BANG Book Review: The Help, by Kathryn Stockett

Related Posts:

8 thoughts on “BANG Book Review: The Help, by Kathryn Stockett

  1. Krista says:

    I love your book review… because I think I was in a sugar haze from Skye’s treats so I only remembered half of what we said! Also, I really must get around to watching Avatar so that I can read that other post… I’m heeding your spoiler alert for now….

  2. Helen Mc says:

    (Hi Di!)
    I haven’t read the book, so I can’t comment on that, but it was really interesting to read your take on racism here/there now/then. As one of those southern neighbors who lives in a part of the country that was segregated in our parents’ generation, I have to say that the sense that extreme racism is not that far away is pretty much omnipresent. But, honestly, it was even more present growing up in Detroit. I don’t know if that was the time or the place. If you read “American Apartheid” by Massey & Denton (not a novel–it’s demographic non-fiction) they say it’s place, due to the settlement patterns that slavery and segregation left behind.
    On the other hand, my dissertation deals with racism in Canada, and the impression I’m getting is that the idealistic multicultural vision is not felt as strongly by everyone. Not that there’s anything even remotely approaching U.S. segregation, but there is discrimination, but it’s kind of hidden, so much more likely to be noticed by those who are discriminated against than the general public.
    Oh, and at the time we were practicing segregation south of the Mason-Dixon line, Canada’s DIAND (not sure if it’s still called that) was doing some pretty awful culture-killing things in the Territories.
    All that being said, I still think that Canada comes out on top in its efforts to support and encourage diversity. It helps to have a less bloodstained history, just as it helps to have a governmental commitment to diversity and immigration.

    • diblog says:

      Hi Helen! Thank you for commenting. I would love to know more about your discoveries in your dissertation, because I have often had the impression that racism in Canada is a lot more insidious and thorny than in other places, partly because it’s hidden, like you say. Things “look” better but that doesn’t mean they are. When I lived in Toronto and worked at high schools there, the diversity was huge, but you did feel more tension… interestingly though, it seemed there was more tension associated with socio-economic differences than racial ones (though I’ll admit those two things sometimes coincided). We also have a lot of “borrowed” racism – gangs that didn’t used to exist in Canada but have spread here and brought their chips on their shoulders (and their firearms).

      I’m not sure our history is any less bloodstained than yours – unless you’re going purely on numbers, since our population is so much smaller. Per capita, between First Nations crimes and treatment of Japanese Canadians after WWII, not to mention some tragic immigrant situations… we’re not qualified to be smug.

      When I’ve visited the States, what I’ve noticed (not having studied this in any real way) is that you just feel the barriers more. Like, if you go into the “wrong” Burger King, you know it right away: this is not my territory and I’m not welcome here. But do you think there is still institutional racism, places where it’s socially acceptable to be racist – or perhaps more to the point, socially UNacceptable NOT to be?

      I miss talking to you! I wish we could discuss this further…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge