David J. Schwartz (snurri) wrote,
David J. Schwartz


1. I think it is a little silly to assume that unless they state otherwise all writing "professionals" agree with some hurtful, inflammatory and unfortunate things said and done by a very few. That said, I understand that perceptions are important.

2. In general, particularly online, I would rather listen than talk, particularly when the topic is something I don't know a lot about. That said, I am conflict averse and I have mostly avoided the conflagration referred to as RaceFail'09, except to occasionally spot something, drop my jaw and shake my head. This is me taking a break from avoiding.

3. There is more than one cultural disconnect at work here; this has to do not just with race and color but also with the way that the participants view Internet discussion--as closed or open, private or public. My view: nothing is private on the Internet, not in the way you think, and if someone speaks up and contradicts you, it is not OK to dismiss or mistreat them because they are not in your imaginary club.

4. I am personally learning quite a bit about why some people choose to be pseudonymous on the Internet. I am pretty much always myself on the Internet--at least, when I use "snurri" my real name hasn't been hidden--but then, I am pretty much always white and male. I've long known and interacted with folks who used handles, but until recently I never thought much about why that was.

5. That said, the spirit in which coffeeandink has been outed is clearly meant to intimidate, in some schoolyard manner. It is malicious and wrong and the people doing it are malicious and wrong.

6. I have and will continue to write stories and novels about people who are not like me. They would be pretty boring stories if I didn't. I make no claims or assumptions that I am getting it right, but I do try to be thoughtful about it. Sometimes I get tied up in knots worrying about the race or gender implications of characters and their roles or actions, but this is not something that a) I feel I should be congratulated for or b) I think should be blamed on anyone. Rather I think that it is the responsibility of creators to thoroughly interrogate their own work.

7. Yes, it is impossible to please everyone, and yes, if that is your goal you will always fail. But you damn well better know what you were trying to do, even if you screwed it up.

8. To those who are feeling like you are not welcome in SF/F fandom as a result of this mess, I have two words for you: look around. The people who are speaking up with you, the ones who have told you that they have got your back, the ones who are saying things that you wish you had said, they are all a part of fandom. It may not be the same fandom that you feel shut out of, but is that a bad thing?

9. If you don't know what I'm talking about, consider yourself blessed. But on the other hand, this is important, so rydra_wong's post is a good place to start.

10. Now I will go back to listening, because I don't learn anything when my mouth is open.

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