Friday, June 27, 2014

58 Cognitive Biases That Explain SJWs, and the rest of us, too

58 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up Everything We Do - Business Insider

Coffeeandink on how creating porn for pedophiles fights the patriarchy

Beginning in 2008, many social justice warriors moved from LiveJournal to Dreamwidth because LJ was deleting "drawings depicting minors in explicit sexual situations". As noted in LiveJournal users fight erotic 'Harry Potter' deletions - CNET, LJ's staff said they "clearly did not see serious artistic value in content that simply displayed graphic sexual acts involving minors".

Coffeeandink is quoted there:
"The policy makes LJ an unwelcoming environment for sexual expression and experimentation, which is a change; in the past, LJ has been a valuable environment for many groups who are expressing, experimenting with, or identifying as non-normative sexualities to speak free of constraints which are often backed by patriarchical [sic], racist, classist, or heterosexist behavioral norms," another user, who goes by the moniker "coffeeandink," wrote in a recent entry.
Exactly how eroticizing children fights the patriarchy, she apparently did not say. The article links to a post that she has made private since then.

The article links to LJers Erestor and Ana Rexell making good arguments for why LJ shouldn't have banned the drawings:

My most boring life - Meta: LJ - it's not about the kids - it's about us.

A Jihad Against "Innocence" - letter to lj feedback.

Since then, the US Supreme Court has clarified that art which "records no crime and creates no victim" is legal (see What is the law concerning fanfiction writing w/ nc- 17 rating). As a supporter of free speech, I think the Court made the right call. Studies suggest rape goes down in places where porn is legal, so pedophilia may decrease where writings and drawings about child sex are legal. When someone is able to be open about their preferences, it's easier for parents to decide whether their children would be safe in that person's company.

But it's ironic that warriors who mock "freeze peach" will cite it to defend child porn.

I noted this at Fanfic has a child porn problem, and more about Samuel R. Delany:
BradyAnime linked to this:

If Modern Anarchists Fought in Spain (Part 1) by RednBlackSalamander

If Modern Anarchists Fought in Spain (Part 1) by RednBlackSalamander on deviantART:

More at the site.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fanfic has a child porn problem, and more about Samuel R. Delany

it's all one thing: Fanfic has a child porn problem, and more about Samuel R. Delany

Today's realization about SJWs

After thinking about their fondness for Whorfianism (see link in previous post), I realized this: SJWs love word-policing and hate tone-policing.

In older times, that combination created people who were known as self-righteous busybodies. Today, the loudest subset of those people are social justice warriors.

The Surprising Truth About Women and Violence

The Surprising Truth About Women and Violence | TIME

Among the surprises (to me): "The February CDC study found that, over their lifetime, 44% of lesbians had been physically assaulted by a partner (more than two-thirds of them only by women), compared to 35% of straight women, 26% of gay men, and 29% of straight men." If I did the math correctly, that means 29% of lesbians have been physically assaulted by female partners, the same as the percentage of straight men who have been assaulted by women.

Because SJWs are Whorfians, this book may be a must-read for understanding them

A Dozen Words for Misunderstood: Language and Thoughts - Pacific Standard: The Science of Society: "...those with just enough knowledge to be dangerous ... think they flatter a linguist when they say how important linguistics is, “because what we think depends on the words we use to think it.”"

The writer mentions three of my favorite writers, George Orwell, John Crowley, and Anthony Burgess, and doesn't mention Delany's Babel-17, but then, it's not about science fiction inspired by Whorfianism.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Or perhaps this blog will not die until SJWs or I do

I am always amused, amazed, and appalled by the ability of social justice warriors to escalate a conflict. There will be more on this, either here or at my main blog, sometime soon.

Regarding the title of this post, I fear some form of SJWs will always be with us because they always have been. Jesus spoke of them when he spoke of the people who pray in public and who denounce specks in other people's eyes while they have planks in theirs. There may be something in us all that loves to hate and call it virtue.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Goodbye, monkeys! Goodbye, circus!

I'm done with this blog. Anything I may have to say about social justice warriors after this will be said at my main blog, it's all one thing. And if I say anything there, it will only be after I've recited this three times: Not my monkeys, not my circus.

