Monday, September 3, 2012

the racefail 09 flamewar, a timeline

Note: This is a work in progress.

If any details are wrong, please leave a comment. Unlike most chroniclers of Racefail 09, I don't ban anyone from correcting the record—I'd rather be corrected so I can get things right. Being wrong is embarrassing. The most accurate histories of RaceFail that I've seen are at the Fan History Wiki.

tl;dr: In the Racefail '09 flamewar, sci-fi fandom's Social Justice Warriors said anyone who disagreed with them was racist. If you believe in Critical Race Theory, all the white people on both sides of Racefail are racists. If you use dictionary definitions, no actual racists were involved.


the history

2004. SJWs got upset when I argued that Bush's treatment of New Orleans had more to do with class than race. See about race, class, and Hurricane Katrina.

2006. Coffeeandink began her habit of using her full legal name in public posts on her LiveJournal. See Micole Coffeeandink, SJW.

2007. In "Blog Against Racism" week, many bloggers wrote about race as though it had nothing to do with class; I did not. See about "parallel lives: a different race, a different class".

May, 2008. A woman who mocked WisCon was outed by badgerbag, Coffeeandink, and many SJWs, and was then terrorized. See Social Mob Justice: The Outing of Zathlazip.

July, 2008. A Cherokee author was mobbed by SJWs. See The Powwow Dancer vs. the People of Privilege, or The Hounding of William Sanders.

2009

1. intellectual elitism and racism

Note: The links to Coffeeandink's LiveJournal went to public posts when the first draft of this history was made. She has since made many of them "friends only". I've left the links here for her followers.

I missed the first days of Racefail 09. I heard about it from Emma, who mentioned that scifi's Critical Race Theorists had started another kerfuffle. I told her I'd had enough of them and didn't read any of it for about a week.

Here's what I missed:


On January 8, Jay Lake wrote "Another shot at thinking about the Other". He addressed the idea of "cultural authority", the idea that only someone from a culture should write about it, and concluded, "Whose voice counts? Why or why not? I find these questions distressing and uneasy, which means they’re important questions. The churn they raise drives the boundaries of good fiction, good thought and good citizenship."


On January 12, Ben Peek wrote "Dear Female Author" to comment on sexism in the fantasy and science fiction genre.


Micole Coffeeandink dismissed Lake and Ben Peek:

I had such a hard time figuring out how to comment on the original posts that eventually I gave up on it. From my perspective, Lake and Peek both start from such an unhelpful and ultimately irrelevant place that I can't even engage with the assertions they make, because the assertions rely on unquestioned assumptions which are themselves the problems. As with a lot of white men of varying political allegiances who try to discuss racism, sexism, and colonialism, they seem to speak with the assurance of people who don't believe in the subconscious -- who don't believe history affects them, or the people around them, in ways they may not be conscious of, and do not feel compelled to investigate or address.
On the same day, Elizabeth Bear responded to Lake's post with "real magic can never be made by offering up someone else's liver", noting:
But here's the thing. Unless I'm going to write people just like me, I'm going to have to write The Other. And there's gotta be a limited market for EBear self-insertion novels. Especially if it starts looking like that scene in Being John Malkovitch, where all the Malkovitches are walking around going Malkovitch Malkovitch
The next day, in "Open Letter: To Elizabeth Bear", Avalon’s Willow announced that she didn't need to finish Bear's Blood & Iron to know it was racist: "I couldn't finish reading your book because I threw it across the room in disgust."

Deepad took a similar position in "I Didn’t Dream of Dragons": "this well-intentioned championing of diversity is specific to countries that are trying to celebrate their appropriation of other cultures."


On January 14, Coffeeandink dismissed Bear for giving advice that C&E declared was not "sufficient" in a post that was public but is now friends-only.


