Anne (netmouse) wrote,

On silence - links and quotes from two posts from March

It's been a long time since March 4, and I'm probably not giving enough context to these posts, but I got a comment from my last post that suggested someone had the impression fen of color don't want white people to say anything in the ongoing discussions, just to listen. What I have read does not consist of just one request or the other. It is both. I have heard: Listen when we speak, and join us in speaking - just speak with us, not over us. And especially, speak up in support of diversity and safe spaces and against harrassment of all kinds.

Here are quotes from two posts that helped form that impression in my mind.

Rosefox, The Only Neat Thing To Do, March 4, 2009

I'm calling on everyone involved in this industry, and everyone who
wants to be involved in this industry, to step up and say: "This is
poor behavior and we will not tolerate it. We will counteract it as
best we can by welcoming and listening to fans of color, by reading
and publishing and reviewing and recommending the works of authors of
color, by checking our own biases and trying to do better, by asking
our friends to call us on our own poor behavior and listening to them
when we do. We understand that racism, whether individual or
institutional, whether deliberate or unthinking, is harmful to
everyone, and we aim to put a stop to it in our community."


Speak up. Help make this an industry you want to work in, an industry
you're proud to work in. Do the right thing.

RaceFail '09: This hurts us all, March 4th, 2009

SF book fandom, where are you?

Although a few authors and editors have come out against what WS and
KC have done, where is the rest of the fandom? Like Jane says earlier,
"Where are the con-comms, going apeshit to distance themselves from
these serial fails of race and culture? Where are the guests-of-honor,
specifically inviting underserved communities to visit at an upcoming
con? (Where are the "discount if this is your first con evar"
programs?) Why aren't the SF organizations like SFWA (okay, bad
example) having a cow and putting out official position statements on
outreach? Where are press-releases from the publishing houses,
explaining their diversity efforts (in their lists and in their

Why the resounding silence? Editors, authors, fans—all the people who
were not talking about RaceFail and what people in their field were
doing: where are they?


What SF book fandom is telling me—a woman, a person of color, and a
long-time fan of SF books and a con-goer—what you are telling me is
that you don't care. That these are, in fact, your community norms,
that you are all right with people who have more power in your
community (by virtue of profession, race, and gender) using that power
to harm other, less powerful, members of your community. That you are
fine with the erasure of women, of people of color, of those without
the same professional privileges you enjoy, and that you are willing
to stand by silently and let people be hurt. […]

Your silence speaks volumes.
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