I want to stress that I do not hate them. They simply don't understand that their tactics cannot make a better world and that focusing on what divides us will never unite us.

Go in peace, everyone.

I judge the Larry Correia versus John Scalzi slapfest

I'm trying to embrace the Polish proverb, "Not my circus, not my monkeys" because there's always a circus on the internet and the monkeys are terrifying, but as this post proves, I'm not there yet.

I like John Scalzi, I have nothing against Larry Correia, and my politics are neither Scalzi's liberal identitarianism nor Correia's conservatism, so I'm probably as close to an impartial judge as you're going to get on this. I acknowledge that on one aspect, only two positions are possible, so you could say reality has biased me, and if you do, I'm cool with that.

The tweets are storified at ‘Monster Hunter’ author Larry Correia targeted for departing from ‘rape culture’ orthodoxy | Twitchy. I'll ignore the commentary there and only focus on Scalzi and Correia.

It starts with Nia Sanchez, Miss Nevada and now Miss USA, saying, “But I think more awareness is very important so women can learn how to protect themselves. Myself, as a fourth-degree black belt, I learned from a young age that you need to be confident and be able to defend yourself. And I think that’s something that we should start to really implement for a lot of women.”

Note that she does not say being able to defend yourself is the whole of the solution. She says she thinks it's important. So do I. If I designed the public school system, everyone would have the opportunity to learn a martial art.

Correia responded to feminist criticism of Sanchez at The Naive Idiocy of Teaching Rapists Not To Rape.

Note that he does not say being able to defend yourself is the whole of the solution. In fact, he says, "Taking some responsibility and learning to defend yourself isn’t a guarantee of perfect safety, no more than wearing a seatbelt ensures you’ll survive a car accident, but both help your odds."

John Scalzi tweeted, "The Naive Idiocy of Writing a Headline That Makes You Look Like Rapist Excusing Asshole."

Scalzi hasn't taken a clear position on "rape culture" that I've found, but his tweet implies that he thinks rape is a cultural problem, or that rapists only rape because they weren't taught not to by their mothers, or something that justifies publicly attacking Correia.

But on rape theory, there are two choices: either we have a problem with our culture or with predators. (Yes, some rape culture theorists are tweaking their theory to fit new facts, just as Seventh Day Adventists tweaked their theory when the world didn't end on October 22, 1844, but Adventists are still Adventists and rape culture theorists are still rape culture theorists.) The work of David Lisak appears to have convinced the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network to say in RAINN Urges White House Task Force to Overhaul Colleges’ Treatment of Rape: "Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime."

The discussion between Scalzi and Correia had nowhere to go but down. At one point, Correia said, "Subtlety is for pussies" and Scalzi responded, "Oh, look, you called me a pussy. I wonder why you can't see obvious misogyny!"

Now, Correia said in his post that he's "a retired self-defense instructor who taught lots of women how to defend themselves from violent criminals" and where the "obvious misogyny" is in someone who does that, I still don't know, but let's set that aside. On the effect of language, we have another binary choice: either you believe word choices strongly shape people's views, or you believe they may have a slight effect—see Linguistic relativity. Scalzi's taking the first position, which makes as much sense as saying that someone who uses "classy" as a term of praise is incapable of seeing obvious war on the working class. Words gain new meanings and lose old ones. That's especially true of a word like "pussy" which, when I was a small boy, evoked "fraidy cat", not "girl cooties".

Ah, well. For not attacking first, Correia gets a point. For having RAINN on his side, he gets another. For teaching women how to defend themselves against men, he gets a third. And for not subscribing to strong Whorfianism, he gets a fourth.

Better luck next time, John.

ETA: Actually, Correia gets a fifth point. Scalzi's initial tweet included the passive-aggressive insult of "That Makes You Look Like Rapist Excusing Asshole", yet he then suggested Correia's smileys were passive-aggressive.

