Rant ahead, as well as foul language. Be warned, ye who enter here.
For some reason, fandom is going through some interesting “growth” right now. As I’ve talked about in recent weeks over at Mad Genius Club (and others have voiced their own opinions elsewhere), certain elements of fandom have taken over and are trying to exclude those who they do not like. In order to provide “An opportunity for fans of color to get together, meet each other, and socialize in a comfortable environment” (their words, not mine), they’ve re-instituted segregation and inherent racism. The target of their racism and segregation? Those who are dastardly attempting to make people uncomfortable with their mere presence. Those who seek to upset the status quo. Those who… uh… whose parents… no, maybe their grandparents — were really big meanies and racist and shit. The people they’re discriminating against? (Get over yourself; it’s precisely what you’re doing)
White people. Yes you, you purveyor of mayonnaise, soccer moms (even though most of my friend’s moms who took everyone to soccer games growing up were up the Latin persuasion, but details always interfere with the work of the Righteous) and suburbia!
Somewhere along the line, the Common Sense Train derailed and was replaced with the Group Think Hate All Who Are Different And White People Train. It’s simply amazing that people who are so eager to prove that they are “totally inclusive” will go out of their way to exclude a group of people. Back in the Civil Rights days, they’d call excluding a group due to their sexuality, race or gender “segregation.” Yep, segregation. That’s totally what they’d call it, and apparently, someone at Detcon1 (a science fiction convention) this year kinda missed the Civil Rights memo.
Look, I know that white people are scary. Seriously, they are! Terrifying! Horrific! Just look at how they walk around in the open, driving vehicles, wearing clothes. It’s simply disgusting to see them in action, spending their money, enjoying themselves, using their skin tone to, uh… enslave the children of the darker persuasion? Do they still do that? Shit, I don’t know. Let me check Google…
…according to Google, most people who sell others into slavery are Eastern European gangsters for the sex trafficking market, Muslims in Africa and Asia, and… the Middle East. No shit? Never would have guessed (/sarcasm).
Seriously, someone along the way totally missed the fucking memo about what “equality” means. Look up the fucking word, damn it. Equality does not mean exclusion of others for the comfort of some. Equality means just that: everyone is fucking EQUAL. No “ifs”. No “ands”. No “buts”. Equality means that everyone is treated the same way. So by excluding white people from attending your little soiree, Detcon programmers, you’ve only exacerbated the goddamned problem. Congratu-fucking-lations on taking us back to the 1950’s. You win the grand prize of becoming this generation’s GEORGE WALLACE. You must be so fucking proud of yourselves for this.
This, in conjunction of the growing trend of “we like minorities, except for those who disagree with us” in the SFF field, really bothers me. “Separate but Equal” is not how we go about this. The same people who are celebrating that almost all Hugo finalists this year are women are also propagating this selective segregation. This is absolute bullshit, and needs to end.
You know why “people of color” get uncomfortable around other SF people? Because they’re inevitably told “I don’t see color, I just see people” which is inevitably followed up with “My best friend growing up was black” or “I have tons of Hispanic friends” or “I know some gay people; they’re pretty awesome.” Yay, congratulations. You want a medal? Telling them that you don’t see color because tons of your friends are darker simply means that you are more than aware of their skin tone and are making it be known that you see it, acknowledge it, tell them you notice the difference, then turn around and tell them that you don’t see it. You lie to their face to make them comfortable, yet your own inherent insecurities are showing that you are judging them by their color. It’s simply psychology, really.
So Detcon, congratulations on setting that bar real high. I’m hoping that the southern conventions (like Libertycon and the like) will not follow your “northern and equality driven” example and try to segregate people based on skin color, because, well, they’re all racisty and shit in the south, right?
Edited: I finally found that screenshot I was looking for.
7 thoughts on “You Gotta Keep ’em Separated”
For a group pushing racial equality, I see an awful lot of pale faces in their guest list.
After browsing the Detcon1 website I don’t see anything that specifically says that white folks aren’t welcome there. Am I missing something?
I screen grabbed it. Now, if I can find the damn thing…
Even if it only said “this is for People of Color” without specifically saying “and white people are not welcome”… really… just how welcome would a person of color feel if something was announced as being “for” people who are European?
I think that we should try to figure out ways to make everyone feel like science fiction people are *their* people. But it seems like this isn’t a good way to do it. Nor are con panels about “how SF deals with race” going to help, because that’s erecting barriers.
In the military they’d tell us… you’re not white or black or brown… you are now all the same color, you are all GREEN. And in general terms the military does a better job at this than most.
Synova, I was somewhat amused in Boot Camp back in 1990 that we were supposed to use “Light Green” & “Dark Green” as appropriate when need arose to describe someone’s skin tones. I never did work up the nerve to ask the proper way to describe someone of Hispanic or Asian descent that way.
These are also the same people who will attempt to establish their multicultural street cred by making a huge production about how they’re 1/64th Cherokee.
Pssh… whatever. I’m 1/64th ninja on my mother’s side.