Sarah Monette wrote in Notes from the Labyrinth - race(-class-sex):

It matters that Bear's intention was to present the servitude of a black man to a white woman as a problem, as part of a larger thematic argument, that she was doing it mindfully. It also matters that describing Kelpie as a "black man" is in certain senses wrong. He's a phouka, and it's clear throughout that he is a anthropophagous horse-fae first, all other attributes second. If that didn't matter, Blood & Iron would not be a fantasy. 
HOWEVER. 
It matters that Avalon's Willow's experience reading the book does not match up with Bear's intentions. This is not Bear's fault. It is also not AW's fault. It is an unfortunate inevitability of the attempt to communicate. Listing--as I did in the preceding paragraph--all the ways in which AW is "wrong" is a way to shut down the argument, not a way to respond responsibly.
In the comments, Emma Bull said:
I can't give a lot of weight to a critique of a book and its author that's based on a shallow reading of the book, that doesn't take into account all the text, but substitutes the reader's own expected subtext for what's actually there. I'm pretty sure AW has plenty of cause to be angry. But I have to say that I do think AW objects to this book based on a fundamental, factual misreading. I believe AW's analysis is objectively wrong, in the same way I would say that someone who declares that Lolita is a glorification and justification of pedophilia is wrong.
Vom Marlowe, a graduate of an expensive private school, denounced the idea that some critiques are better than others as "privileged."

Chickenfried Jo, a white woman who had only "recently begun reading writers of color" turned the subject from criticism to racism: "That to me says that the person reading it was not smart enough, educated enough, white enough..."


K. Tempest Bradford, creator of The Angry Black Woman blog, ramped up the racial aspect: "People of color spend far too much time wading through bullshit squicky race stuff to have to put up with it any longer than necessary."


And flames raged across the LJ fanverse.


At the time, none of the older participants in the flamewar knew the SJWs were believers in Critical Race Theory. To Critical Race Theorists, criticism of a CRT, and especially of a Critical Race Theorist of Color, is a racist criticism of all people of color. Julia Sparkymonster made clear a month later when she said sarcastically about criticism of Avalon's Willow: "It's cool how POC don't/can't read critically. And that critical race theory doesn't exist." To her and her friends, Avalon's Willow represented all People of Color, and rejection of Avalon's Willow's argument was a denial of Critical Race Theory.

Over the next four days, Medievalist said Avalon's Willow was "engaging in orcing, performance art and pretty much blog-whoring." Though orcing has had a non-racial definition since it was first used to describe online mobbing or "group-trolling", Coffeeandink, Avalon's Willow, and others denounced the term as racist. Because some women who were not white have been called whores, "blog-whoring" was denounced as racist. No one figured out how "performance art" is racist.


Mac Stone, reminded of real-life abuse, deleted her journal and was mocked for "white women's tears". Though Malcolm X famously regretted making a blonde college co-ed cry, fans of racial "fails" enjoy making white women cry.


Patrick Nielsen Hayden wrote,

I wouldn't even split the problem into "authors" and "readers". Some people are smarter than others, to put it as baldly as possible.
Of course, not-so-bright people are entitled to justice, as are (also) people who don't express themselves well. As the ghost of John Rawls reminds me, all of us fall into both of those categories at many points in our life, so we should always be suspicious of the temptation to "worship language, and forgive / all of those who by it live."
This does not, however, amount to an unlimited claim on our time and energy by people who can't sort out the difference between their inner feelings and the exterior world of discourse. We can try to help them but we cannot be their servants.
Copracat, quoting that, declared "I almost cannot believe someone just said this in a discussion about racism. Except there it is."

Patrick answered, "It wasn't even remotely a discussion of racism. It was a discussion of people behaving badly in online arguments."


zvi_LikesTV replied, "The discussion in the comments makes it clear that the conversation in which mac_stone felt verbally abused was the recent discussion on racism. The question of sufficient reading, specifically, was one in which racist asshole behavior was demonstrated by coffeeem and medievalist."


And I entered Racefail 09, saying
, "Anyone who would say coffeeem or medievalist is exhibiting racist asshole behavior is, in turn, exhibiting racist asshole behavior."


Because racefail fans reject dictionary definitions, this made me a racist. Or maybe a xylophone.


On January 20, I posted this on my blog, knowing that many of my readers then were not yet aware of the racewar:

intellectual elitism and racism
Intellectual elitism is not racism. When I say Samuel Delany is smarter and knows more than me, I'm not saying blacks are superior. I'm just saying some people have lived longer and thought harder than others. Now, I'll never catch up to Delany. But some people whose writing is currently immature will mature greatly, and they will look back on their work, and they'll think, "Damn. I was young."