ETA 2: Correia uses a bad word, and it is the Worst Thing Ever: SJW Outrage of the Week | Monster Hunter Nation

How SJWs hurt their cause: That Guy T and trans folk

I saw this the other day thanks to Reddit:

At the time, the title was simply "My beef with the transgender community..." But he changed that to "My beef with the (SJW) transgender community..." as he explains at the beginning of this:

Clearly, he's still grappling with these issues, but he's grappling sincerely. The SJWs came close to making him think all trans folk were dogmatically abusive, but when more representative members of the community responded once the video went wide, he realized he had only been hearing the loud minority that wanted to speak for everyone.

Monday, June 16, 2014

What people highlight from How to make a Social Justice Warrior

This is cool. I hadn't realized Amazon shared what people highlighted in books. Just saw what got highlighted at Amazon Kindle: How to make a Social Justice Warrior.

One thing I quoted got highlighted without attribution, but I suspect anyone who looks it up will see it wasn't me.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

No, this should be my last post about Wiscon: Harassment by poetry

Start here, with a poem inspired by a spam subject line: Meet and Marry a Gorgeous Russian Queen: A Poem by F.J. Bergmann. The people on the internet who frame discourse would tell you what to think of it before you read it, but I won't.

After you read the poem, read rose_lemberg: harassers defending harassers, where you'll learn that Russians are an oppressed group in the US, and you'll get her interpretation of the poem. A surprising number of people who I'd thought were better readers have accepted Lemberg's version. They do not understand subtext or unreliable narrators.

Then read the author's explanation of the drama: fibitz: Good Intentions Pave, Widen, and Add a SpeedPass Lane to the Road to Hell.

And then follow links in the comments on the poem to see how other people are spinning this case of harassment by poetry.

In particular, I'm disappointed with The Strange Horizons Blog: Confidentiality statement added to guidelines. People who edit poetry should understand that poems which deserve the name of poetry are always about more than they seem to be.

a comment that's been "awaiting moderation" at Feministing for a day now

I'm beginning to suspect this comment at Our Dangerous Ideology: Insurgent Literature on Activism will not be let out of the moderator's queue, so here it is.
Thanks for the link! But I’m sorry you think I’m concern-trolling. It’s true that I agree with Malcolm X and St. Peter that you should respect everyone, but when I criticize identitarianism, I’m criticizing the theory as well as the tactics—and suspect that for many identitarians, the tactics are the point.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

What Noah Berlatsky doesn't know about feminism

I tried to leave this at A Short History of Male Feminism - Noah Berlatsky - The Atlantic:
Only identitarian feminists wonder whether a man can be a feminist. After all, a man, the socialist Charles Fourier, coined the term "feminism" in 1837. Now, it may be valid to ask whether a man can be a bourgeois feminist....

I've been a feminist since the 1960s. I'm not going to stop now just because some people want to retcon what it means to be a feminist.
I couldn't leave it there because I got this message: "We are unable to post your comment because you have been blocked by The Atlantic." Berlatsky says it wasn't him, so it was probably another of their identitarian writers.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Suey Park Decolonizes Eugene!

Related: Lessons on class privilege, anti-blackness, and celebrity activism from Suegene Park (with image, tweets) · JoslynStevens · Storify

If I were to compare Jacobinghazi to Racefail 09...

I would probably use two summaries, Jacobinghazi - Imgur and A spiral of confusion (with images, tweets) · nkallen · Storify, to note:

1. Sarah Kendzior is the mindguard who, like Coffeeandink and her community, casts everything in the worst possible light for her followers.

2. Matt Bruenig is the paladin who, like me, Medievalist, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, and others, charges into the fray to support friends and a beloved who did nothing to deserve the shit they're getting.

3. Kendzior, like C&I and Tempest Bradford, loves the "disagreeing with people of color on my side means you're racist" ploy. I'm beginning to wish conservatives and universalist socialists would simply do the same, because it's much easier than having to think: "Herman Cain and Michelle Malkin said so, you racist!" "Thandeka and Adolph Reed said so, you racist!"

But Jacobinghazi is so tangled and triggering in the internet sense of "I don't want to deal with this" that I pray this post is all I'll say about it.

