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Zer Netmouse
March 11th, 2009
07:56 am


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[User Picture]
Date:March 11th, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC)
Who is the source of the quote you use in this comment?

It's not clear to me what quote you are referring to in your question. Can you clarify?

Has anyone asked any of the current POC SF authors/fans how they feel about this?

What do you mean by "this"? a number of current POC SF authors and fans just spent a couple weeks exploring, stating, and reiterating how they feel about all of this. Others are, I presume, not aware of that discussion. Do you know how to contact Mr. Coats? I'd be happy to ask him about how he feels about the lack of people of color as authors, publishers, and sf fans.

Now, personally, I don't believe "All sides have legitimate reasons to feel distrustful of each other." That is to say, I don't believe *I* have any reason to be distrustful of most POC authors and fans about this... (I don't know if it makes sense to describe us as being on different "sides" of this issue, either, though we have different perspectives).

Can you give me a clearer argument for why it's valuable to legitimize a possibly misplaced distrust before even getting started? (I'm considering distrust to be an active sort of suspicious stance, not simply a lack of established trust)

Date:March 11th, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
I'm going to split a hair on the definition of "legitimate", because there are different nuances that take the discussion in different directions. "Legitimate" can be read to mean "logical and understandable", or "proper and acceptable". But these are not exclusive possibilities.

Consider the possibility that there is an inborn instinct to classify an unknown individual as "Of my tribe/pack" or "Not of my tribe/pack". Such an instinct is present in animals, and would likely have been advantageous to survival throughout the vast majority of human history.

I don't assert that it does exist (I'll leave that to the sociologists), but the existence of such an instinct would be a "logical and understandable" basis for racism. It would not, however, mean that racism "is proper and acceptable".
[User Picture]
Date:March 11th, 2009 11:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, so, I grew up in a very mixed race, international community. Quite a number of people of color are "of my tribe/pack" as far as I'm concerned, so race is not a differentiating characteristic on that point for me. And my base assumption is that people who are involved in and interested in sf are even more likely to be "of my tribe/pack"(despite the fact that, as you well know, there are members of the sf tribe who have severely hurt me. None of them were people of color, however). So I didn't say I don't have any "legitimate" reason to start into the discussion on a distrustful footing, I said I don't have any reason to start out that way, other than the sort of generic understanding that people can hurt other people.

Now, I do have a legitimate reason, especially based on recent experience, to believe that a fair number of sf-interested people of color might also have been exposed to academic and other fields of thought and culture that I *haven't* been, and so I fear misunderstanding them and being misunderstood by them. But for me that is different than distrusting the person. That is distrusting that we have a common language - distrusting, in effect, my own ability to translate my good intent into positive results. It is that kind of distrust that I think it is especially valuable to try to validate and then find ways to eliminate.
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Date:March 13th, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
ok, can you deconstruct for me what in the statement

"Despite the fact that the black population in America has a natural common cause with the genre of speculative fiction as a tool for imagining and envisioning massive change and a different future, the genre is not one that many black americans read or write in."

caused you to say that if the statement comes from a white person, "that statement becomes rather patronizing by definition"?

How would you interpret it differently if it comes from a POC?
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