Others will never change. I hate binarianism, but I am comfortable saying the world can be divided between the people who keep learning and the people who stop.

later: Okay, this post is prob'ly very strange out of context. Maybe I should leave it that way. I'll just add this: If you hear something that you think suggests hierarchy and it's from someone you see in racial terms, remember that there are more hierarchies than race.

Intellectual hierarchies make me uncomfortable. On one side: people can know a great deal about something and still draw the wrong conclusions. On the other: it is good to learn from those who have gone before.

and later: Perhaps it's that tension between old knowledge and new insight that makes intellectual hierarchies valuable. Those who make intellectual hierarchies rigid are fools (yeah, Alan Bloom, I'm trash-talking you!). Those who assume the past is irrelevant and only their subjective experience matters are greater fools. Fortunately for fools, they can grow wise.
2. trying to reason in a flamewar


In the first days of Racefail, I thought it was possible for people to disagree in peace. I didn't understand that when you reject the warriors' argument, the warriors conclude you are not listening: for SJ warriors, the proof of listening is joining them as an ally.

So I made these posts:

• Dear rich and middleclass people of color and their white allies (1/21/09)

You may think you speak for everyone you consider people of color, but many poor people of color believe there are two black racesone poor and one rich. You may happily address race and ignore class now, but the world will not let you do that forever.

• Writing the Same (1/21/09)

There's one kind of writing advice that Emma and I don't give unless we're asked for it: How to write the "other."

The simplest reason is practical: If you can't write a distinct character in a setting that's convincingly accurate, you're not going to do it because we say you should. There are some things that writers either get or they don't.

But there are other reasons. Writing characters and cultures truthfully falls under other advice that we always give:

1. Research what you write. Get an important fact wrong, and the reader won't trust you about anything else. You don't get to make up Ojibwe culture any more than you get to decide what color New York taxis are.

2. All of your characters, even those who make the briefest appearance to deliver a package or sell a cup of coffee, are individuals, the stars of their own story. Every aspect of your story should be interesting and convincing. That includes every character.

3. Humans are human. The differences matter when conveying cultures, but ultimately, people laugh and cry and love and hate and share and hoard and do all of the same things. They just do them in ways that are specific to their culture. When you write someone from another culture, you're not writing an "Other." You're writing a fellow member of the human tribe.

• Race: Born in the USA, plus Seeing Color (1/22/09)

Check the Oxford English Dictionary to learn when people began seeing each other in terms of race, and the answer may surprise you: the oldest recorded example is from 1774. Oliver Goldsmith wrote in his History of the Earth and Animated Nature, “The second great variety in the human species seems to be that of the Tartar race.” Goldsmith didn't expect his reader to be familiar with the new meaning. He goes on to say, "To this race of men we must also refer the Chinese and the Japanese, however different they seem in their manners and ceremonies. It is the form of the body that we are now principally considering." (My italics.)

The word itself is older. It comes from the Italian, razza. In English before the late 18th century, it simply meant a group of related things: the race of women, the German race, the race of heroes, the race of tart wines, etc.

Before the late 1700s, skin color, like hair color, only suggested tribal allegiance. Many people were prejudiced against outsiders, but they did not have the concept of race to divide people permanently. Slavers dealt in people from other countries and rebels from their own—during the 1600s, one hundred thousand Irish people were sold in the New World.

"Race" and racial prejudice required the sanction of science. The 18th Century was the Age of Enlightenment. The idea was growing that all men were equal. But if everyone was equal, how could anyone be sold? Science gave the answer: inferior "races" did not deserve the same treatment as superior ones.

It's time for the racist idea of "race" should die. Anti-racists think the concept of "race" should live on without its racist associations. I had thought that was impossible, but perhaps it's not: race had one meaning, and then another, and now it may be developing a third, one that has more to do with ethnicity than genes. It may be returning to its older meaning of a group.


A note about being "colorblind" to race: When I was a child in the 1950s, the polite term for African-Americans was "colored people," as the name of the NAACP indicates. But "colored people" was still a way to separate African-Americans from European-Americans, so "colorblind" was a metaphor to say you saw the whole person, the mind as well as the skin.

