I have been reading, and listening, and learning from the enormous shit-flinging clusterfuck of a flame war known as RaceFail ’091 on LiveJournal… but I have been mostly not participating. I didn’t feel that I had anything useful to contribute, and that my participation would merely add to the general level of ignorance and failure to communicate. I have, God knows, tripped over my own unexamined assumptions about race (among other things) in the recent past. I am, however unintentionally, part of the problem. I’d rather quietly work to correct that than add to it.
However, it was brought to my attention that silence can be interpreted as complicity.
Fuck that shit.
Because it ought to go without saying, but doesn’t: several authors and editors have lost my respect during this imbroglio. In particular, my patience for Will Shetterly’s racism is classism, and I am a victim too, lookit meeeee nonsense and his hypocritical stance on taxes was at an absolute end well before his latest contribution to the fray, and as a Shadow Unit fan, I’m relieved (though not entirely reassured) that he has removed himself from the project. I think Kathryn Cramer has proven herself a pox on SF fandom and on polite society in general. While I have enjoyed spending time with Teresa Nielsen Hayden and have learned a great deal from her about writing and publishing, I think she lost her damn mind a few weeks ago, and I think she owes several apologies. And I really wish that Elizabeth Bear, having started the whole epic failfest in the first place, had not done so under false pretenses.
On the other hand, I wish we could clone Tempest and Nora and Deepa and half a dozen others who’ve been patiently explaining what’s wrong with this picture — or, you know, that we SFnal types could stop being such racist assholes so that more cool people like them would come play in our sandbox, or perhaps invite us to a different sandbox altogether.
And, because it should also go without saying, but doesn’t: I’m reexamining race in my own work. I’m not sure I can do much about the book set in Regency England, but the rest… well, I hope they’ll end up a little less whitewashed than they were before, at the very least.
I will be partially offline for the next week or so, attending a day-job-related conference in San Francisco. If I’m quiet for a while, or if a comment gets held up in moderation longer than usual, blame FAA rules on the use of mobile phones on flights.
1 If all this has passed you by, there are excellent summaries and timelines provided by Willow and rydra-wong. The latter also maintains a tracker for the entire ongoing and wide-ranging discussion. I would recommend reading the earliest posts on the timeline, if nothing else.