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Progressive fantasy and science fiction fandom – particularly on LiveJournal – has had a tumultuous few weeks in what is apparently the annual race mess-up. I found out about it quite late and I get the impression that the discussion has largely quietened down now. I should point out that I don’t follow FSF fandom all that closely, although almost immediately prior to becoming a part of the feminist blogosphere I did lurk around the FSF part of town for a couple of months.

Anyway, I’m not going to try and explain it to you. I’ll leave that to the thoughtful, articulate and vibrant authors of the posts below. I’ve included just a few of the ones I’ve found good reads or that succinctly explain the situation or have personal takes. Even if you’re not that interested in fandom, writing, science fiction and fantasy, there’s a heap in there for you on disengagement, cultural knowledge, politeness and so much more. If you’re not that interested in race and/or cultural appropriation, I urge you to learn more here or elsewhere (try my blogroll or the library) because it’s important for everyone on the planet.

  • One of my favourite responses – and many other people’s, too, judging by the amount of linkage I’ve seen – is DeepaD’s I Didn’t Dream of Dragons. I’ve read it a number of times and will probably come back to it.
  • She also wrote White people, its not all about you, but for this post it is, which is full of information for white people trying to better their racial attitudes, knowledge and actions.
  • rydra_wong wrote an amazingly comprehensive list of links on the large discussion (and I mean amazing, just go look at it.)
  • … which grew too extensive to fit into her wider list called The Great Race Discussion Linkspam. rydra_wong’s feat is of quite some proportions.
  • Related is Common and Hidden Knowledge by coffeeandink. It’s an interesting linkpost incorporating collections of common cultural knowledge from a variety of groups.
  • At The Angry Black Women, Naamen writes The Privilege of Politeness. It’s good.
  • Back to DeepaD, writing Reappropriating my man, which incorporates a much-needed critique of “colour blindness”. Which term is an offensive appropriation itself, I must add.
  • At Aqueduct Press, Cat Rambo brings in a number of ideas, including the need to seperate the debate into its components of race and cultural appropriation. Speaking of which, I actually bought a book published by Aqueduct Press called Writing the Other a few months ago. It’s by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward and from the little I’ve read of it as yet it looks like a great guide.
  • Finally, yeloson Disengagement 101. It’s on ‘how we can engage in being proactive with dealing with anti-oppression work online, and at the same time, do what we need to in order to protect ourselves’ and it’s got to be one of my favourites out of the posts I’ve read about engagement as it relates to social justice.

Until next time, I guess. I hope we’re inching towards something better.

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