It's come to my attention that there are many who think 'RaceFail 09' has become insular. That it's going over the same points, again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again.
The above is not a posting error.
People of Colour, Non White Peoples, often find themselves repeating the same points, as often.
1 - Whenever a white person says, "But I don't see why you just couldn't be nicer and it'd facilitate more dialogue."
2 - Whenever a white person says, "But I totally didn't mean it to be racist."
3 - Whenever a white person says, "If you keep calling me racist I'm not going to bother doing anti-racist things anymore. Calling me racist is mean. I'm trying to help! You should make allowances!"
RaceFail 09 started because I dared to point out to a White Author that she didn't have it all right when it came to race and representation in her own books and that the words she was giving to new writers and her current readers were blind and filled with holes that would lead to stereotypes (examples given) and set back communication.
And then things exploded and various PoC online learned that professional SF&F was not ready to have people who are not white, telling them where they're messing up. It's ok for doctors and physicists and engineers to point out fallacies and problems and myths that have been accepted as fact but really have no scientific basis what so ever and have actually been refuted.
It is not ok when someone who experiences life differently due to the colour of their skin, due to their background and heritage (of slavery, of colonization, of fights for independence that happened within the past 70 - 100 years) - when they point out fallacies and tropes and pitfalls into myths and stereotypes which have been refuted and yet continue...
It is an appearance of THE HORDE. The PoC must be placated with soft words and lies about compassion, understanding, wanting the next generation to be better, have it easier. It is the rattling of spears and shields.
And even though the concept of THE HORDE is 'many non white people, at our gates! They're coming!'. Even though the outcry against the racism that's been exposed keeps growing with new voices, new thoughts, new hurt - it's all written off as insular and having lost its point ages ago.
Even though the derailment was not the fault of People of Colour, and they subsequently spun it into positive pro-actions; Carnivals, Booklists, Possible Panels at Cons, A new Press and more...
Even though the conversation has fragmented into:
- Race & Cultural Appropriation,
- Who Gets To Critique Race & Cultural Appropriation,
- How White Privilege Is Trying To Silence The Critique of Race & Cultural Appropriation,
- How White Privilege Equals Blindness To The Need For These Conversations, and more - in some quarters it's all but so much noise.
Even though the conversation has spilled out through Livejournal, Insanejournal, Blogger, Author Blogs, Emails, News-sites, Pop Culture Sites - like a living thing - filled with the voices of PoC, and their allies, trying to get a monolith of privilege and self claimed authority to listen, to recognize pain and lack and sorrow and a lessening of the human spirit - in some quarters it's nothing but Yet Another Livejournal Flamewar.
First we were too angry, too hurt, too emotional, not reading the text right, not intelligent enough to read the text right. Then we were class privileged liars, intellectual elite with no concept of true racism. Now we're a bunch of noisey rabblerousers having 'a flamewar' on one of those sites that always has flamewars and thus this ourcry, this pain, this anger, is not anything new, or different or special. It is not worth paying attention to. It is not worth noting or talking about.
It is noise.
Like the rattling spears and shields.
From the Horde at the gates.
Who're out to get whitey.
But don't worry, they'll calm down soon enough and everything will all be status quo again.
Except It Won't
Because if people talking like this were really paying attention, they would see the difference, hear it. They would understand what the creation of Verb Noire means. They would see the Writers of Colour saying 'I'm scared for my career' and maybe remember they'd claimed these writers as friends.
I am not the eloquent one. I am not the prose-maker in the multi-siege defense against white hands trying to hold themselves over the nose and mouth of a pain that will no longer go unexpressed and that pricks and prompts and goads for answers.
I just blew the horn.
But please, listen to me when I tell you not to ignore this. I am speaking to those who lurk and understand but don't speak/wonder if they should and those who lurk and don't understand.
RaceFail 09 created a Hydra and one who has evolved past the fear of fire on the stumps. A Hydra grows new heads for every one cut down (silenced) and that is what you're seeing here.
Is the roar of a many headed dragon, stamping its way to a land of its own. It is Deepad's dragon, coming to find her and rest at her feet.
Miss Daisy in her fantasy chariot, is going to have to get out and walk in the future. But she really won't be able to say she didn't have any notice.