Books

American Dirt Author Cancels Book Tour, Claiming Safety Concerns

The tour may be canceled, but the book is benefiting from the controversy.

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Jeanine Cummins' novel American Dirt depicts the migrant crisis from the perspective of a Mexican woman feeling cartel violence. But the book has so infuriated its target audience—immigration-sympathetic liberals—that its publisher has canceled the rest of Cummins' book tour, ostensibly due to "safety concerns."

The kerfuffle hasn't hurt book sales. On the contrary, American Dirt is expected to debut as a number one fiction bestseller, thanks in part to Oprah's endorsement. Controversies can be very beneficial in the world of publishing, and part of me wonders whether the publisher is overhyping the safety concerns in order to make the book seem more taboo, and thus a must-buy.

That said, it's certainly the case that American Dirt has received tons of negative coverage—not from the sort of Trump-supporting anti-immigrant people who might be expected to object to the story's ideology, but from liberals who think Cummins is engaged in cultural appropriation. Cummins is white—though she has claimed a Puerto Rican grandmother—and stands accused of writing about peoples and cultures to which she does not belong.

"The asymmetry of Cummins's identity (she's white and not an immigrant) and story (a Mexican woman's flight to the United States with her son) has led to charges of racial and cultural appropriation and publishing-industry whitewashing," notes The Atlantic's Randy Boyagoda. "Making matters worse, the novel is a commercial success: It won a seven-figure advance and was optioned for a film adaptation amid broader industry buzz, and it's an Oprah Book Club selection….This is fundamentally a fight about an industry; it's about how book publishers do business, and with whom."

While there are certainly inequities in the world of publishing, it seems unfair to fault the book itself for this. More persuasive are criticisms of Cummins' writing quality, though this line of attack blurs with the others.

"Cummins plops overly-ripe Mexican stereotypes, among them the Latin lover, the suffering mother, and the stoic manchild, into her wannabe realist prose," Myriam Gurba writes in her review. "Toxic heteroromanticism gives the sludge an arc and because the white gaze taints her prose, Cummins positions the United States of America as a magnetic sanctuary, a beacon toward which the story's chronology chugs."

Gurba also balked at Cummins's stated intention, which was to move beyond the portrayal of Mexican migrants as a "faceless brown mass" and instead "give these people a face." The use of the phrase these people was apparently anathema to her.

I'm singling out Gurba's review because it's a good representation: It contains both reasonable criticisms and a blind rage that a white author would dare to write a book about Mexican people—and declare her sympathy for them using language that falls short of what the most woke Latinx activist would prefer.

In any case, the tour might be canceled, but the book is not. If anything, it's benefiting from the controversy.

NEXT: More Fifth Circuit Opinions in Doe v. Mckesson, the Baton Rouge Black Lives Matter Protest Case

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  1. but from liberals who think Cummins is engaged in cultural appropriation. Cummins is white—though she has claimed a Puerto Rican grandmother—and stands accused of writing about peoples and cultures to which she does not belong.

    Jesus fuck these people. Fuck them with a rusty meat hook.

    1. That would be cruel and unusual punishment to the meat hook

      1. It would be hard for Randy Boyagoda to find a doctor to treat him who has been fucked with a rusty meat hook.

    2. I hope Randy Boyagoda never gets cancer and realizes how hard it is to be treated by a doctor who has died from cancer.

      1. Sevo beat you to that take an hour ago SQRLSY

    3. Oh, I don’t know–I think it’s pretty hilarious that a Karen wrote this book, probably with visions of it becoming the “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” of our time, and the biggest backlash wasn’t from conservatives, but from the mentally ill Woke Brigades.

  2. Toxic heteroromanticism

    Um, what?

    the white gaze taints her prose

    I can’t even…

    the United States of America as a magnetic sanctuary, a beacon

    Which I’m sure is not at all how people fleeing Mexico and South American countries view the US.

    1. “Toxic heteroromanticism” was my nickname in undergrad.

      When I moved on to Native American gynecology school it became “white gaze proses her taint.”

      1. “Toxic heteroromanticism” was my nickname in undergrad.”

        Jfc this was dumb 3 years ago when everyone else here stopped doing it after it playing it out.

        Fuck man, stop trying so hard.

        1. “Stop trying so hard” was MY nickname in undergrad!

          1. See Leo? That’s how you make it funny.

      2. I laughed.

        1. Well yeah, you’re his sockpuppet.

    2. Toxic heteroromanticism

      Um, what?

