Mely (coffeeandink) wrote,

RaceFail: Once More, with Misdirection

For the past three weeks or so, I've been forced to contemplate deleting or locking down this livejournal because of harassment and privacy threats I've been receiving as a somewhat bizarre result of RaceFail09.

What's been going on
[quick eta - Kathryn has apparently been redirecting the pages where she outed me to some kind of spammer site that may contain malware. So you probably don't want to click on those links.]

Kathryn Cramer has been linking my LJ to my full name on wikis and in other people's blog comments and has repeatedly stated that my participation in RaceFail debates was an attempt to smear the Nielsen Haydens in grudgewank, even though I was involved in that discussion long before the Nielsen Haydens joined in, as is proved in numerous places, such as the dated entries in our own livejournals and in the well-documented and widely linked timeline of posts. Will Shetterly has been posting speculations about my family, my class, my history, and my political and personal beliefs that he has presented as fact, as well as repeatedly misrepresenting what I've said about him, failing to provide context to or links to what I've said, and claiming that I have taken his words out of context and not allowed him to represent himself, even though I have included links to his original words and to his later defense. He has also posted speculation about deepad (even after apologizing and retracting his first statement), veejane, ithiliana, vom_marlowe, and icecreamempress. He posted my full name and LJ on his blog, even though I deliberately do not list my last name on my LJ.

Will did take down my last name at my request, and Kathryn has not so far posted my name on her blog. [eta: So much for that.] Unfortunately, I am not confident this will last, given that both Will and Kathryn have continued to discuss me on Will's blog, to assert that the only motivation I can have for privacy is malice, and to argue that making some information available (such as my first name) means that I have no right to expect other identification (such as my last name) not be exposed.

I've been active online for a long time, and I've taken some precautions about my identity, both on- and offline. I haven't tried to prevent online friends from learning my real name, or to prevent people who know me from one forum from realizing they're talking to the same person in another, but I have tried to prevent people who do not know me well offline from easily finding my online identity. I am happy to explain that these are my boundaries to people who misunderstand them, which happens on occasion.*

However, I do not owe anyone an explanation why these are my boundaries. I do not owe anyone an account of my biography, my resume, or my bank balance simply because I have argued with them on the Internet. If there is a problem with my arguments, people are welcome to address my arguments.

Why I'm posting
I have been hesitant to post because this is all such an outrageous derailment of the original conversation about race and racism in science fiction. But this ridiculous and painful detour actually brings us right back to the place RaceFail started out from: sf fandom is so insular, so white-focused, and so white-dominated that some of the people involved can ignore the literally dozens of people involved in an argument about race, the literally hundreds of posts made, out of a conviction that race is not the issue when people of color say it is, or out of the conviction that there are no people of color who argue about sf fandom online because people of color generally do not attend sf conventions. There is a reason people of color do not feel comfortable at sf conventions. This refusal to acknowledge that race can even be a real issue: this contributes to the institution of racism and the continuing whiteness of science fiction. This conviction, in the face of public conversation and well-documented timelines, that a discussion about race in science fiction is about the personal grudges of white people -- this inability to recognize, hear, or speak to the people of color involved in the discussion -- this in itself contributes to the institution of racism and the continuing whiteness of science fiction.


What I want

  1. If you know my full name, please don't link it to this LJ. Calling me Mely or Micole -- both of which I have had in my user profile -- is fine.
  2. Please do NOT comment at Will or Kathryn's blogs or attempt to engage with them directly.
  3. If you'd like to express sympathy or agreement, I would much prefer to re-focus attention back on the real issues. The POC-owned and -focused press verb_noire should soon be starting up and taking submissions and contributions. The Carl Brandon Society is always open for donations and new members. There's a proposed panel for Wiscon that I love:

    Genuinely Multicultural
    What would it take to change our community from a primarily English-speaking, English-writing community to a genuinely multicultural one? What might that change look like, and what might it bring us?


    Post on that, here or in your own space. Or, if you can't think of anything (I am looking forward to being in the audience myself) or you are just too fucking tired of dealing with the SRS BZNSS of RaceFail (I am totally with you), but you want to do me a favor, post on the most recent book you read written by a POC, or your favorite book written by a POC, or give me recommendations for sf/f, romance, or historical fiction written by POC. Fluffy allowed and in fact enjoyed. Historical fiction set in Africa or pre-Columbian Americas especially appreciated.



* Reasons people may prefer pseudonyms or limited personal disclosure on the Internet:

  • Because it is a standard identity- and privacy-protection precaution
  • Because they have experienced online or offline stalking, harassment, or political or domestic violence
  • Because they wish to discuss sexual abuse, sexuality, domestic abuse, assault, politics, health, or mental illness, and do not wish some subset of family, friends, strangers, aquaintances, employers, or potential employers to know about it
  • Because they wish to keep their private lives, activities, and tastes separate from their professional lives, employers, or potential employers
  • Because they fear threats to their employment or the custody of their children
  • Because it's the custom among their Internet cohort
  • Because it's no one else's business

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Tags: fandom, gcadod09, race, sf/f
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