Related: Heavens to Mergatroyd: Social Justice Warrior smear campaign: Sarah Kendzior, David Graeber and friends edition

The anti-intellectualism of identitarianism

This, from Cartoons for Conservatives: Amity Shlaes's Anti-New Deal Graphic Novel,  struck me:
In the modern conservative movement you have, by contrast, a denial of complexity and an abhorrence of nuance; you have what the historian Richard Hofstadter, half a century ago in his “Anti-Intellectualism in American Life,” called “the one-hundred per cent mentality”—a mindset that “tolerate[s] no ambiguities, no equivocations, no reservations, and no criticism.”
Anti-intellectualism is not confined to the right or left. It's simply a trait of people who think they know all they need to know about a subject, and if they want more, they'll get it from the sources that preach what they believe.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

John McWhorter on reparations

America Is Coming to Terms with Its Racial Past—Let’s Look Ahead Instead - The Daily Beast: "Despite frequent claims that America “doesn’t want to talk about race,” we talk about it 24/7 amidst ringing declamations against racism on all forms."

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A little about shunning

I recommend Shunning and Radioactivity by Brad R. Torgersen. What he says about Vox Day, I second. Shunning has two effects: Either the shunned pretend to conform to end the shunning, or they don't. If you actually hope to convince anyone, you don't shun; you engage. And if you don't hope to convince someone who isn't violent, why shun them?

Rodney King asked the right question: "Can we all get along?" The shunners have their answer. The rest of us have ours.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The people who decry doxxing are celebrating their doxxing of Fail Burton

I don't know if they've accurately doxxed Fail Burton, but a number of people who claim outing is wrong are gleefully participating in sharing who they think he is. I'm most amused and least surprised that Ann Somerville is one of the most prominent of them; she still has a post up claiming that I outed Coffeeandink, even though C&I was using her legal name in public posts on her LJ at the time. Sigh.

You'd think that if these people believed doxxing was wrong, they wouldn't dox. But Pyratejenni was right a year before Racefail 09 when fandom's warriors outed Zathlazip: "So it’s okay now to post people’s real names and similar information, as long as they do something that really, really pisses you off."

On White Privilege | Richard Beck

I'm sympathetic to Richard Beck's argument, but he makes a major error of fact in On White Privilege. You can't trace Derrick Bell to Marx. Bell said late in his life, “I think there must be value in Marxist and other writings, but I did not really read them in college and have had little time since.”

Though perhaps Beck only means that some of Critical Race Theory has been shaped by people who knew a little about Marx. I don't know enough to respond to Beck's "if I were a Marxist, I would accuse the Radical Race Theorists of misappropriating the Hegelian Dialectic." Ideologues appropriate, so there could be something in that notion for someone else to explore. But since Beck's not a Marxist, I wouldn't put too much weight on it.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

To whoever googled "vote for nk jemison for every"

I briefly had a post up here that was meant to be funny, but on re-reading, it didn't seem respectful, so I deleted it. I do respect Jemisin. She's hard-working and sincere. One of her first targets, William Sanders, said she did excellent work, and I trust his taste.* I simply disagree with her ideology, and I hate the way it's used to rationalize flamewars. Someday, she may say about Critical Race Theory something like what Malcolm X said about the Nation of Islam.

I revised the post and put it on my main blog instead: Is racism rising in fandom?

* There's more about Jemisin and Sanders at The Outing of Zathlazip and the Hounding of William Sanders.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Miscellaneous facts about the history of women in F&SF

A little data-mining from the comments at Science fiction's real-life war of the worlds:

Richcoad said,
Looking at the list of Hugo winners and nominees for best novel since 1970 shows
1970s: 4/10 winners by women
8/50 nominees by women
1980s: 2/10 winners by women
8/51 nominees by women
1990s: 5/10 winners by women
15/51 nominees by women
2000s: 3/10 winners by women
9/51 winners by women
2010s: 2/4 winners by women
12/26 nominees by women (includes 2014)
So women writers have won 36% of the Best Novel Hugos since 1970. Nominations don't look so good - not quite 23% but running at 27% since the turn of the century and 46% since the start of the decade.
If Julie Crisp's calculation at SEXISM IN GENRE PUBLISHING: A PUBLISHER'S PERSPECTIVE that 32% of submitted science fiction is from women applies to earlier decades, that suggests that in the '70s, '90s, and '10s, women won more awards than they statistically should've, in the '80s, they won fewer, and in the '00s, they were statistically perfect.