Then "people of color" was adopted, embracing all people who were not considered "white". As "color" gained positive values, "colorblind" acquired negative ones. This blindsided older people who had been using the colorblind metaphor—the history of race is filled with polite terms replacing each other, from "Negro" to "colored person" to "Afro-American" to "African-American" to "Person of Color." Use the older term, and you sound racist to people who do not know that earlier, it was the term of respect.

• Is this racist? (1/22/09)

Here's what's behind my latest round of posts about racism. Emma briefly entered the LiveJournal racism brouhaha with, I think, two comments in this thread, then left the internet because she's trying to finish a novella. In her absence, she was denounced as a racist. So were several other writers who took similar positions.

All of these writers used exactly the same words they would have used had they been disagreeing with writers who identified as "white." To me, if you treat someone as an equal, you're not being racist. Equality includes being able to say your equal's analysis is superficial. If that's not so, there's no point in talking about art or science or anything where people might disagree.

To me, assuming someone is racist because you see them as white makes you the racist. Had all the writers been white, would the denounced writers still be racist?

I'll grant that's possible. The definition of both "race" and "racism" have changed enormously since I was young.

Now, if you think I'm a white racist, I'm cool with that: I've been beaten by white racists for being a niggerlover. Maybe the two balance out.

And I admit I may just have trouble understanding this. I'm fifty-three years old. The world changes, and language evolves. Most of us end our lives fighting battles that were won or lost decades ago. Heck, I'm still annoyed that "impact" has become a verb.

3. shit gets real


As it began to look like we were in for a long flamewar, I made these posts:


• why I'm not anyone's white ally (01/23/09)

I wrote a post last night, then deleted it. It wasn't helpful. It was written out of fury for the sake of people I love and respect. I can't say the anger has passed, but writing this may help me deal with it.

For anyone who doesn't know me: Many of the details in Dogland are autobiographical. My family could not get fire insurance because word was out that the Ku Klux Klan would burn us down, I did see my mother crying because we got death threats in the night, my father did show me where the shotgun was and taught me how to carry it to him if the Klan ever showed up, I did get spat on and hit and called a niggerlover. I know a little about racism. In the '80s, when I wrote Captain Confederacy, I was told by a surprising number of people, "Why are you writing about racism? That's over." When I created the black female Captain Confederacy, I created one of the first black female superheroes to have her own comic book. I don't think I've ever written a story in which everyone was of the same race. I've been concerned about racism all my life.

But I've been concerned about racism because I'm concerned about justice. Racism is unjust, but it's part of a greater injustice, classism. Classism provides the structure for racism. End classism, and there's no room left for racism to manifest itself.

LiveJournal has an active antiracist community that consists mostly of middle-class and upper-class folks who are very concerned with the privileges of the privileged: they want the top of the pyramid to be as diverse as the bottom.

But I want to level the pyramid.

So I can't be their white ally. Someday, they might notice that injustice is greater than they think. If that day comes, we will work together.

Why am I writing this on Martin Luther King Day, on the day before Barack Obama is inaugurated? Last night, I discovered that a number of LJ's antiracists were screaming "racist!" at good people as though whenever a "white" and a "person of color" disagree, the white must be acting out of racism, and that any reference to intelligence or education must be a coded assault on all people of a particular race.

That is so profoundly racist that it makes me want to cry. Perhaps it's good to expose the myth that only whites can be racist, but it's always sad when the oppressed accept the worldview of their oppressers.

Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see." If you want to end racism, stop seeing people in terms of race.

• for those who don't know that whites died in the civil rights struggle (1/23/9)

I just got this comment from sparkymonster:
Will, if you were a black person the Klan wouldn't have just called your mom. Or yelled an insult. THEY WOULD HAVE KILLED YOU. Being white saved your ass.
I highly recommend a visit to the Civil Rights Memorial. The names and faces will tell you that whites and blacks worked and died together to make a better world for us all.

P.S. The Klan did threaten more than they acted. I strongly suspect that was what happened in our case. Or maybe, when Dad sent the kids away to safety, they decided that was enough of a victory for them.

