Kosoko Jackson is a gay black young adult author whose debut novel  called, ‘A Place for Wolves’ was coming out in March.  According to Reason, his website used to describe him as “a vocal champion of diversity in YA [young adult] literature, the author of YA novels featuring African American queer protagonists, and a sensitivity reader for Big Five Publishers.”

His new book was billed as “an adventure-romance between two young men set against the backdrop of the Kosovo War,” and who better to write about such a topic?  But wait — the Twitterverse just took down this “sensitivity reader” for — wait for it — a lack of sensitivity.  Reason reports how a scandal erupted that ended up with the publisher pulling his book:

… it all came crashing down quite quickly. As with any internet outrage, it’s hard to know exactly what sparked it, but a major turning point came in the form of a quote-retweet. “HEY HOW ABOUT WE DONT PROMOTE OR SUPPORT BOOKS ABOUT A ROMANCE BETWEEN AND THE VICTIMIZATION OF 2 AMERICANS, SET DURING A REAL LIFE HISTORICAL GENOCIDE WHERE THE VILLAIN IS PART OF THE DEMOGRAPHIC THAT WAS ETHNICALLY CLEANSED,” read the tweet, which was published on February 25 and which, as of when I screencapped it, had 164 retweets—a sizable number for YA Twitter, which generally consists of relatively low-follower accounts. (The quote-retweeter subsequently protected his account.)

The quote-retweet pointed to a review on Goodreads. Many YA authors and readers and reviewers maintain accounts there, and it is the site of many an attempted YA kneecapping. (After authors get targeted, they are often flooded with one-star reviews.) “I have to be absolutely fucking honest here, everybody,” the review starts. “I’ve never been so disgusted in my life.”

The author proceeds to argue that because of the horrific bloodshed that occurred during the Kosovo War—large numbers of Albanians were displaced and murdered by Serbian forces—it’s insensitive to center a story set during that war around two Americans. One character particularly grated on on the reviewer: “And don’t even get me started on the well-educated Muslim man, Professor Beqiri, who turns out to be a coldblooded terrorist who’s [sic] only purpose seems to be to murder and torture and commit harm, even killing his own men,” she wrote. “Why, exactly, did the author choose to make the main villain in this story an Albanian Muslim, when it was ALBANIAN MUSLIMS WHO WERE ETHNICALLY CLEANSED?” (I’m not going to link directly to the review—it became a part of the story thanks to its circulation on Twitter, but the author doesn’t appear to be a professional writer or to have a high-profile platform.)

The author eventually apologized and took down his website.  In its stead, he left this simple message:

Maintenance mode

While dealing with the hurt my debut has caused and coming up with a plan of action of how to fix the pain I’ve caused with my words, my site is currently under maintenance. I’ll have an update soon.

Thanks for your patience and for those who I hurt with my words, especially the Muslim readers, teens, and community members, I’m sorry.

I obviously haven’t read the book, and I’m no expert on young adult novels or the latest scourge of political correctness to afflict that genre. But I do know this: when a black, gay “sensitivity reader” isn’t woke enough for the social justice warriors, it’s time to call it quits.

Image Credit: Amazon 

Hat Tip: Reason

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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