African-American poet Amanda Gorman gained international fame for performing one of her poems at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, and her readership skyrocketed at home and abroad.
Gorman recently picked Dutch author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld to translate her poetry for part of her new international audience. But according to The Blaze, Rijneveld was lambasted by leftists for being a white person who translated a black person’s work, and Rijneveld was eventually forced to resign under pressure. No one even asked for Gorman’s input.
Why is the woke mob overruling the wishes of Gorman, a racial minority? Treating any African-American with that kind of disrespect is usually reprehensible to these people. Instead, why can’t they be happy that Gorman’s poems are reaching new consumers?
Furthermore, Gorman’s choice for a translator seemed entirely fitting for the task. Rijneveld is the youngest author to win the International Booker Prize, at the age of 29. The Blaze noted that she is a famous and accomplished young woman in the literary world, like Gorman.
However, none of that mattered to leftists like Dutch cultural activist Janice Deul. According to The Guardian, Deul demanded to know why the Dutch company publishing Gorman's poetry had not chosen a translator who was a “spoken-word artist, young, female and unapologetically Black.”
Perhaps it’s because Gorman requested Rijneveld to do it. Rijneveld later stated that she wanted to be the translator as well.
Deul also stated how furious many "wokes" were over seeing a white woman translate a black woman’s works.
"An incomprehensible choice, in my view and that of many others who expressed their pain, frustration, anger and disappointment via social media," Deul wrote. "Isn't it — to say the least — a missed opportunity to [have hired] Marieke Lucas Rijneveld for this job?”
Rijneveld was “shocked by the uproar” generated by the woke mob. She had been looking forward to translating Gorman’s poetry, but she bowed to the woke mob and agreed to resign from her role in the end.
“I had happily devoted myself to translating Amanda’s work, seeing it as the greatest task to keep her strength, tone and style,” Rijneveld said. “However, I realise that I am in a position to think and feel that way, where many are not. I still wish that her ideas reach as many readers as possible and open hearts.”
Consequently, Rijneveld joins the casualty list of those canceled by social justice activists.
These leftists may claim to fight racism, but the fact remains that they valued their own feelings over Gorman’s in this fiasco. Their intrusion indicates that they prize their own sensibilities over their supposed concern for racial minorities.