• honor requires that I acknowledge this (1/23/9)

I've had an enormous falling-out at LiveJournal. My first response was enormous shame about how badly I handled things. My second was relief. I've spent all my life thinking there must be some way to reason with everyone except Scientologists, Mormons, and Ayn Rand fans. And it just isn't so. I don't have to alienate people anymore by trying to convince them of things that they just aren't going to believe because their worldview doesn't allow it.

And I should add that I've always been able to get along with Scientologists, Mormons, and Ayn Rand fans in person, perhaps because I know it's impossible to reason with them about their fundamental beliefs. I've known lovely folks in all three groups, so if you're in one, don't try to convert me, and we'll get along great.

Still, I can't decide whether I should withdraw from projects that I'm involved with so I don't taint them, or I should commit myself with greater force to them, because I have failed so badly.
Well, it is good to fail. Sometimes we learn from failure.

• Will Shetterly bingo! (1/23/9)


I so want the T-shirt.

(The card created by Kadath and Brownbetty to make fun of me, but I love it beyond words.)

4. Will Shetterly: Do Not Engage

See my response to "Will Shetterly: Do Not Engage".

5. can we all kiss and make up?

• among the things I need to learn: comment etiquette (1/23/9)

I just got email that serendipitously touched on something I'd been thinking about: too often, my comments online are brief, so they seem abrupt or rude when I only mean to be acknowledging someone else's comment. Here's part of how I answered:
The problem is that I try to do ten thousand things at once, and I do them very badly. I need to slow down, and answer one person at a time. 
Very much my bad. 
And, alas, I can't fix it today. But maybe next week. I'll make this a blog post, because it matters. Thank you for mentioning it.
Is no response better than a hasty one? I suppose the answer is, "It depends." I'll ponder this, too.

• can capitalists and commies be friends? (1/23/9)

In the antiracism debacle, a number of people say that I don't hear their side of the discussion and reject it out of hand. What they don't grasp is that I was a liberal. I know that side of the argument. I rejected it long ago. It's not that they have failed to convince me, or that I refuse to listen. It's that our society failed to keep me convinced, and now I hear what conservatives and liberals will only acknowledge with a mutter about "class war".

• dancing to the jab of the "racist" stick (1/24/9)

I learned something about myself late last night. I hesitate to share it, because I don't like revealing my weaknesses and stupidities.

Call me or someone I love a racist, and I go into a righteous fury. I never thought it was personal. I thought I was objecting to a lie, an evil meme. More fool me.

When the issue has come up, the basic script has always gone like this:
Antiracist: (All white people/You) are racist. Whites grew up with power in a racist society. 
Will: Many whites fought racists. My family included. We couldn't get fire insurance because word was out that the Klan would burn us out. I was beaten and spat on and called a niggerlover. Dad taught me how to carry the shotgun to him in case they showed up, but they didn't. 
Antiracist: Why are you trying to take credit for something your family did forty years ago? 
Will: But people of all colors worked together against racism! It's racist to assume someone is racist because they're white. (Argue until banned.)
Until last night, I thought their assumption that all whites are racist prevented them from seeing the truth. Last night, I saw I had failed to see it.

I thought I cited my family as an example, like this: Proposition: Whites aren't racist. Example: People like my family worked to end legal racism. Conclusion: Whites aren't racist. I couldn't understand why the antiracists couldn't add one and one to get two.

But I couldn't add one and one to get two. It was never dispassionate for me. I was taught from an early age that white racists were the enemy. They hurt me and my family. They forced my parents to send us away for several months where we would be safe. During that time, I didn't know whether my parents would be killed.

When I hear "racist," a part of my brain thinks, "Go to the closet quickly, get the shotgun. Carry it with the barrel pointed at the ground. Walk quickly, don't run, don't panic. Give it to Dad, then run back to the house. Pray Dad isn't killed. Pray Mom isn't killed. Pray Liz isn't killed. Pray Mike isn't killed. Pray the dogs aren't killed. Pray the house doesn't burn down. Pray your comic books don't get burnt. Pray that if they kill you, it doesn't hurt."