      There’s apparently a sub-culture in some of the more marginal corners of progressivism that is sort of a reverse Conversion Therapy version of feminism–women who are actually straight but convince themselves they’re de facto lesbians, because they’ve been brainwashed into thinking that being straight is oppressive to anyone who isn’t a straight white male. Because these mental cases are actually straight and prefer a good deep-dicking, they’ll go so far as to fantasize about gay men fucking them because they can’t stand the thought of screwing a man who’s actually straight.

      This shit all started in academia, naturally.

  3. “Toxic heteroromanticism gives the sludge an arc and because the white gaze taints her prose, Cummins positions the United States of America as a magnetic sanctuary

    Wh…wait… ISN’T the US a magnetic sanctuary, or were all the migrants trying to get to Russia via a short boat ride from the Aleutian Islands, and passing through the US southern border was just one hurdle in a long list of many they had to hop?

    1. We have so much heteromagnetism in this country, how could they not be drawn here?

  4. “Jeanine Cummins’ novel American Dirt depicts the migrant crisis from the perspective of a Mexican woman feeling cartel violence”

    So, it’s awful.

    1. When are we going to get a novel about the hardworking cartels?Hardworking coyotes, struggling to feed their families, tirelessly striving to get these migrants to their destination.

      1. I might actually read that.

      2. Was Casablanca a book first?

        1. No, it was a city first.

        2. It was the President’s home at first.

        3. It started as a play, but it was never produced. So the movie is the first version that actually got made.

  5. No mention of your own book?

  6. Let Them Fight.gif

    But it’s the violent white supremacists that we all need to worry about.

  7. Really, the fact that the culturally terrible United States is the place all these oppressed people want to come to (and it is unfair if they are not allowed to) seems to be contradiction that taxes even the progressive capacity for cognitive dissonance.

    1. Not to mention the fact that the mushy-headed reviewer doesn’t seem to appreciate that the United States is one of the very few places on Earth she could possibly make a living spouting her nonsense. Why don’t you move your dumb ass back to Mexico and see what professional wokeness pays in pesos? I’m sure there’s plenty of opportunity there for someone with your talents.

      1. First lines from the review:

        When I tell gringos that my Mexican grandfather worked as a publicist, the news silences them.

        Shocked facial expressions follow suit.

        Their heads look ready to explode and I can tell they’re thinking, “In Mexico, there are PUBLICISTS?!”

        I wryly grin at these fulanos and let my smile speak on my behalf. It answers, “Yes, bitch, in México, there are things to publicize such as our own fucking opinions about YOU.”

        LOL! This has never happened. Nobody has ever expressed shock and amazement that there are publicists in Mexico, not even if you live and work exclusively with retards and the hyperekplexic. Nobody has ever fucking been the least goddamn bit interested that your grandfather was a publicist in Mexico.

        1. When I tell gringos that my Mexican grandfather worked as a publicist, the news silences them.

          Shocked facial expressions follow suit.

          Their heads look ready to explode and I can tell they’re thinking, “In Mexico, there are PUBLICISTS?!”

          I wryly grin at these fulanos and let my smile speak on my behalf. It answers, “Yes, bitch, in México, there are things to publicize such as our own fucking opinions about YOU.”

          She’s lying. And she’s racist. Dismissed.

          1. She’ clearly imparting her ideas of what she thinks Americans think showing her racism towards her own race, liberal bile all the way down with self hatred.

            1. “Okay, so they didn’t actually say this, but I know they were thinking it.”

          2. Why does she put the accent in Mexico in her last sentence but nine when she uses it the two times before that? I don’t think she’s really Mexican either. Probably Chicana.

        2. If you work with younger Millennials and GenZ-ers from the coasts – its totally possible.

        3. When I tell gringos that my Mexican grandfather worked as a publicist, the news silences them.

          Shocked facial expressions follow suit.

          Their heads look ready to explode and I can tell they’re thinking, “In Mexico, there are PUBLICISTS?!”

          When I tell spics in really choppy Spanish with exaggerated alveolar trill that my American grandfather worked in landscaping, the news silences them.

          Shocked facial expressions and a quick slug of tequila follow.

          Their little beaner heads explode and I can tell they’re thinking, “There are American LANDSCAPERS?!”

          Fuck Myriam Gurba.

  8. 1. It’s fiction
    2. Oprah likes it
    3. If you can only write about ‘your own’ culture/background, do we just drop science fiction altogether?
    4. It has lefties all in a faint

    too much conflict; please remove this story about the story.

    1. Wait a minute… This Andy Weir guy isn’t a real Martian? Next you’re going to tell me that Heinlein didn’t grow up on Mars. Is that it?

      1. Heinlein didn’t; Mike did.

  9. “and stands accused of writing about peoples and cultures to which she does not belong.”

    So she’s accused of being an author of fiction, is what you’re saying?

