Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A qucik summary of RaceFail '09

What is RaceFail '09? [info]daedala provided the shortest summary of RaceFail '09 here and it is as followed:
1. Elizabeth Bear writes a post about "how to write the Other"
2. Avalon's Willow critiques one of her books on racial tropes
3. Bear agrees unequivocally in writing
4. Commenters defend Bear in increasingly racist language.
5. Massive fail all over the internet.
6. Bear says that she was lying in 3. in order to model appropriate conversation.
But [info]daedala's summary barely scratches the surface. Here are other more detailed, but still brief summaries of events:

» A reader's digest of RaceFail '09 by [info]white_serpent, which [info]dmarley kindly provided some contexts here.
» A summary of RaceFail '09 by [info]withdiamonds.
» A Timeline (of the Great Cultural Appropriation Debate of Doom '09) (a summary of the beginning of RaceFail '09) by Willow.
» Because "tl;dr" shouldn't be an excuse (a summary of the middle and later part of RaceFail '09) by [info]rydra_wong.
» Endangering somebody is okay when you do it under your real name (a summary of later events of RaceFail '09) @ unfunnybusiness.
» Racefail09: Just This (a summary of the beginning and later part of RaceFail '09) by [info]mpoetess.

And here are a few longer overviews:

» A themed summary of RaceFail ‘09 in large friendly letters for those who think race discussions are hard by Ann Somerville.
» O HAI RACEFAILZ: Notes on Reading an Internet Conflict by [info]tablesaw.
» I have stayed quiet about something for too long, and I am ashamed by [info]popelizbet.

For a comprehensive overview though, [info]rydra_wong has provided an almost chronological link list here and you could follow the discussion at her gcadod 09 tag. And among the many, many people who have spoken up about RaceFail '09 are [info]asim, [info]bossymarmalade, [info]ciderpress, [info]coffeeandink, [info]deepad, [info]helsmeta, [info]inalasahl, [info]nojojojo, [info]oyceter, Seeking Avalon's Willow, [info]shewhohashope, [info]sparkymonster, [info]spiralsheep, [info]vito_excalibur, [info]vom_marlowe, [info]yeloson and [info]zvi_likes_tv.

The reason it’s called RaceFail ’09 is to distinguish this from past incidents, and also to acknowledge that not only it is ongoing, but that this could happen again.

Does that worry you, too?

To quote Nick:
If the Fail is happening anyway—if havoc is already being wrecked in the hearts of authors and fans of color, if people who shouldn’t be driven out are already being driven out (or at least too damn close to out)—then I kind of want it to impinge on the space of as many white fans and authors as is humanly possible. Yes, it IS too high a price for mere education, but if the price is being paid regardless, let’s goddamn GET something for it. The more clueless-but-well-meaning white folk (I firmly include myself in this category) see the hurt being caused and start reading, thinking, and trying to understand the things being said by the myriad brilliant fans/authors/theorists of color (and allies!) involved here, the more likely it is that something will have changed by the time the next high-profile racial screw-up rolls ‘round.

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