Call people by the name of the childhood enemy they feared, and they get furious. It's Psychology 101, but I never realized it applied to me, too.

Knowing this doesn't mean I won't dance the next time I'm jabbed with the "racist" stick, but I think I'll be able to say, "No, thank you," now.

6. confusion, nithings, and India

January 26. David Levine said the response by failfans confused him:
This statement is addressed to those on the "anti-racist" side of the debate who have vehemently accused certain white writers and editors of racism or cultural insensitivity. 
I have sometimes included characters of color, and of races and cultures other than my own, in my writing. I've been trying to do it more. I recognize that doing so is fraught with peril and I have done my best, through critique and research and asking questions, to get it right. I also recognize that sometimes I will get it wrong, and if I do so in a published work I will take my lumps and try to do better in the future. 
However. Your reactions to the written works and Internet posts of my friends who are also trying to do the same have made me question even the attempt. The height and breadth of the heap of spleen that I have seen dumped upon my friends is more than just "lumps" -- it's something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. This slapfight, dogpile, shitstorm, whatever you want to call it, has been so severe that I am wondering if I should even try. I've seen those who try, in all good faith, have their heads torn off and thrown back at them, and when they react to this abuse as any normal person would, they are accused of being whiny and oversensitive.
He was then mocked for being racist.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden defended her husband, saying "The nithings who've hurt him will have moved on to some other inane topic by now." Failfans decided "nithings" was racist, perhaps because they had to look it up in the dictionaries they rejected. Or perhaps they decided that only racists defend people they love from charges of racism.

January 27. Framing her position while complaining about framing, Coffeeandink attacked Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

January 29. Coffeeandink attacked Teresa and Mac Stone. Referring to hate mail Mac Stone had received, Coffeeandink said, "If she's assuming the hate mail was sent by the people who were disagreeing with her in truepenny's LJ, I think it's a mistaken assumption." Why she thought anyone else would send hate mail, I dunno. When Zathlazip was terrorized after Coffeeandink helped out her, Coffeeandink then suggested that someone must've done it to make her side look bad. Cofeeandink does not subscribe to Occam's Razor, perhaps because Occam was a white man.

Because Deepad mentioned that she was upperclass and someone insisted she was only "upperclass in India", I looked into what it means to be upper class in India.

7. Fuck. That. Shit.


Micole emailed me to claim that despite her habit of using her name in public posts on her LJ, she was pseudonymous.

On the same day, Vom Marlowe wrote, "Fucking Will Shetterly Insults Me and My Family" and continued to speculate about me. This time, I was grateful. She inspired me to write a post for two strong women who shaped me, my mother and my sister.



Two days later, I made another contribution to Racefail 09:

why don’t working class men know their place?

...there's probably feminist analysis on how working class white men critique middle class white women--although I do not believe all the white allies in this discussion are middle class white women, I am one myself--but I just cannot be bothered with it at this point. 
Ithiliana's comment amuses me because why I’m not anyone’s white ally says nothing about gender roles. Well, it says nothing explicitly, but since antiracists assume all encounters between people of different races are racial, she may think all encounters between people who accept different sexual identities are sexual.

(Anonymous) wrote:
You know, I think he thinks you're a guy because in his world, women are probably pretty little things who don't work and don't get poor. Because men take care of them, or something.
I wouldn't be surprised. 
vom_marlowe wrote:
Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised either. That, of he thinks women are always 'nice'. 
I refered to Vom as male out of respect for her icon and handle. For decades, I've believed you should respect people's choice of gender, regardless of their genitals. It's just being polite. Though Vom's speculations about my ideas of women are clichéd, I'm grateful to her; she inspired me to write something for my mother and sister, which I should've done ages ago.

Vom may not know much about working class men because, as she says on her LJ, her upperclass father abandoned their family to extreme hardship. Ithiliana may not know much about working class men because she's middle class. If they were the only people making assumptions about how working class men see women, I would say nothing.

But upper class and middle class people often assume working class people are just like them in bizarre ways. Perhaps the oddest is their notion that working class men think women should be "nice" and should be cared for. That's a luxury of wealth. Working class men know women have to work as hard or harder than they do. They expect women to kick ass, to do what needs to be done, whether it's a traditionally male or female job.