    1. Can you imagine someone investigating cancer who hasn’t had it?!

  10. “Cummins is white—though she has claimed a Puerto Rican grandmother—and stands accused of writing about peoples and cultures to which she does not belong.”

    And yet they want white people to be sympathetic to the plight of illegal immigrants from south of the border?

    It’s like in college when they teach Heart of Darkness and Echebe’s Things Fall Apart against each other.

    Heart of Darkness is about white liberals perpetrating unspeakable atrocities in Africa in the name of stamping out slavery. If you’ve never read it, it’s the basis of Apocalypse Now, where an establishment liberal goes to the Vietnam conflict and perpetrates atrocities far worse than those of the communists in the name of liberal democracy–because it’s the only way to be effective. There was a message in HoD for liberals: how dare you try to “liberate” people at the point of a gun? It always ends in tears, and the liberals back home and their bleeding hearted desire to save Africa from slavery was the ultimate cause of the atrocities.

    Echebe was a Nigerian, and he wrote Things Fall Apart as a response to HoD. He depicts the society of southern Nigeria before the British came as barbaric. He pulled no punches on criticizing colonialism, but, clutch your pearls, he depicted the benefits of Christianity and colonialism, too–with the destruction of character representing pre-colonial Nigeria meant to ironically inspire both nostalgia and joy that he is gone forever. He suggests that with colonialism, you take the bad with the good.

    A white author couldn’t have written Things Fall Apart without it coming across like a novelization of the “White Man’s Burden”, but when locals write about history and policy, the results don’t always appeal to the white, liberal, audiences in the suburbs of America. I don’t necessarily support condemning a work based on the race of the author, but your message will get across much more effectively if you write about your own ideas and interests from your own perspective.

    Even in condemning liberal naivete for the atrocities of the colonization of Africa in the attempt to stamp out slavery at its source, Conrad’s narrative is lacking because he’s writing about the interests of other people as if they were his own. If you oppose invading Iraq because it isn’t in the best interests of the people of Iraq, you’re just a mirror image of the necons who support invading Iraq because they say it’s in the best interests of the people of Iraq. Why not oppose Iraq (or support it) from your own perspective. Why not oppose Iraq because it isn’t in the best interests of the United States?

    If you’re a white, modern intellectual, and you can’t make the case for open immigration from your own perspective, then you must not have a very good case to make to the perspective of your fellow white, American, middlebrow suburbanites. Meanwhile, there are millions of white suburbanites throughout the American southwest who are enthusiastically supportive of illegal immigrants for very selfish reasons. Why not choose to write about the issue from that perspective? It’s the perspective of your intended readers!

    I guess if you have to appeal to people’s self interests, then it isn’t worth doing?

    1. Meanwhile, there are millions of white suburbanites throughout the American southwest who are enthusiastically supportive of illegal immigrants for very selfish reasons.

      Hiring a cheap nanny…

      1. Hell yeah! And what’s wrong with that?

        How ’bout single moms who need cheap babysitting for the kids so they can work for a living?

        How ’bout the elderly on a fixed income who need help around the house to stay of the nursing home?

        How ’bout a guy like me who likes delicious authentic tacos and can’t get them at Taco Hell?

        1. Nothing’s wrong with that, beyond the fact that it disrupts the legitimate domestic labor pool at that end of the economic spectrum.

          1. Legitimate labor pool?

            Unskilled labor is an undifferentiated commodity. That means they only compete on price.

            Find a way to differentiate yourself from commodity labor if you’re on the supply side of that equation, and you will no longer be a commodity.

            Restricting the supply disrupts the legitimate labor pool. Not letting market forces do as they will with the legitimate supply.

            1. We don’t live in libertopia, Ken. The “legitimate labor pool” is people who have to file a 1040 and abide by labor laws. I’m all for doing away with that. Let’s see who blinks first.

              1. One of those labor laws being restricted to a minimum wage. When you introduce an “undifferentiated commodity” in and among that particular economic spectrum, you’re going to increase unemployment among those abiding by those imposed minimum standards.

                1. Ideally, everyone could compete without concern about the follow on legal effects of ignoring the law because there would be no law, and thus no follow on effects.

                  Reality, however, is different. And ignoring that doesn’t advance the argiment.

                  1. Are there a lot of unemployed American nannies and nursing home help?

                    1. I’d prefer to discuss things that are relevant.

                  2. I could get behind illegal immigrants in the labor pool if the welfare state was not part of the draw for them. Including school for their kids and all the overhead costs for bilingual this and free lunches that.

                2. “you’re going to increase unemployment among those abiding by those imposed minimum standards.”

