Sometimes when I tell people I’m into SF/F and that I primarily write in that genre I get this weird look and the statement “Black people don’t like Sci-Fi” or something similar despite the fact that I’ve just told them at least one black person loves it. Then of course I state how plenty of POC that I know love Sci-Fi. Now if I’m talking to someone who is a white SF/F I often get the “Then why don’t I see them at conventions?”
Well if you want my opinion on one big reason (not the only one by far) for both why POC don’t attend conventions and why we need POC space head over and read Tobia Buckell’s post: Asimovs Forum Ickiness on what’s going on in the Asimov’s forum in regards to Sanders and Helix. When POC see this kind of blatant white privilege and refusal to acknowledge our pain or anger over bigotry and racial slurs in the industry that doesn’t exactly make us feel welcome. And that the posts that decry us as “oversensitive” and “PC Nazis” are full of sexism and racism within themselves especially when they’ll only attack Tempest (a WOC) but ignore anyone else talking about the Helix issue.
It’s even worse that it’s in Asimov’s forum because Asimov is considered one of the “big three” in Sci-Fi magazines and one of the main commenters, Dave Truesdale, has his own online column at F&SF (another big mag) where he talks about how SF/F is “too gay” and other Limbaugh-esque intolerance. So – I’m a Person of Color who loves SF/F, and decide to head over to Asmiovs forum to talk to other fans and join the SF/F community and this is the kind of vitriol I see then I’m going to assume all SF/F fans are like this. So am I then likely to head to a convention full of these folks? Hell, no.
Just go read the post and I suggest you read all the comments to because they’re really enlightening.
Also related to the Helix debacle but not rage-inducing and actually really funny Shaun CG @ Nostaligia for Infinity has declared today Post A Rejection Letter Friday!:
Apropos of the ridiculous focus on whether or not posting rejection letters is common practice/professional/legal/cuddly/appropriate/blue rather than on the exposure of crude and offensive racist language, I’m officially declaring it Post A Rejection Letter Friday.
Mine aren’t that interesting because #1 I haven’t gotten that many because I haven’t submitted that many place, which will change this summer I have 5 or 6 stories I’m gonna submit in the next month and #2 all the rejections I’ve gotten have been short and kind of standard form letters. You know the whole “not right for us” thing. But I want to join in so here’s mine:
Thanks for your submission, and I’m very sorry for taking so long to
respond to it; we received over one hundred stories for this anthology,
and it took us longer than we had expected to give each the consideration
that it deserved. Unfortunately your story is not quite what we’re
looking for at
this time. I wish you the best of luck in placing this story elsewhere.