are disgusting because imagine they hate skin. That's like a violent mindset.

    • bluebellbkk
      Lv 7
      7 months agoReport

      Sure. But that's no reasom why a character in a novel can't be racist and funny too.

  • 7 months ago

    No.

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  • Anonymous
    7 months ago

    I knew a man in his 80s who remembered "All in the Family," which was touted as "Archie Bunker, the lovable racist." This infuriated him, saying there is nothing lovable about a racist.

    Nixon was right about that show- it was designed to make the blue-collar workers, the Hard Hats, look like uneducated racist dunces, and the enlightened Liberal Leftist Professor Michael Stivic as the level-headed, rational and intelligent counterfoil.

    All in the Family was a well-written and funny show, regardless, and it did poke fun at racism: when a group Bunker belongs to threatens to burn a cross, Bunker tries to stop them, and they say "Who's going to stop us?" Bunker's response "Us blacks!" Old man Jefferson and Bunker fight as neighbors, calling each other racist names, then a Puerto Rican family move in the neighborhood and suddenly the two antagonists join forces. There were a lot of "off-the-wall" scenes in that show. Archie Bunker's famous chair is now in the National Museum of American History. I once saw it (in the early 80s), and it was just a few steps from George Washington's Continental Army uniform!

  • Anonymous
    7 months ago

    I with They Pelted. You're going to have a hard slog making me like someone who's overtly racist, even if he's clever and charming. I'm not sure there's a writer who could do it to my satisfaction, unless it was farcical, his racism itself meant to be pathetically funny.

    And if there is a writer who can pull it off, what are the odds that it's you?

    Upset and angered, though? No. I'd just stop reading and urge other people not to waste their time. I might leave a negative review at the point of sale.

    • bluebellbkk
      Lv 7
      7 months agoReport

      You don't have to 'like' the character. The question was about whether such a character would upset or anger you.

  • Marli
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    No. I know otherwise lovely people who are bigoted. I am bigoted about certain things and peoples too. For instance, I hate murderers, rapists, muggers, and hate mongers. I'm also not too thrilled about books that promote a criminal lifestyle as positive and fun, unless the protagonist is Robin Hood.

    • Marli
      Lv 7
      7 months agoReport

      That was racist. Not what. I have read Oliver Twist and I did not think Fagan was a positive role model. He forced his urchins to earn their keep by theft. He fenced the goods and kept the loot. Bill Sykes was a worse person.

  • 7 months ago

    Definitely depends on the way the character is written and how much it plays into the storyline. If every other word is a racial slur, I'll hate their guts, but if they're being casually racist and it's only every hundred pages, I'll think they're a jerk and probably keep my thoughts to myself, just like if I heard someone like that in real life.

  • 7 months ago

    No. I'm old enough to know that horrible people don't go around scowling and that nice people don't go around smiling. How a person comes over to others may have nothing whatever to do with their moral worth.

  • It likely would't upset me, but I'd be far less likely to see him as funny, likable, or amusing.

    I think you've likely overestimated your ability to sell a character's racism, so the end result would just be a crappy novel.

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