                  We should get rid of those standards, definitely, but I don’t see that as a good enough reason to violate someone’s right to freedom of association.

                  1. Which means, ultimately, that your argument is simply one of preference.

                    1. Preference for natural rights? Ok, I’m guilty.

                    2. I’m fine with it. Stop couching it as right and admit it’s just a preference. Then, when you realize other people prefer differently, and that your argument “natural rights” doesn’t compel them, come back and we’ll have a conversation.

                    3. Conservatives only seem to care about freedom of association when someone wants them to bake a cake. They seem to be perfectly fine telling the other baker who he can’t hire to wash his dishes.

                      If we’re starting from a point where respect for natural rights is a preference, there’s probably not much to talk about.

                    4. “Conservatives”

                      I’m not remotely interested in listening to you whine bro. Trying to have a conversation with you was a waste of tiem but I tried.

                    5. “If we’re starting from a point where respect for natural rights is a preference”

                      You mean reality? Because that’s reality, and there’s a ton of people who think that. Oh right, you’ll just keep pretending otherwise. Good strategy.

              2. The legitimate labor pool is made of those people who supply labor and those people who hire labor.

                filing 1040s is a violation of the legitimate labor pool. It doesn’t lend it any legitimacy.

                1. As Peter Hitchens correctly noted, if we saw immigrants competing for Television producer and journalism jobs, we’d probably see a very different view of a flood of mass immigration into the labor pool. People at the lowest end of the employment spectrum don’t care that much about the fact that they can hire a cheap nanny or the new fucking restaurant on the corner.

                  1. And yet so many of the people on the lower end of the employment spectrum are using immigrant labor.

                    Using immigrant labor to watch the kids isn’t just something that rich people do. Illegal immigrants are watching the kids of five or six single moms when the kids get home from school and before their mom gets off of work.

                    It isn’t just the wealthy who pay immigrant labor to clean the bathrooms and the kitchen once a week.

                    In fact, if that immigrant labor were removed and those people had to pay market rates for those services after you removed the labor supply, they wouldn’t pay native born Americans for those services at the elevated rates. They’d just do without.

                    The wealthier people would pay more, but not the ones who are are getting paid more than immigrant labor which is why it behooves them to pay an immigrant to do it. When it stops being cheaper for working Americans to pay immigrant labor than it is for them to do it themselves, they stop hiring any labor at all and just do it themselves.

                    1. And yet so many of the people on the lower end of the employment spectrum are using immigrant labor.

                      Using immigrant labor to watch the kids isn’t just something that rich people do. Illegal immigrants are watching the kids of five or six single moms when the kids get home from school and before their mom gets off of work.

                      Here’s a counter argument.

                    2. Several years after the time that guy is talking about, I worked construction as a production house painter in San Diego. Almost everyone I worked with or for was a Mexican immigrant. After a while, I started a landscaping business. There were multimillion dollar tract homes at the time, and a lot of biotech and tech executives who would get transferred on a dime. The real estate companies working on those relocation properties had to pay a percentage of their appraised value by contract for the upkeep while they sat in escrow, but the homes were so close to each other, they had postage stamp sized yards. I was able to start a landscaping company to profit from that because I was the only landscaper they could find locally who spoke English and talk to both the real estate agents and their clients. When the economy fell apart with the Savings and Loan crisis, I went out of business.

                      I got a job in a hospital in Los Angeles. I learned to crunch numbers on a spreadsheet, there. quickly and accurately and ended up crunching numbers for a portfolio manager at a commercial real estate investment company. Being able to use Excel became a commodity skill. I left that gig for an internationally known software company that thought I had the aptitude to work for them making software for hospitals, and it was easier and cheaper to teach me what I needed to know about programming than it was to hire a programmer and teach him or her how hospital billing, etc. worked. The dot com bust changed the economics of that. I got a call from someone I worked under at the commercial real estate investment company, and I started a commercial real estate investment company. Things changed again when the real estate industry imploded in the wake of the mortgage crisis. For a while, I moved to Mexico–and found work there.

                      The solution to market forces having their way with us is not public policy. Market forces tell us where to go and what to do, and public policy gets in the way of that. I’m so glad I don’t paint houses or work construction anymore. Why would you expect to do the same thing in 2020 that you were doing in 1984? You realize the internet didn’t even exist in 1984? Think of all the opportunities he would have had to pass up to be house painter all these years later. And you want to violate the association rights of millions of Americans–just so he can supposedly avoid making the tough choices market forces will force upon us in the end anyway?

                      That is not a good sell.

                      Anyone who can’t compete with undifferentiated labor should be run over by market forces.