And those men expect to do what needs to be done in turn—in my family, we all washed dishes, swept and mopped, hung clothes on the line, etc. Dad cooked more often than Mom. When I was stupid enough to hit Liz, I expected her to hit back, hard—and I totally knew that if I pissed her off, she would hit me first.

Domestic violence is a problem in all classes, but it takes different forms: abused middle class and upper class women were expected to do nothing, then hide what had been done to them. But working class women have always been more willing to meet violence with violence, to take no shit that they did not absolutely have to take to feed the people they loved.

Like Ithliana, I don't have time to address this subject properly, but I didn't want this bit of sexist classism to go neglected. Someone should write more about the ways upper and middle class women expect working class men to know their place.

On March 1, I posted "my new motto":






On March 2, Deepad claimed in "To burn a bridge is sometimes as necessary as to build one" that by quoting her, I was making "erroneous assumptions" about her.


I posted "Righteous anger is good for you!"

The upside of anger: Researchers study its health advantage over fear
"Righteous anger has a place in protecting against stress,'' said Shelley E. Taylor, a psychology professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, one of the study authors. 
I usually trust people to read links before commenting on an excerpt, but in this case, I'll assure you the article is more balanced than the quote may suggest. 
Yep, I'm thinking about bringing on the righteous rage. The times call for it.
And  Micole blogged about Kathryn Cramer and me outing her without clarifying that we had each acted in ignorance and had both stopped as soon as she told us she meant to be pseudonymous. See The Pseudo-pseudonymity of Coffeeandink.


On March 6, Medievalist wrote, "Two people contacted my former department and said I should be fired as a homophobic racist (in one case, the caller identified me as male)." 
Though the warriors had been harassing people online for weeks, Coffeeandink deflected the possibility that any of them might be the people going after Medievalist. Spiralsheep and others agreed the harasser couldn't be one of their own.

Whether the trolls were only on their side or on both, I can't guess, but attempting to get someone fired calls for the same degree of effort that the SJ warriors had shown in the outing of Zathlazip.



On March 8, Bridget McKennitt compiled a blacklist: Author Shit List:
Elizabeth Bear
Emma Bull
Will Shetterly
Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
William Sanders
Robin McKinley
David Levine
Charles Stross
Gemma Files
Kathryn Cramer
Harlan Ellison
Peter David
Dave Truesdale
Orson Scott Card
Anton Strout
Sarah Monette
John Scalzi was on initially on the list. Originally, it was because someone tried to "out" Coffeeandink anonymously on his blog, so he posted To the Pathetic Toad of a Person Trying to Use My Site to Settle a LiveJournal Score, and took a very reasonable position:
This is of course intimately related to a long and to my mind absolutely goddamn pointless discussion that’s been going on over at LJ for the last several weeks, which was supposed to be about something but in which that something has been primarily used as cover for a bunch of people to spend quite a lot of time being shouty to be shouty and being pissy to be pissy. Since it’s happened to involve people I know one way or another, some other folks have asked me why I hadn’t weighed in on it to this point. The reason I haven’t is for the same reason I don’t regularly stick my head into a bag filled with angry, feral cats. The fact that someone involved in that “discussion” got a nasty itch to use my site to settle a score basically confirms my opinion that any actual value that particular LJ crapfling might have ever had (which given its overall execution, wasn’t much) has long since evaporated. And what we have left is people thinking it’s a swell idea to drag their shit into my house.
He responded with The Internets Hate Scalzi!, which only made the failers angrier, then apologized himself off the shitlists by letting a few social justice warriors pimp Critical Race Theory on his site.




On March 12, Kate Nepveu decided to help bring people of color to WisCon.

On March 15, Jesurgislac added Dan Savage to the RaceFail Writers for 2009 Fail.

On March 19, in Reckless Eyeballing in the 21st Century, Stewardess compared RaceFail 09 to murdering Emmett Till. My first reaction was horrified astonishment. How can anyone diminish a brutal racist murder by comparing it to suggesting a reader should finish a book and "outing" a white Ivy Leaguer who had been "outing" herself for years?

And then I realized that was just cult logic at work.

So I began researching cults and mobbing.