My guess is fewer women wrote f&sf in earlier decades, but I'd be happy to be wrong about that.

Fail Burton said,
"In 1975, in the introduction to 'The Best of C.L. Moore,' veteran SF author Lester del Rey wrote about an SF convention a couple of years earlier at which C.L. Moore had received a standing ovation. He wrote 'And everyone knew that Catherine Moore was one of the finest writers of all time in the field of science fiction.'" I have read almost everything by Moore and I agree.
"In his 1970 book 'Under the Moons of Mars,' famous SF critic Sam Moskowitz states that 'Francis Stevens was the most gifted woman writer of science fantasy between Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and C. L. Moore. She was greatly admired by A. Merritt.'" I have read everything by Stevens and I agree.
H.P. Lovecraft publicly defended the authorship of Frankenstein as being 100% Mary Shelley in that controversy.
"In a 1975 interview Brackett says she was welcomed into the field in the early '40s with open arms." I have read most of Brackett and I love her work.
Mary Gnaedinger was the chief editor of the much-loved American SFF pulp Famous Fantastic Mysteries for its entire run from 1939 to 1953. I used to own the entire run and Gnaedinger was really informed about the work and a great asset to the history of SFF.
Miss Jemisin makes the claim that non-white writers such as her and Samuel Delany had careers institutionally "strangled at birth." That is clearly untrue as I showed with Delany's awards. Awards are a plurality Miss Somerville, an institution, not an anomaly. It wasn't true in the '60s and it's not true now.
Jemisin's first novel was nominated for a Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award and she had a short story nominated for a Hugo and Nebula that same year. Her second novel was nominated for a Nebula Award. Her third novel was nominated for Nebula and World Fantasy Awards. How is that "strangled at birth?" 

Malcolm X did not hesitate to say black racists were racist

After he left the Nation of Islam, he said, "I totally reject Elijah Muhammad's racist philosophy, which he has labeled 'Islam' only to fool and misuse gullible people as he fooled and misused me. But I blame only myself, and no one else for the fool that I was, and the harm that my evangelical foolishness on his behalf has done to others."

There are more examples at Dear liberals, please stop appropriating Malcolm X.

A few ways I differ from scifi's conservative critics of identitarianism

1. I use "identitarianism" instead of "identity politics". (Hey, that made me grin.) I'm not sure there's a major difference in what we mean, but I suspect people who talk about "identity politics" are concerned with the pragmatic political aspects of appealing to identity, while those of us who speak of identitarianism are looking at the ideology underlying the politics. Or maybe it's just that leftist critics of identity politics—Adolph Reed Jr., Walter Benn Michaels, etc.—like having our own word.

2. I refer to Joseph McCarthy as well as Mao and Stalin to point out that in matters of freedom, it's not capitalism versus socialism but totalitarianism versus democracy.

3. I note that George Orwell, a socialist, wrote 1984 and Animal House to criticize totalitarianism, not socialism.

4. I think the internet's social justice warriors are Eloi, not Morlocks. They talk fiercely online, but what they want is deference, not equality, and their concern about respect is with getting it, not giving it. There's nothing working-class about any of the ones I know.

5. As for race and gender, Vox Day is the only conservative SF writer I've seen defend the sort of pseudo-science that's easily debunked. The others seem to be on the side that what matters is the person, not the social group. Larry Correia noted, "speaking of irony, when the announcements were made and I immediately started getting character assassinated for being a hater of women, homosexuals, sunshine, and goodness with zero evidence, the book of the week I was promoting on this blog was written by a non-white immigrant woman and had a gay hero, but hey, narrative". The idea that conservatives are all anti-black or anti-gay is a popular liberal talking point that's not very effective with people who can see the color of Condoleezza Rice's and Herman Cain's skin, or who remember that we would still have Don't Ask, Don't Tell if not for the Log Cabin Republicans.