                    3. Anyone who can’t compete with undifferentiated labor should be run over by market forces.

                      As well they have been. Because everyone is a high IQ worker who can instantly adapt to shifting metas.

                    4. “As well they have been. Because everyone is a high IQ worker who can instantly adapt to shifting metas.”

                      Maybe I should have written that differently.

                      “Anyone who can’t compete with undifferentiated labor [for 36 years] should be run over by market forces.”

                      —-Revised

                      Can you agree with that?

                      The economy has changed dramatically since 1984, and expecting the government to rent seek on your behalf–for 36 years–at the expense of Americans who can improve their standard of living by utilizing cheap, undifferentiated labor is probably asking too much.

                      The future is unpredictable, but I wouldn’t predict that a hard working house painter today with a room temperature IQ will be doing the same thing 36 years from now because of his limited IQ.

                      Animals who lack the ability to read and write evolve because of market forces. The food supply is greater over there if you adapt, and those who adapt flourish and proliferate. That’s how we got opposable thumbs long before we had anything like an IQ. It’s the same thing. We must adapt to changing conditions, and conditions will change. Using the government to try to stop things from changing doesn’t make us better off in the long run. Russia can’t compete in practically anything today because their government protected workers from market forces for so long, that workers there are no longer competitive on a global scale–and the only thing they can do that is competitive is literally to dig value out of the ground. They are not better off because of it.

                    5. “Anyone who can’t compete with undifferentiated labor [for 36 years] should be run over by market forces.”

                      —-Revised

                      Can you agree with that?

                      I used to, but I don’t agree with it anymore. You’re starting to sound a lot like that utterly tone-deaf article Nick Gillespie wrote a couple of years ago where he essentially said, “Thank god all the domestic factory jobs are gone, ’cause NO ONE wants to work in a factory, AMIRITE?!!”

                      The economy has changed dramatically since 1984, and expecting the government to rent seek on your behalf–for 36 years–at the expense of Americans who can improve their standard of living by utilizing cheap, undifferentiated labor is probably asking too much.

                      That’s a strawman argument. I’m not asking the government to rent-seek for A guy who chose to work in an industry for 36 years, I’m suggesting that as a sovereign nation that has a pan welfare state, employment restrictions, restrictive labor laws and domestic taxation to recognize that an uncontrolled flood of immigrant labor into the lowest economic band of the employment sector might have deleterious effects on the employment picture for domestic workers.

                      Even Milton Friedman acknowledged that unchecked immigration under such circumstances would inevitably cause problems.

                      But sure, Nick, spend no time lamenting the loss of Factory jobs across the landscape while you get your English Lit degree.

                  2. I do. I like being able to spend $75 every couple of weeks to have someone come by to do a deep cleaning of the house. This allows me to do other things I would prefer to be doing rather than cleaning.

                    But to try to preserve *you* paycheck, you’d rather I was on my hands and knees.

                    Let’s not pretend I’m the only selfish one here.

                    1. Diane, his ‘counter argument’ seems to be ‘I work alone while these other guys employ people’. So he’s complaining that the guy running a larger company can afford to look for future work while his employees are working while that can’t.

                      He says his options are to work alone or work for another company – and then goes on about the glut of labor that makes hiring employees cheap. Which means he could hire employees and make more money. But he ignores that option.

                      But he doesn’t speak Spanish. And won’t learn that skill. L2C

                      And his other argument is that without that glut of labor people ‘would be accustomed to paying more’. Which is just another way of saying ‘the government isn’t using its violent coercive powers to limit people’s choices in a way that benefits *me* over *them*’.

                    2. Again, the question is one of labor policy. If your country puts in limitations at the bottom end of the spectrum: Minimum wages, labor regulations which tend to affect hourly/temp/seasonal and contract workers but you turn a blind eye to illegal immigration, then you will stagnate the wages of those people abiding by said restrictions. If we all agree that in libertopia, these regulations are the problem and therefore we should simply allow the market to set the rate of labor, I’m 100% with you.

                      What do you put the chances of all of those coercive restrictions I point to above out to pasture? I estimate the chances to be around 0%.

                2. Denying the existence of something doesn’t make it go away Kenny.

                  “We don’t live in libertopia, Ken”

                  Read that until you understand it.

                3. To be sureclear, I don’t have anything against immigrant labor. And I’ve been in ground zero for labor disruptions from immigrant labor. Back in the early 2000s when I was unsatisfied with my job and was looking for a new one, the competition was fierce. All the while I was looking, Microsoft was whining publicly and furiously lobbying congress to increase the H1B visa quota because, and I quote, they simply couldn’t find ANYONE in the domestic labor pool that could fulfill their requirements.

