Author Alex K Thorne (@mermaidandthedrunks) answers the question, “Why can’t I say that? It’s not offensive to compare someone to delicious chocolate!” and discusses how to avoid unintentional racism and harmful stereotypes in your writing:
No decent, thoughtful human being wants to be accused of racism. Most decent, thoughtful human beings are guilty of racism.
Of course, it’s usually unconscious, and it’s often hard to keep track of evolving language and social movements, of phrases in the vernacular that were perfectly acceptable ten years ago but are now taboo (and vice-versa).
As writers, albeit pros or fanfic writers, or everyone in between, we use our words as tools, as toys, and sometimes, as weapons. It’s our responsibility to listen to new conversations, to keep abreast of the ever-changing socio-political climate, and above all, to think before we ink.
There are some wonderfully evocative ways to describe people of color without being unintentionally racist or having to sacrifice your creative integrity.When writing about a character of colour (ESPECIALLY if you’re a white author), visit sites such as: