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Zer Netmouse
March 9th, 2009
11:49 pm

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Because I said I would give more context

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From:rachelann1977
Date:March 10th, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)
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I think the idea that any group as a whole should be labeled racist because of the relative scarcity of a particular group amongst its ranks is a particularly ridiculous bastardization of the word racist.


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From:netmouse
Date:March 10th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
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What gave you the impression that is an accurate summary of what's going on? It doesn't sound like one to me.


To turn that around, can you see how the relative scarcity of a minority group within another larger group (meaning members of the minority are considerably more scarce there than they are in the population at large) could lead a person of that minority (and others) to wonder what lead to it?

Can you see how one strong hypothesis could be that the group is somehow not a safe place for people of that minority to venture into and try to find a home in?

Are you familiar with how people tend to see evidence that supports a hypothesis once they have it, and discard evidence that does not?

All these things come into play.

Though there may be people and posts within racefail who have made sweeping generalizations about fandom and literary fandom and racism, I don't think those are the norm. Most of the anger and statements about racism are identifications of perceived racism in a particular document, statement, response, incident, or pattern of behavior by either an individual or an organization.

Though it is sometimes frustrating when people depict complex organizations as having "behaviors" I think it's nonetheless sometimes a valid rhetorical exercise.

In any case, my impression is that you're dismissing this whole thing as simplistic and the participants as simple-minded and generally I think neither is true.
From:rachelann1977
Date:March 10th, 2009 08:35 pm (UTC)
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I don't think it's simplistic, I think it's a non-issue. I don't think these people are simple-minded, I think they just want to argue. I've been there. That's where the bullshit element comes in.

We're all trying too hard to fight against something that doesn't exist. Tilting at windmills may be fine for a while, but eventually, you've got to realize that it all adds up to nothing but grief.
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From:i_naiad
Date:March 10th, 2009 10:48 pm (UTC)
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If you read the posts I link to below, I think you'll see that it is as far away from a non-issue and something that doesn't exist as you can get. What you are dismissing are people's life experiences and the very last thing most of them want to do is argue.

Isilya - Stones on My Chest
BossyMarmalade - Sees Fire
Ciderpress - Ven Ve Voke Up, Ve Had Zese Wodies
WistfulJane - Do You Even Care About Us?

From:rachelann1977
Date:March 10th, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC)
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My point is supported by these posts, and my point is this:

These people have opinions that they feel an undeniable need to express, and those opinions ultimately have nothing to do with whether or not there exists a problem of racism within the science fiction community as a whole. Those opinions are personal. I do not place any less value on them, but I think the context for them is misplaced.

I think it's terrible that we live in a society such that we need excuses like this to share our personal stories and experiences. We are dismissed as emo, and our posts become "too long to read" if we express our inner selves this way randomly.

Maybe the problem isn't science fiction; maybe it's just humanity.
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From:i_naiad
Date:March 10th, 2009 11:39 pm (UTC)
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Of course it is humanity, but SF is a part of that and isn't free from the same problems. In particular, this ongoing discussion is demonstrating that many within the professional SF community have difficulties dealing with race and that SF as a genre isn't as progressive as it seems to think it is.

My point is supported by these posts, and my point is this:

These people have opinions that they feel an undeniable need to express, and those opinions ultimately have nothing to do with whether or not there exists a problem of racism within the science fiction community as a whole. Those opinions are personal. I do not place any less value on them, but I think the context for them is misplaced.


I disagree. Those posts were created as a result of these people feeling unwelcome in the SF community (in general and because of the actions of some SF professionals). The context is very much appropriate as it is the direct cause. All of those authors talk about race regularly, across a wide variety of subjects, this isn't them finding an excuse to share their feelings. Furthermore, they were just a cherry pick of the many, many posts by fans of colour about feeling unwelcome in SF and the hundreds of comments that they have received demonstrate that they are far from the only ones.

And it's not just the fans. Writers of colour are also affected.
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