Racefail and Coffeeandink

1. The only amusing thing about the Racefail '09 flamewar is that if you use dictionary definitions, no racists were involved. In Monty Python terms, it was the People's Front of Judea versus the Judean People's Front.



For more: Racefail 09

2. During Racefail 09, Coffeeandink made a post taking things I had written out of context to claim I believe something I do not—it was a classic straw man example. I've never said racism no longer exists or matters. During the Civil Rights struggle, I bled from the blows of racists. Racism will matter until the last racist is dead.

My belief is that class matters more than race if you're trying to understand injustice in the modern USA. I agree with historian Eric Williams that “Slavery was not born of racism: rather, racism was the consequence of slavery,” and with Malcolm X that “You can't have capitalism without racism.”

The other side in Racefail 09 hated talking about class so much that it's a square on their racist bingo card. Coffeeandink's comment that she sees class as "a significant axis of oppression separate from but interacting with race and gender" sums up their view: by disconnecting class from race, they can discuss privilege in a race-reductionist way that ignores the basic privilege in any capitalist society, the privilege of class.

For more: Diversity In Fantasy And Science Fiction

3. For years, Coffeeandink used her full legal name in public, google-searchable posts on her LiveJournal and her user name was her extremely uncommon first name. 
She linked her legal name with her LJ on other sites, too—for example, on the first International Pixel-Stained Techno-Peasant Day, she shared on her LJ a story published under her legal name. She was so casual about linking her name and her LJ that from 2007 to 2009, K. Tempest Bradford hot-linked Coffeeandink's legal name and her LJ on two pages at Fantasy Magazine. 

But during Racefail 09, Coffeeandink declared she was pseudonymous and the people who named her were "outing" her. In the weeks after that, she changed her user handle and the public posts where she had used her name. Neither she nor her friends have ever answered this question: If she truly believed she had been pseudonymous, why did she change her public record?

Ironically, the year before Racefail, Coffeeandink participated in the outing of Zathlazip, a woman who actually made an effort to be pseudonymous.

ETA: There's more about Coffeeandink's desire for retroactive pseudonymity in Fanfic has a child porn problem, and more about Samuel R. Delany.