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Race Fail, my non-White ass!
I do not want to participate in this discussion, but I have a need to say something loudly and publically.



Or here:

Or google "Race Fail 09" and see what else you get.

This is not about big bad white publishers keeping non-whites out of sci-fi novels.

This is not about big bad white authors writing about a world where there are no non-whites.

This is not about big bad white-authored sci-fi books with characters that talk like Tanto or Uncle Tom.

This is about a bunch of people who want to get their knickers in a wad about something, ANYTHING and chose Elizabeth Bear's useful suggestions about how to handle "The Other" (which can mean talking wolves or space aliens as well as people of another race or sexuality than the author's) with sensitivity.


Christ-onna-crutch, people. If you want to improve race relations, don't start fights over things people didn't even say.

WILL NOT put a banner of my website or LJ that (A) perpetuates this witch-hunt by LJ trolls who clearly just want to make noise and (B) contains a grammatical mistake.  (Fans is the plural of fan and always will be.)

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My goodness. You actually went and found out what really happened.

How terribly buzz-kill.

Revolutionaries hate it when you actually show the truth, because the truth usually gives the lie to their propaganda. So have fun wading through the vitriol. I'll make you a cup of tea.

What do you want from me? I'm a researcher. I'm an analyst. I don't believe what I heard about Race Fail '09 any more than I believe what I heard about "What the Irish wore" in the 16th century. I go to the source and dig out the original, PRIMARY documentation. I read the post that started it all. And this is as stupid as the idea that leinte had drawstrings!

I won't be responding to any vitriol. Don't even know if I'm going to read the responses here today.

("Fen" for me is a new plural in the lexicon meaning "collections of different fandoms", btw, as well as the original topographical feature definition. Because yeah, the plural of "fan" is "fans.") I believe that you're familiar with my own views about racism so I won't go into that.

I just realized that my own post about it today appears to spring from just the things you're talking about when in fact it springs from different tacks involving the reactions of actual frequently-published writers and large publishing houses to the idea that more non-white, well-written, non-stereotyped characters would be welcome. In some cases? Flat out denial. And now, recently, some fans of sc-fi defending that viewpoint because they personally never see non-whites at cons. Because cons are the end all be all of proving that you're a fan, evidently, instead of things like simply buying the books (and replacing the worn copies with new) for years. (Shit, after the "any excuse to feel up yer bewbs" thing a couple of years back, I was uncomfortable going to cons if for no other reason than because of the freaks I knew at cons who would jump on the chance.)

Hopefully I'll be able to edit my entry to make a bit more sense and include a bit less slavering. Racism is a sore point and a really hot button for me because I can't make it go away for my sister and my dad.

I didn't think your post came out of this one -- kinda sensed that something else was going on there. And publishers shouldn't assume that fan attendance = readership. But I'm not surprised by the prejudice among publishers. After all, it was these same publishers that forced JK Rawling not to use her name for fear her readership would think she was *shock* a girl.

Racism is everywhere. And a person of one colour telling a person of another colour that she isn't allowed to write about her colour because she isn't one of them is just as racist as a publisher refusing to publish books about people of colour.

I just want to make sure if people get their knickers in a wad, they get their knickers in a wad about the right thing. =)

Glad we understand one another, then.

And girls? Girls can't write fiction! What are we thinking?! Clearly we're delusional.

"Fen" is a really old neologism; it was defined in Jack Speer's 1944 Fancyclopedia I and was coined at Mecon in 1943.

And here I was thinking "huh?" I had no idea what any of this was about. I saw the banners and didn't have a clue. Seems like I'm sleeping through a lot of interesting stuff lately.
Let me rephrase that, I've been sleeping through some interesting stuff, some of the other stuff would just put me to sleep. Give me a break! It's fiction. If you don't like it don't read it.

Edited at 2009-05-18 06:03 pm (UTC)

*passes chocolate to go with the coffee*

Enough for all. :)

Could I have a nice cup of tea?....and a chocolate biscuit please.

Thank you for posting this - I was unaware of any of it, and it is useful to me.

I have a theory that some people see sensitivity as a virtue, and to exhibit this virtue must find things to be offended about. There is a culture in which status is competed for in terms of being "more sensitive than thou". Finding ever more subtle and convoluted things to be offended by is a display of piety and gains a person kudos within that culture.

Of course, when expressing outrage to their freinds in full view of all, people from outside the "sensitive" culture will probably question the validity of the complaints, which the "sensitive one" will see as a brutal attack and they and other members of their culture will leap to their defence, the bemused outsiders react by saying "steady on... what's the problem?" and are perceived as insular, ignorant, hubristic... and it deteriorates from there.

Oh lawd, I've just ragged on sensitive people as a culture. I'm going to a special hell, aren't I?

I completely agree. That's what is really infuriating me about this. I think a bunch of people wanted to be pissed off about something and chose this. And then a bunch of people jumped on the bandwagon because no one had the guts to say, "Hey. This really isn't an issue."

I remember shit like this happening in college, and I hated it then too. If you look hard enough at anything, you can find a reason to be offended. But harmony and peace don't begin with finding offense; they begin with putting offense behind you and building bridges, not walls.

Heh. I was ok with the post that was linked to, until I got to the part where the poster was denigrating the South. Sure, the South has some racial issues, but to paint all of the "Southern culture" with the same brush as the historical slave owners, is uninformed and, dare I say it?, bigoted.

Sorry, but I'm a Southern born and bred person. I refuse to apologize for something I had no control over, influence on, or that happened over one hundred years before I was born. The "funniest" thing to remember is that there were black slave owners. But people who get their knickers in a twist over the slavery issue would prefer to keep that fact quiet or ignore it altogether.

:) So, how 'bout a nice game of whist? ;)

keyboard klutz

Edited at 2009-05-19 12:36 pm (UTC)

Please do let us all know how your application to the Ignorant-Ass Cracker Society works out. I'm all aflutter on your behalf!

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