Mar 122009

So in the wake of RaceFail 2009, John Scalzi rethinks his reflexive “no way am I putting my hand in THAT blender” position, and invites Mary Anne Mohanraj to write a guest blog post. Which she does in a thoughtful, kind, non-blaming, We Can Work It Out sort of way full of linky goodness.

And damn if the thread doesn’t immediately get clunked on by people who amaze you only by their ability to type with fingers jammed firmly in their ears, going OMFG U CALLED ME AN OPPRESSOR!! and “Racism? That’s so twentieth century, darling” and “But shouldn’t we wait for people of color to come to us before we acknowledge they have a role in SF?”

Oh Internets, just once, I would love you to surprise me.

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  2 Responses to “It would be irony if it weren’t so full of fail”

  1. mythago on 13 Mar 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Cairsten @160 – I think you may have taken my post as a defense; it wasn’t meant to be anything other than a question. I’m perfectly willing to accept “yes, someone has” and leave it at that. I’m kind of surprised that in the bloodbath that is the legal job market right now, somebody would persist in such an obvious level of doing things that, hypothetically, would pop up first on a Google search.

    MCM @169 – just make it fake China. Fantasy writers have been doing all sorts of things with fake Europe for ages that give historians stomach cramps, so I don’t see why you can’t do the equivalent of dropping 14th-century German polearms into the hands of a 10th-century Silican peasant. ;)

    Hey mythago –

    I saw this over on Scalzi’s blog, but the comment thread was already closed. I just…it didn’t sit right with me. This was your answer to a white writer who was already having issues with writing his Chinese characters, and you blithely offered up the option of his writing a fantasy China? My feeling on it was immediately that I wanted to challenge your easy suggestion of a fake China. The hundred thousand fake Europes don’t negatively affect people’s perceptions of European Americans, but the several tone-deaf and often outright racist fake Chinas certainly have had actual consequences for Chinese Americans and all East Asian Americans. I believe Bramah’s Kai Lung novels, which helped propagate the awful stilted Chinglish that’s since been used as a means of othering Asians is a fine example.

    Which is not to say MCM shouldn’t try! I think he should! But I just didn’t like how easily you put it out there for him to try and fail AT, without the feel that there weren’t consequences for others that were different than that of another fake Europe.

    And it’s not that I don’t think you’re an awesome antiracist, or that I didn’t love your other comments, because I did. It’s just this one I felt called to say something about.

  2. Katie, I totally understand your response – to be clear, and my reply wasn’t necessarily, I was being a bit flip because he seemed to have worked himself into a knot. It was meant to be a swipe at Bad Fake Europe novels, but I can see why it might not appear that way.

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