I’m from Indiana. How’s that for starting out with a bang?
Inaccurately? Did I just say inaccurately?
Damn right. And I meant it. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act has been, to put it mildly, a nightmare of...er...nightmarish proportions. I’m not going to get into the wrongs and rights of it because, frankly, that’s pretty subjective and enough people have already said what they thought. I just wanted to clear some things up that aren’t subjective.
1. Not all Hoosiers are illiterate
2. Or hateful
3. Or desperately poor
4. Or desperately rich
5. Or evangelical Christians
6. Or not Christians at all
7. Or completely narrow-minded
8. Or completely mindless
9. Or racists, homophobes, or otherwise 19th-century-throwbacks.
I was going to start this by saying this week’s post wasn’t about writing. But it is. And it’s about a part of writing that I have harped on ad nauseum: stereotyping—and another part that I’ve hardly harped on at all: accuracy. (If there’s an editor in the house, I apologize for that sentence. I didn’t know how to punctuate it, but I didn’t want to leave it out or spend too much time changing it—I’m sleepy.)
I don’t object to Indiana being in the news for what happened here. At all. I don’t object to anyone standing their ground because of dearly held principles. Ever.
But tell the truth when you’re doing it, even if you’re writing fiction. Do your research. And if you’re not going to tell the truth, explain why. I’m listening to an audio book right now that I’m enjoying a lot. It was written by one of my favorite authors and it’s just the greatest story. One small mistake, however, concerning shipping a certain item from the post office, keeps clanging in my retired-postal-worker’s mind. Because you can’t mail that item. Would it stop me from recommending the book? Oh, heavens, no—it’s a great book. Would I enjoy it more if that little clanger wasn’t in there? Uh-huh.
As far as stereotyping goes, don’t paint over six million people with the same brush, especially if it’s an insulting one, because they—okay, we—haven’t earned that.
Thanks for listening. I’ll jump—carefully, because I’m old—off the soapbox for now. Have a great week.