This is in response to How to tell when MRK is angry, which is in response to a discussion in the comments at Please stop with the death threats and the hate mail. To simplify following what was said, I'll quote our interchange:
It began when Walt Boyes left a comment that included:
Bringing this back around to the HUGOs, for a minute…Brad’s proposed slate included socialists, conservatives, centrists, libertarians, anarchists, Christians, atheists, reformed atheists turned Christian, likely Pagans, Hispanics, Native Americans, immigrants, women, men, the disabled, straights, gays and bis. He is married to an African-American woman, and they have a mixed-race daughter. Are you saying that he still could be sexist, misogynistic and racist? That doesn’t make sense. Yet that is what many people who claim to be of the left are saying.Mary's response included:
But yes, it is possible to be in a mixed marriage and still be racist. (Please do not take this statement to mean that I think Brad is proudly racist, which is an opinion that people seem really determined to put into my mouth.) It is possible in the same way that it is possible for a man to be married to a woman and be misogynist. It is even possible for a man to truly love his wife, and still carry the baggage of a misogynist culture around with him causing him to hold women as weaker, inferior creatures. Loving an individual is not the same as thinking that the class/category is your equal.Which led to the following exchange:
Probably because of her ideology, Mary fails to grasp or does not care that these are real people:
This is a man who has been called a racist, with his wife and his daughter. His "racism" is part of the debate of the Hugos because people like Mary and her friends feel obliged to insist that racists may marry people of other races and have insisted that the Sad Puppies are racist. Now, it's true that in rare cases, racists marry people they consider inferiors. Humans are astonishingly inconsistent. But why point that out in this case? What drives the desire to insist that Brad Torgersen may be racist when there is nothing to suggest that? We can go through life assuming the worst about everyone, but what does it say about our beliefs if we do?
Mary's clarification about her belief about Brad is fascinating; she said, "Please do not take this statement to mean that I think Brad is proudly racist, which is an opinion that people seem really determined to put into my mouth." Her "proudly" suggests she thinks he is casually or obliviously racist, which fits the "all white people are racist" assumptions of Critical Race Theorists.
Project Implicit found that a large minority of white people, including me, have an implicit preference for black folks. A smaller percentage have no detectable preference. Which group Torgersen falls in, I do not know. But anyone who knows the meaning and history of miscegenation should hesitate before suggesting the white member of a happily married couple is racist, "proudly" or not.
A few data points for Mary and her friends:
2. According to Wikipedia, "Black wife/White husband marriages are 44% less likely to end in divorce than White wife/White husband couples over the same period."
Damn Brad for being a conservative if you must. But do not doubt that his marriage is a marriage of equals.
ETA: Mary's line about "misogynists marry women all the time" comes from a tweet by her friend, K. Tempest Bradford.
ETA 2: This post may be part of a series: For John C. Wright and other homophobes who want people to believe they are Christians
ETA 3: Regarding Tempest and Mary's comparison of racist marriages to misogynist ones, there's an easy test: Are both partners equals? If you have no reason to think otherwise, why suggest that a relationship is built on racism or misogyny? The only answer I can think of is that you believe all or most heterosexual relationships and mixed-race relationships are controlled by the man or the white person—an assumption which belittles the woman or the person of color in the relationship. If that assumption had anything to support it, marriages between white men and black women would be very weak, and yet, they're statistically the strongest, which suggests that those men and women have a partnership that no one should question.
ETA 4: I'm very frustrated that I can't make people who believe they're on the left understand the implications of casting doubt on a mixed-race marriage. But let me try with a hypothetical situation:
A Log Cabin Republican is accused of being homophobic. In response, he posts a beautiful picture of his gay spouse and their child. I would expect good people to say, "What a lovely family! I'm sorry I assumed you were homophobic. I clearly misunderstand the basis of your politics." I would not expect good people to say, "Well, you know you can be homophobic and gay, don't you?" Yes, it is true that people can be homophobic and gay. But saying that without any evidence of homophobia? That's just hurtful. Multiracial families, like gay families and all families, should be celebrated, not doubted, regardless of their politics.
ETA 5: A point I just made in the comments: In my youth, I marched and bled for the sake of integration and interracial marriage. I did not do that so identitarian liberals could quibble about the nature of a conservative's multiracial marriage.
ETA 6: Why Brad R. Torgersen should forgive Mary Robinette Kowal, and a few facts about racism in the USA
ETA 7 (posted at the top as well as the bottom because it's the most important ETA): An Apology to Mary Robinette Kowal