Saturday, August 29, 2015

Fixing the internet: Donald Trump is nativist, not racist

Trump's most prominent black fans:

From a recent Facebook conversation:

  • Will Shetterly I hate defending the guy, but he has black supporters because his message isn't racist; it's nativist. Yes, it is ironic when people descended from immigrants become nativists, but privileged people tend to forget their past.
    • D** F******** Actually I think Trump is more of an egoist than a nativist. Read an interesting column where the author said Trump was running a perpetual attention machine - I think that's the most accurate description so far. He may be a nativist but the folks lining up to back him aren't necessarily - simple folks like the KKK etc. If his message is resonating with those folks then the wording on the hat still rings true. That's what THEY think he's saying.
    • Will Shetterly D** F******** Agreed on the egoism. As for nativism, it attracts all the worst people: racists, jingoists, bigots.... I'm not sure offhand how it would attract sexists, but there's probably a way. smile emoticon

      I just hate lightly calling anyone a racist when they have black supporters and haven't done or said anything racist that I know of.
  • Please, internet, do not make me explain this again: If you want to defeat something, you have to understand it. Imprecise insults make the choir roar with laughter, but they don't win new members for the church.

Friday, August 28, 2015

On Dylan Roof and Vester Lee Flanagan II

It's easy to find identitarians who wave away mental illness and blame belief systems when they speak of Dylann Roof, a white racist who murdered black people. Googling "dylann roof white privilege" brings up articles like these:

Calling Dylann Roof a 'terrorist' doesn't erase the privilege of his race | Yassir Morsi | Comment is free | The Guardian

Dear white allies after Charleston: Please understand this about your privilege -

Duke Students: White People Are Basically All Dylann Roof | The Daily Caller

By their logic, when Vester Lee Flanagan murdered white people after writing, 'You want a race war [redacted]? BRING IT THEN YOU WHITE …[redacted]!!!”, he showed that contemporary anti-racism is simply a form of racial hatred, no different than the beliefs of the Nation of Islam that inspired John Allen Muhammad, the Beltway Sniper.

Mind you, I'm on the side that says deeds, not words, matter, and all violent people need mental health care. If the beliefs of murderers damn the people who share the belief in some way, both Flanagan, a Jehovah's Witness, and Roof, a Lutheran, damned all Christians. The tragedy of Vester Lee Flanagan is that he undoubtedly encountered racists and homophobes in his life, but because he was mentally ill, he could not see that most and maybe all of his neighbors and co-workers were troubled by him because of who he was, not what he was.

Anyone who insists Dylan Roof is an example of white privilege should accept Vester Lee Flanagan as an example of identitarianism. He understood the world in terms of race and gender, and he based his killing on that understanding.

Because identitarians have such a black-and-white understanding of the world, I'll end with the standard disclaimer: No, this does not mean there are no racists. See The limits of anti-racism by Adolph Reed Jr.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Blogging about identitarians in fandom vs. blogging about them in general, and questions about trigger warnings and lesbian content

Q. What's the line between blogging about fandom's SJWs and blogging about identitarians in general?

A. Attention outside of fandom. When something begins in fandom and makes it to a general interest site like The Guardian, it's no longer just a fannish issue, and I'll happily discuss it. Hmm. Or unhappily discuss it.

I've accepted that partisans keep their own histories. So long as they keep them in their own community, I'm grateful for the opportunity to ignore them. But when they try to impose their mythology on the world, I'll do my little bit by writing about it.

Insert here any quote you like about speaking out.

For some insight to what I think is the real culture war of our time: Kenan Malik's FREE SPEECH IN AN AGE OF IDENTITY POLITICS. There are too many good bits to pluck one.

