Yesterday's massive, if localized, Shipment of Race-and-Sexuality-Fail by some speculative fiction writers (I'm not linking; they've already got more
publicity attention and critique than they can handle, I'm sure) caused several things to click for me regarding the issues of prejudice, -isms, and privilege that have been circling the Internets lately. I kept thinking of writing a post about it, but my brain was too tired and I had too much to do, and I'm still really in the beginning stages of understanding this crap. So instead, today I came across some essays and explanations and attempts at education; for my own information as much as any of yours, I'm collecting them here:
Sorry if this got long.
- First and foremost, Mary Anne Mohanraj guest-posted on John Scalzi's blog in a really accessible and straightforward way; here's part two.
- The Angry Black Woman blog, which has a fair amount of guest-writers and a lot of content on recent events, including yesterday's. She also hammered the point home for me about why Persons of Color shouldn't be obligated to teach Clueless White Persons what they're doing wrong: it's exhausting.
- How Not To Be Insane When Accused Of Racism - this one's key to understanding the difference between racism and prejudice, and when to Shut Up and not Defend Yourself. I really twigged to somebody's comment somewhere about the disservice many white liberals did to their kids in the 60s and 70s by telling them to be "colorblind" and All Would be Well. We also got a heaping huge dose of "Racists Are Equivalent to Nazis and Baby-Rapers" which tends to make everybody flip out when accused of doing or saying something racist, even inadvertently.
- Ursula K. LeGuin's comments on the "colorblind" idea, and the whitewashing of the Earthsea miniseries. In particular, "I think it is possible that some readers never even notice what color the people in the story are. Don't notice, don't care. Whites of course have the privilege of not caring, of being "colorblind." Nobody else does." was instructive of a blindspot I had until fairly recently.
- I Didn't Dream of Dragons, a slightly different take on the idea of Writing the Other.
- deepad's "White People, it's not All About You, but for this post it is" (now crossposted to DreamWidth)
- A really good discussion on why 'tone' arguments are usually counterproductive, from Racism 101.
- Oyate's Books To Avoid (mostly books for kids, but still useful)
- ::edit:: Finally, Justine Larbalestier has good news about the cover of Liar, which was originally whitewashed but now is getting a full redo, even in hardcover. Sometimes, things work out.
Sorry if this got long.