This is wonderful writing by Chiwan Choi in the Cultural Weekly, “Whiteness isn’t intellectualism. Whiteness isn’t indigenous. Whiteness isn’t anything”.
He wanted to talk to me about a problem that LARB was having. A diversity problem, by which it means a lack of diversity. He said he was told I was a person to talk to to help solve this problem, to fix this shortcoming.
But the thing is, he said they didn’t really have a diversity problem. According to Tom, people were mistaking LARB for a publication with diversity problems.
He knew this because he had gone to the Authors page on LARB’s website and counted all the faces that weren’t white. The non-white faces. Or faces that were not white white. Ya know? That’s how he was sure it was just some perception problem because he counted many not white white faces.
Then he asked me to write something for them.
I said no. I refuse to be an extra number on their diversity count that improves their chances at grants.
We planned to meet. Then he canceled. We planned to meet. Then it didn’t happen.
Then we met finally. We talked. I told him the problem wasn’t how many writers of color LARB published. I told him he couldn’t have all white editors and solve this problem.