Malik's mention of trigger warnings reminds me of something I've been wondering since I saw Duke U freshmen object [to] graphic novel depicting lesbian relationships. Alison Bechdel's Fun Home is a great book, but believers in trigger warnings don't care about a work's quality. So, two questions:

1. Would trigger warning supporters support trigger warnings for lesbian content?

2. If a school puts a trigger warning on a book, does that mean students  like those Duke freshmen wouldn't have to read it if they said it would be too triggering?

vintage capitalism cartoon: Now He Understands the Game

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

An open letter to George R. R. Martin about the Hugos and fandom's SJWs

Dear George,

I generally share your sentiments at Hugo Aftermath - Not A Blog, but I envy your ability to write this:
There were no SJWs, then or now. There were only the Puppies... and the rest of us, who weren't Puppies, and did not like having their choices imposed on us.
Would that were so.

The first evidence that there are SJWs in fandom: Best Fan Writer went to Laura Mixon for writing about the worst of them.

The second: The SJWs are the ones who rejected your reasoning here:
I had picked Mike Resnick in Short Form and Toni Weisskopf in Long Form, and indeed, each of them finished above all the other nominees in the first round of voting... but well behind No Award. This was a crushing defeat for the slates, and a big victory for the Puppy-Free ballot of Deirdre Moen. Honestly? I hated this. In my judgment the voters threw the babies out with bathwater in these two categories. Long Form had three nominees who are more than worthy of a Hugo (and one, Jim Minz, who will be in a few more years), and Short Form had some good candidates too. They were on the slates, yes, but some of them were put on there without their knowledge and consent. A victory by Resnick, Sowards, Gilbert, or Weisskopf would have done credit to the rocket, regardless of how they got on the ballot. (All four of these editors would almost certainly have been nominated anyway, even if there had been no slates).
I agree the Puppies' slates were not in the spirit of the Hugos (though the Hugos have a long tradition of things not being done in their spirit), and I might've voted No Award in the fiction categories (I haven't read the stories, so I have no opinion about their worth), but whatever anyone may think of the reason people rallied behind them, none of the people you mention on the editor ballots are considered "unworthy" by anyone who loves our genre.

But Social Justice Warriors believe they're on a holy war, so there can be no compromise. The self-proclaimed lovers of diversity proudly kept a capable woman from taking home a Best Editor award.

There's a third way to spot the genre's SJWs: Google for the folks who say Game of Thrones is racist because the characters are mostly white, sexist because the societies are sexist, and creepy because rape is included among the horrible things humans do to each other. SJWs do not believe in context and struggle greatly with metaphors.

One other point: I don't know if you've read 2015 Hugo Stats: Initial Analysis, but this should be noted by anyone who thinks the Puppies were solidly defeated:
Goblin Emperor lost the Best Novel to Three-Body Problem by 200 votes. Since there seem to have been at least 500 Rabid Puppy voters who followed VD’s suggestion to vote Liu first, this means Liu won because of the Rabid Puppies.
Which means that thanks to Vox Day, the most important Hugo Award of 2015 is less diverse in gender, but more diverse in race and nationality.

My take on the fight between SJWs and Rabid Puppies is a plague o' both their houses. As for the Sad Puppies, I don't share their politics, but after seeing them abused by the SJWs—few things are lower than, with no evidence at all, calling a white man married to a black woman racist—I'm hoping the SPs will learn from this battle and return for another round.

Ah, well. I do envy your ability to think it's as simple as us versus the Puppies. But for anyone who'd like evidence that it's not, here are a few relevant posts:

Four essential points about the Hugos and the Sad Puppies

On Star Trek and the dark history of "Social Justice"—a post for David Gerrold

A beginner's guide to "Social Justice Warriors" in the F&SF community



ETA: On Twitter, Tim Hall said,
"There were no SJWs"? Who does he think the thousand people who voted No Award over Laura Mixon were?
But I don't think all of those voters were SJWs. I would've voted No Award in that case because Laura's piece treats Requires Hate as a deranged opportunist. Anyone interested in systems and justice should analyze the identitarian understanding of justice that was so easy for Requires Hate to exploit.