In December 2012, YALSA published an article about the whitewashing of YA book covers. While the article didn't cover anything new (for me, at least), it was heartening to see the conversation about racism in YA lit continue--the dialogue on which is clearly nowhere near being over as the problem is still, unfortunately, very much alive.
When discussing such a hot button issue like racism, many people are often deeply bothered by the problems it produces and immediately want to “solve” said problems. This impulse is well-intentioned, but can be predicated on problematic thinking. First, the belief that problems like racism, or the many issues that stem from it, can be solved quickly and by one person. Once the fundamental basics of racism, why it exists, and how it operates, are understood it quickly becomes apparent that it is a problem that will not be solved quickly or by a single individual. Second, if you are not a member of the oppressed people group in question (in this case POC) then thinking you can solve this problem alone is problematic for a variety of reasons. Let me try to explain.
This may not seem like a huge problem as the people writing about these “solutions” are most likely not able to implement their ideas anyway, but this sort of thinking denies POC a seat at the table of discussion, even about issues that directly concern them. To exclude people of color from a conversation that is primarily concerned about their representation is to disenfranchise them—and is an act colonialism.