Entry Requirement: More Mangoes, Less You (Raisa Reina)

Dear Misspelled Author’s Name,

We at Historically Racist But Now Trying To Appear Accepting Magazine were delighted to receive your poem, “Beyond The Flesh: When The Diaspora Returns.” Your experiences about exclusion while living in a cult as a reflection of the outside world were very…enlightening. Your words moved us–(not to tears, why would we cry for you?)–in the way we expected them to when we were forced to create a more inclusive environment or risk being canceled on Twitter.

Unfortunately our team of upper middle class Americans with traditional colonizer morals, higher education (using Daddy’s money since FAFSA is for peasants) and generational gentrifiers could not connect with the nuances of your words. Frankly, your experiences just seemed too hard to believe. Therefore we will not be publishing your work. Make no mistake, our 11 caucasion editors are very inclusive–we just hired a woman (she manages our social media department and never contributes anything to our actual magazine but it’s okay because we hired her so we’re doing our part).

Here at Historically Racist But Now Trying To Appear Accepting Magazine we are trying to find the right kind of voice. Yours sounds too real. It doesn’t fit into our view of the world and therefore it is not the right kind of work for us. Make no mistake, you are diverse, just not the right kind. We want stories that have been told before, we want to know only about specific hardships while ignoring others because that’s what we are comfortable with. Again, please be aware this rejection is not about your work. We are rejecting you specifically. If however you have a poem about mangoes or a recipe for chai tea, please keep us in your thoughts and submit. We’d be more than happy to publish that.

We also do not want your story about an Indian Vampire who traverses the galaxy accompanied by a deaf Guyanese witch, a bag of roti for snacks and a multilingual bird. You are not allowed to enter the realm of science fiction or fantasy–how would we relate when we read it?

Namaste, (I spent a summer dating a white girl with an Om Tattoo),

Bryce Chesterfield XIV
Historically Racist But Now Trying To Appear Accepting Magazine


Raisa Reina is a Guyanese author working on her first novel. In her free time she enjoys juggling dozens of genre-bending WIPs, watching horror movies and forgetting the words to every single song she’s ever heard (she actually doesn’t enjoy this last part). She can be reached via Twitter @thehahafactory2. 


image: Jade Hawk is meat popsicle.