                  The fact of the matter is, this is not a question about immigrants themselves, it’s a question about immigration policy. Do you allow the flooding of one narrow economic band (read: the lowest) with low-cost, cheap labor while enforcing labor restrictions on the existing domestic labor force? That seems like a recipe for a Donald Trump election, don’t you think?

              3. We don’t live in libertopia, Ken. The “legitimate labor pool” is people who have to file a 1040 and abide by labor laws. I’m all for doing away with that. Let’s see who blinks first.

                When people want to ‘level the playing field’, its never ‘raise my side of the field’, its always ‘lower theirs’.

                1. In this case, I argue it’s “Who care’s what’s happening down there, it’s 72 degrees where I am.”

            2. “Find a way to differentiate yourself from commodity labor if you’re on the supply side of that equation, and you will no longer be a commodity.”

              Said every IT guy here when getting a computer science degree and job. ‘LOL at these workers who can’t even out-compete a Mexican with a tack hammer. Too lazy to go to college, like me.’

              And then came the H1-Bs… Oops.

              1. IT guys are still differentiated from plenty of Mexican immigrants, a huge portion of which have no more than an 8th grade education and come here without the ability to speak English.

                If an IT guy can’t get a job in IT, then he can probably get a job in insurance sales or doing something else other than menial labor. He may not be differentiated from other IT guys, but he is differentiated from menial labor–which is mostly only differentiated on price.

                Don’t care if you speak English. Don’t care about your reading comprehension. All I want is a guy that will help me unload this drywall or mow this lawn. That’s undifferentiated.

                A bushel of grade C corn is a bushel of grade C corn, and the only thing that differentiates one from the other is price.

                1. “IT guys are still differentiated from plenty of Mexican immigrants”

                  And the goalposts move.

                  1. You can’t follow a simple conversation.

                    It was always about unskilled workers being unskilled. Being unskilled is what makes them undifferentiated.

                    Try to keep up.

                    1. “It was always about unskilled workers being unskilled”

                      “And then came the H1-Bs… Oops”

                      I love when you’re wrong and I get to kick you for it.

                    2. This is where Ken, knowing he’s wrong, and has made a fucking fool of himself ignoring what other people say because he’s an aspie with no actual ability to understand other people screeches “fuck off Tulpa” and storms off, defeated and shamed.

                    3. “The H-1B program allows companies in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty, or its equivalent”

                      Why respond to what people ACTUALLY SAY when you can just stupidly bloviate, right Ken?

                    4. You’re an idiot.

                    5. “Don’t care if you speak English. Don’t care about your reading comprehension. All I want is a guy that will help me unload this drywall or mow this lawn. That’s undifferentiated”

                      “Being unskilled is what makes them undifferentiated”

                      That’s twice that you make up your own definiton. Sorry, fuck you, that not undifferentiated. Argue without demanding people adhere to your definitions or shut the fuck up and eat your loss.

                    6. “Ken Shultz
                      January.30.2020 at 2:40 pm
                      You’re an idiot.”

                      This is how you know he knows he’s wrong. If he had anything to say in his defense, he’d take 9 paragraphs and do so.

                    7. Considering the level of intellect on display here, it wouldn’t surprise me if Sarah Palin’s Buttplug has problems differentiating himself in the labor markets from illegal immigrants with no more than an 8th grade education and the inability to speak English. Is that why you’re so against illegal immigration–because you can’t compete?

                    8. “that why you’re so against illegal immigration–”

                      Who said I was against illegal immigration? No, you’re just doing that thing where you lie about my position because I embarrassed you.

                      Yes yes, insult my intellect, whole the text is right there and everyone can see you’re doing exactly what I said.

                    9. And just it totally shut you the fuck up and send you away with your tail between your legs,

                      I am ABSOLUTELY FOR the removal of restrictions on association between people of ANY KIND.

                      I am probably more free assciation than you, you sad runny cunt. You spend so much time impressing yourself with your own pontificstion that you never bother to actually READ what other people say.

                      Immigration laws should be repealed, and border rights as they specifically involve property rights enforced. That’s all.

                      What now asshole?

                      Are you man enough to admit you were wrong and lied?

                2. IT guys are still differentiated from plenty of Mexican immigrants

                  Indeed they are which is why I used not to care about Mexican Immigrants.

                  Don’t care if you speak English. Don’t care about your reading comprehension. All I want is a guy that will help me unload this drywall or mow this lawn. That’s undifferentiated.

                  You’re certainly identifying the realities of the market, but you’re missing the larger point.

