yeloson: (Default)
So, Elizabeth Moon basically accused Muslims of "refusing to assimilate" and therefore not being Really American (TM). (Boy, I'm not muslim and I know that one....) When called on it, she decided to delete her post and all the responses. (ETA: well, at least she left evidence. Or really, just hate material)

She's one of the two Guests of Honor at WisCon.

Speculative Fiction Writers saying something Ignorant and Hateful is kinda of an old trope at this point, so nothing incredibly new to say there.

So the concomm is in a sticky situation- you have a con that pushes on being progressive and a GoH who just demonstrated, very publicly, very vocally, that they feel pretty much the exact opposite. They could disinvite her, though, that's a pretty big statement to make.

On the other hand, accusing people who've lived in America for a long, long time, including going back to slave days and saying, "You're not really American and it's because of all these "reasons" but really it's because you refuse to convert"... that's a pretty big statement too.

Their response? Well, it's embarrassing to have to eat our words, so you people deal with it.

You people, who've had your places of worship firebombed, who've been demonized, who've been "the enemy", who've lived with the fear of being locked up without attorney, trial or rights, yeah, you people come to this convention and deal with another person espousing that shit publicly, who we are honoring, and you people deal with it.

Saladinamhed pretty much sums it up.

At the end of the day, whether they intended it or not, the message is either:

a) "We care more about this writer, than we do about Muslim attendees (including, say, people who've been mistaken for muslims and got to enjoy the same kind of hate and understand exactly what this kind of propaganda produces)"

b) "We care more about our pride and not eating our words about disinviting someone than we do about Muslim attendees (etc.)"

And I get the argument that this could be a dangerous precedent to set, disinviting people.

Except. That precedent is only dangerous if you plan on having bigots and morons on your committee. Unlike law or company policy, you actually have more control in who you work with AND people have the option of not going to a con should it get there.

Sadly, though, this choice is effectively the same thing: "We KNOW there's someone who espouses hate, who makes it an unsafe space, and we HAVE the power to do something, but we won't, because you don't matter enough."

...

Institutionalized power. You can do things people acknowledge as wrong, and suffer no consequences, and even be protected by the system.

Thankfully, this is a stupid, small example.

Not like police shooting unarmed children, cities cutting off vital services to unwanted communities, withholding medical supplies in the face of H1N1 infections or the many, many other examples with kill people and/or ruin lives.

But hey, small stupid examples sometimes are clear, because people haven't already built up a layer of myth of who deserves and doesn't deserve to be served by institutions. (except, of course, those who already felt all the dark people being in spec fic fandom were "orcs", etc.)

Conceivably this year I could save up and go, but I'm not. I understand if you're a writer, publisher, or professional in the field, there will be value in networking and interacting with the community, but as a fan, it doesn't make sense for me to pay to go to a place that is willing to throw someone under the bus - I know how quick I can be next.

And while Moon is a problem, the response lets me know that short of a significant change in philosophy, the concomm is the real problem, because hate language is a problem... our problem, not theirs. She won't be there next year, but they will be.

Institutionalized power is institutionalized- it lives on beyond any individual person, and it's what means, short of serious change you can expect the same problem to come up again and again.

ETA: Tempest linked Amal's excellent post here, which says what I'm saying, just better:

The precedent we should be worried about setting is not "blogging could get me disinvited from a convention as Guest of Honour." The precedent we should be worried about setting is "some fans are worth more than others, and Muslims don't matter enough to take a stand for."
yeloson: (Default)
Ended up re-watching The Debut, and being the geek that I am, looked up what Wikipedia had to say:

Right after Gene finished shooting the first 10 mins of his thesis project, he sent the movie script to potential financial backers and was turned down. Gene and John went around Hollywood, "shopping" the idea of The Debut to all the major Hollywood studios(Disney, Warner Bros., MGM, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Columbia, Universal). Most of the studio executives didn't know what a Filipino/Filipino American was and told him the film needed a white actor in a lead so the film can be marketable.

Um. Living in California (or anywhere on the West Coast) and you don't even know WHAT a filipino IS? Seriously?

Also:

The most difficult role to cast was finding the love interest of Ben. Most of the females that auditioned were, light skinned Filipinas or Half Filipino/European females or as Gene puts it, "Miss Saigon Girls." Actress Joy Bisco was chosen after she heard at a club they were looking for dark skin Filipino American actresses.

Colorism, roles for darker women, etc. Guh.

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