Ready your bingo cards, for we are about to descend into the pit of
fools people responding to my Eastercon post on Twitter.
I posted it at lunchtime and got a few positive replies/mentions/retweets during the afternoon. Then I got home from work to find, alongside another couple of positive mentions, this first set of gems:
While he doesn’t use the word “censorship”, I can’t help but see that kind of idea lurking behind the bottom tweet: it’s upsetting that I’m denying the worth of idiots’ statements? Really? I didn’t say this on Twitter because 140 characters, but I give an ever-decreasing shit about how well-travelled someone is. Expats can spew some of the worst racist garbage out there, so visiting another country clearly doesn’t grant someone automatic knowledge. The point of my post isn’t to say “Oh no you haven’t been to China or read a book about China, you can’t comment!” but to say “Do not make blanket statements about something you are ignorant of!” Own your ignorance, people.
The top tweet seems to place the responsibility on me to fix this, which, LOL. Next!
As I said in reply to this person, we are not in primary school: no one gets gold stars – or exemption from criticism – just for trying. Racist shit went down at Eastercon and we will do the con and its attendees much more of a disservice by not talking about it. I do appreciate the efforts of the con staff, but they cannot pretend that racism (and other fails) did not happen!
I feel that my position is neatly summed up in this exchange:
Fuck the Cult of Nice. I am not here to be nice. I am calling attention to a problem, because otherwise I am complicit. Apparently this is not as important as saving face? HOKAY THEN.
Because, you see, it is upsetting that people are being critical of the con. It makes people sad!
I am going to table-flip FOR ALL FUCKING TIME.
Do you know what makes people sad? What makes people feel that they don’t belong in what should be their own community, their own country? What makes people isolated and alone and afraid and depressed? RACISM DOES THOSE THINGS.
GROW THE FUCK UP, PEOPLE.
I have now been accused of bullying Emmzzi, who has left Twitter as a result of what I’ve said. This is what I said to Emmzzi:
I’m one of those apparently rare geeks who was never bullied (ignored and friendless for certain periods of time, but not actively bullied) so idk, I’m no expert on bullying.
Yes, Emmzzi was helping to organise the con and did a lot of hard, admirable work – but denying that faily things happened at Eastercon is actively harmful to the people who are consistently ignored and marginalised and misrepresented and attacked by the white-dominated world of Western cons. What a twist: this situation is complicated! The con did some excellent things. It also did some bad things. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS.
We actively need to talk about this, or it is never going to stop.
As long as you criticise me for speaking out, I am going to do everything I fucking can to speak louder.