                  This is why youth unemployment rises in many developed nations. This could be done by a strapping 17 year old looking for a temporary or summer job. But you have to pay him $15 Now! to do it, plus give him mandated breaks every 2.5 hours because he’s a minor. Fuck that, I’ll just hire Juan over here for $7.50 an hour and if I need him for longer, there’s no mandatory overtime, no reporting requirements, no mandatory breaks, no L&I…

                  Again, I’m not resentful of Juan. He’s hustling, so bully to him. I’m concerned about the larger policy implications which got us here.

          2. What is the ‘legitimate labor pool’?

            Is that the people the *government* say you are allowed to trade with? Because I thought we were libertarians here.

            1. One definiton might be “the people who disadvantage themselves by adhering to labor restrictions”

              We don’t like those restrictions. We want them gone. However, they exist, many people adhere to them, and that distorts the market. Some libertarians seem to get extremely defensive when the subject is brought up, and I’m not sure why.

              1. We want them gone – and I’m not going to hate on, or refuse to do business with – people who have the self-confidence to flat out ignore immoral laws.

                Again – when it comes to leveling the playing field, its never ‘remove these shackles on me’, its always ‘ensure you put them on them’.

                Like fucking lobsters.

                1. Right. And thy vote. And we have to live in the world with them. And ignoring them and deriding them won’t work.

                  Ok, so now that we’ve established that it is always going to be that way, can we talk about living in that world, and not the one where it isn’t that way?

      2. This lawn isn’t going to cut itself. And Timmy is too busy to do it, with his community service hours and all-state baseball select team. How else is he going to get into an Ivy?

        1. The point remains that if you want white, American suburbanites to support something, it’s better to make that case from their own perspective instead of relying on . . . the uncanny valley.

          Everybody familiar with the uncanny valley?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley

          It’s generally understood to be a relationship between human beings and inhuman things that resemble humans. In short, the more something is like us, the more we tend to feel empathy towards it–right up until a certain point, then boom! Suddenly, after that point, the more it becomes like us, the most disgusted we are we are by it. It may have something to do with an evolved response to death. A loved one’s dead body looks so much like your loved one, and from a survival standpoint, you need to be disgusted by that to the point that you burn the body or bury it.

          I’ve seen so many examples. This may explain the whole “noble savage” idea and “Orientalism”, both of which are now socially unacceptable because they objectivize other people and their cultures. Think “exoticism”. People like things that are exotic, because those things are further away from uncanny valley. They’re attractive because they’re like us, but not disgusting because they’re too much like us.

          I suspect this is partially to explain why suburbanite Americans can become tantalized by the plight of illegal immigrants from Central America but don’t give a shit about the problems of the underclass in Appalachia. This is why they want an author to create a realistic fantasy where the victims are somewhat exotic–rather than see the world from their own boring perspectives. If you’re reading something for escape purposes, you don’t want to escape into the reality of your own suburban life. That’s disgusting when it’s placed up against exoticism of a struggling immigrant.

          If you want to change people’s minds, engage them from their own perspective–and leave the exoticism alone. That’s the mistake Conrad made. That’s why cultural appropriation fails regardless of whether it’s wrong.

          1. Uncanny Valley was my nickname for my ex-wife’s private parts.

        2. my dad wouldn’t let me play ball until the lawn was mowed.

          1. And nobody called CPS?!

      3. I *know*, right? I mean, I know I always look for the most expensive service provider I can find. Lord knows I didn’t earn my money through hard work and should want to conserve it.

    2. I though heart of Darkness was in South America on the
      Amazon river, but it has been over 40 years since i read it

      1. It felt like it took 40 years to get through it. And it’s only something like 110 pages long. I wanted to trade places with Marlowe halfway through reading it.

      2. Congo.

  11. If she has legitimate safety concerns, who has she filed a restraining order against?

    1. How do you file a restraining order against Antifa?

    2. How do you file a restraining order against unknown individuals?

  12. >>accused of writing about peoples and cultures to which she does not belong.

    fiction, yo? King on line one. Tolkien on two.

  13. I heard an interesting theory the other day that Mexico is suffering due to illegal immigration into the USA. Because of the open border, desperate people are able to flee the country instead of being forced to fight against a corrupt government and the widespread cartels. Ergo, its kept in perpetual poverty and horribleness because the citizens are never forced to deal with it, they always have an escape option.

    1. @darkflame
      There is no open border with Mexico. It is heavily patrolled. The reason people get through anyway is that it is not logistically feasible to create a system that could stop everyone.

      Also, imagine if we followed your logic with other things. Your grocery store is charging too much? If you change stores you are being selfish, you should keep shopping there and send the management nasty letters instead.

      There’s a sinkhole under your house? Instead of moving, try dealing with it. Put a railing around the center of your living room when it collapses.

