Science Fiction, LiveJournal, and "Magical Negros"
January 19, 2009 3:53 PM Subscribe
posted by happyroach (82 comments total)
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A tempest in a Livejournal: It starts with author Elizabeth Bear's post Writing for The Other
. Or maybe it started with Jay Lake's Thinking about the Other
. It leads to a wide ranging, intense and angry debate on the portrayal of ethnicity in fiction, culture and the media. Avalon's Willow responds with an open letter
on the racial content in one of her books, and relates it to media portrayals of ethnic peoples. Deepa D follows up with a post on, cultural appropriation
. And then things get intense.
Elizabeth Bear apologizes, and says her intent wasn't racist
, while shewhohashope tackles criticisms on cultural appropriation
. Things could end quietly, but in defending Bear, truepenny posts about how intent and perception
. This ticks people off for some reason
. Finally, as it ends with no reconcilliation
, some people
try to put it all in context.
So with the debate ended, we see that one side is angry and confrontational, the other is apologetic and trying to draw a lesson out of it. The question is, when it's all over, what good has come from this? Is this people calling out white privilege? Is it a case of perpetual victimhood? Should Elizabeth Bear get her works approved by Avalon's Willow and Deepa D from now on? Or is it just yet another LJ controversy?