I am a woman of color and this cover absolutely repulses me. Not because I’m willing to defend white tears, but because Holden’s problems weren’t even that. They weren’t white people problems. They were problems contingent on his depression—a mental fucking illness—and the unhealthy and damaging environments of the schools he attended, all of which were repressive, entailed hazing, and propelled one of his classmates to fucking suicide.
And I know. I know how it is to experience classism and institutional harm of such a degree, even whilst I am benefiting from it but I’m not because it’s making me depressed. I attended an American prep school—as WASP-y as you can imagine—and while I experienced oppression on account of my race and gender, a lot of my struggles were similar to Holden’s. He is privileged as a white man in the ’60s, but this book isn’t about his laughable white people problems (which I’ve witnessed before, which I hold in utter contempt). It’s about his fucking depression.
All of the people who liked and reblogged this, under the impression that they were making a social justice statement can go fuck themselves. You did the opposite. You downgraded the narrative of a broken and mentally ill teenager who winds up in an institution at the end of the book to “white people problems.” You dismissed the damaging long-term effects of the classist and inhibiting culture that fed my depression because Holden faced it too. Congratulations on your fuckery.
As a mentally ill teen this book meant a lot to me. All of the above commentary is perfect.