      This is literally the same argument that opponents of school choice use as well. People try to take their kids to new schools instead of engaging in a futile effort to fix their own school.

      Your theory also predicts that countries like North Korea will show more improvement than places like Mexico, since their citizens are literally not allowed to leave. This is clearly untrue.

    2. I heard the Soviet Union had thousands of miles of barbed wire and mines and patrols to keep people *in*.

      That didn’t seem to force any changes. The Berlin Wall didn’t fall because the East Germans ‘dealt with it’. Cuban are not doing so well at fixing their problems either.

  14. And Herman Melville wasn’t a whale.

  15. These people do know that about 75% of Mexican Americans couldn’t write about ‘authentic Mexican experiences’ either under this standard?

    1. I have a cousin who’s fully on board the IdPol train–she was raised by my Hispanic grand-uncle and her white mother, and like a lot of mixed-race liberals, took their insecurity at not being fully one ethnicity or another, and directed it into rejecting her white side of the family and fully embracing the non-white side, viewing the poverty and dysfunction of the barrio as “authentic” and “representative of marginalized communities” in a majority white world.

      The funny thing is that she takes on the affectations of typical Goat Hill cholla, but was raised in a mostly white exurb of Denver and had the benefit of getting educated in a school of high-achieving white kids. The result is someone who comes off as a try-hard who is overcompensating for having a white parent because she was told by our Mexican-American relatives from the barrio that being white is bad.

      1. So, she’s a racist.

  16. …but from liberals who think Cummins is engaged in cultural appropriation.

    Feel. Liberals who feel the author engaged in cultural appropriation.

  17. stands accused

    Can we get back to the point where this phrase actually means something?

    If I accuse you of wearing a red hat while you’re wearing a red hat, technically you have been accused but, unless you stop what you’re doing, we debate, and invoke some sort of adjudicating third party, you never really ‘stood accused’. It’s shorthand for or implies ‘standing in judgement on the accusation of…’ If you don’t stop and the people judging you are the same people who are making the accusation and you are guilty and/or willfully acknowledge the accusation you aren’t really standing in judgement.

    Part of the problem with social media is that people being retards gets elevated to and effectively granted the force of law. You can report on it without advancing it. Not every Twitter debate among 12 angry people is a courtroom drama or needs to be.

  18. If a conservative feels something, is he appropriating progressivism?

  19. “Fiction is for Nazi’s.”

    SJW logic.

  20. Not liking Oprah’s book recommendation is hate speech.

  21. This whole bit of writing fiction by people using nothing more than their imagination is a problem that needs to be brought under control. American Dirt is just new. What about banning Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck? And James Michener wrote books set all over the world, yet he’s an American. You could start with banning his Mexico – how was he allowed to write that without controversy? There is also the whole problem of writers who’ve never been a cop or cowboy writing books about detectives and cattle drives. There should be a regulatory body that has to pass approval before an author can write about anything. Then we can start on acting. Enough of people playing something they’re not.

  22. “Toxic heteroromanticism gives the sludge an arc and because the white gaze taints her prose, Cummins positions the United States of America as a magnetic sanctuary, a beacon toward which the story’s chronology chugs.”

    So did she type that out, lean back in her chair, and say, “damn, that was good!”

    Or did she use a random SJW phrase generator?

    I think it means there’s a man/woman love story (toxic heteroromanticism) with actual plot developments (the sludge with an arc), and portrays the USA as a desirable destination (magnetic sanctuary), which is presumably the reviewer xirself believes, but it’s not something a white person is supposed to say (white gaze tainting the prose).

  23. One problem with immigration is the Democrats’ seemingly-successful campaign of “welcome to America, now vote for us.” Apparently the Dems yearn nostalgically for the old naturalization mills where crowds of Irishmen became instant Democrats. But many Irish-Americans have outgrown their ancestors’ Democratic habits, so now the Dems need new recruits from abroad. Which is not really a good thing because these new Democrats vote for Dem policies which make the U. S. less and less desirable for natives and immigrants alike.

  24. I suppose if the Western Roman Empire had a major publishing industry and an Oprah, people would have been buying books about the plight of the poor German refugees fleeing oppression.

  25. “Toxic heteroromanticism”: The anguished cry of the LGTBQ community, because no-one can have satisfying romantic relationships if they can’t. (Or, less frequently, other than them).

  26. This is a wake up call that we need a jobs program for Ivy-educated lit majors whose trust funds are running low. It’s time to put them to work writing only woke, non-binary, fiction from a non-white perspective (if you’re white, you can at least pretend not to be like Rachel Dolezal). Others can read through all the existing published literature and burn any books they find that violate current standards of woke.

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