Monday, May 26, 2014

Was N. K. Jemisin the most ignorant f&sf fan ever?

Wiscon 38 Guest of Honor Speech | Epiphany 2.0: "I can’t tell you how many times I was told, with great vehemence and hostility, that there was no chance of me having a career in SFF — by other people of color. Yeine, the protagonist of THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS, was almost a white man because I listened to some of what these people were saying. (Imagine if I’d listened to all of it."

Were those people saying this because they'd never heard of Delany or Butler? Did Jemisin believe it because she hadn't heard of them? Or did she think she wasn't as good as Delany or Butler? I'd understand the latter, but that has nothing to do with race. And I'm surprised she or the people she mentions weren't aware of Charles Saunders, Walter Mosley, or Steven Barnes, who may have gotten less attention in the field than Delany and Butler, but who anyone with a casual awareness of the genre should've known.

ETA: I'm tempted to adopt "Mr. Civility", not because I've achieved it, but because I aspire to it.

ETA 2: Because identitarians are quick to see isms everywhere, Jemisin has been questioned about antisemitism in her speech. Her reply is here: A note on my Wiscon speech. What strikes me is that she and her commenters are functionally illiterate, because they've misread what Delany was saying: he's complementing the liberal Jewish tradition for acceptance, and saying that when the ethnic balance of writers changes, racism in the genre will probably reflect racism in society at large.