That said, these responses to Damien Walter are worth a look:

The Evil League of Evil is Given Pious Advice | John C. Wright's Journal

Fisking the Guardian’s Village Idiot: Part 1 | Monster Hunter Nation

Fisking the Guardian’s Village Idiot, Part 2 | Monster Hunter Nation

Monday, June 2, 2014

Answering someone who said white people need to feel guilty

At Writer Says 12 Years a Slave Used Up the White Guilt Mandela Needed, Brenda Kwang said, "White people need to feel guilty. In fact, any group who oppresses others needs to feel more than guilt: they need to have their power—and the means, structures, and resources for their ancestors to be powerful—completely removed so that they and people like them can do no more harm in the world. European slavers, Nazis, the 1% billionaires—bigots and money hoarders are the cancers of this earth."

I replied, "I assume from your name that you're of Korean descent. Korea didn't abolish slavery until 1894. I hope you feel thirty years' more guilty than any American. You also have billionaires. Bigots and money hoarders know no hue or gender."

Relevant to every discussion of sexism in f&sf

SEXISM IN GENRE PUBLISHING: A PUBLISHER'S PERSPECTIVE « Tor Books UK: "The sad fact is, we can’t publish what we’re not submitted. Tor UK has an open submission policy – as a matter of curiosity we went through it recently to see what the ratio of male to female writers was and what areas they were writing in. The percentages supplied are from the five hundred submissions that we’ve been submitted since the end of January. It makes for some interesting reading. The facts are, out of 503 submissions – only 32% have been from female writers."

As I just noted at Science fiction's real-life war of the worlds | Books | "Some genres have different gender stats. I would never argue that the Romance field was sexist simply because more of its readers and writers are female."

ETA: There's a bit of discussion about this on Google+.

Damien Walter wants to be Neo

The man who gets upset at hints of "class envy" strikes again in Science fiction's real-life war of the worlds. I left this comment there:
Damien Walter's writing from an ideological viewpoint that owes more to Derrick Bell and Kimberle Crenshaw than Martin Luther King or Malcolm X, so his misinterpretations of racial politics within the field are understandable, but still sad. Regarding Delany's observation, he left out Delany's subsequent sentence: "At that point, where the competition might be perceived as having some economic heft, chances are we will have as much racism and prejudice here as in any other field." Delany was saying that there was less racism in the genre at the time, and when the field became racially proportionate, racism within it would reflect racism in the world at large.

Now, for the field to become racially proportionate, it would have to lose its class bias, because what we're seeing currently is not an influx of working class writers. We're seeing more of the bourgeoisie of color. Some of them are doing brilliant work, but I wouldn't characterize that as diversity. True diversity also calls for diversity of class, and most importantly given the current imbroglio, diversity of thought.

I'm a socialist, but the current battle between identitarians and conservatives just makes me sad. In the '60s, tensions were fierce, but Isaac Asimov still noted, "Poul [Anderson] knows that I am a “fuzzy-minded pinko” and I know that he is a “narrow-minded hardhat” (not that either of us would ever use such terms), but we love each other anyway, and our relations with each other in these last couple of years have not suffered at all."

Sunday, June 1, 2014

From a Facebook discussion with Nick Mamatas and others about respect, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X

I entered the discussion at Andy Duncan - Many friends, colleagues, and acquaintances in the... with:

  • Will Shetterly It's not civility vs diversity. Malcolm X said, "Respect everyone."

Robert J. Howe seems to have deleted his comment, but I answered it:

  • Will Shetterly Robert J. Howe, Malcolm X knew a great deal about discrimination. He still said, "Respect everyone." You might want to do some googling to learn a little more about him.

  • Will Shetterly Or since this started with a reference to King, here's what he said: "No matter how emotional your opponents are, you must be calm."

He responded again, and Liz Argall joined in. I said,

  • Will Shetterly Robert J. Howe, I was rather croggled that you didn't realize that when Malcolm X said "Respect everyone," he knew a great deal about the horrors of racism.

    Liz Argall, you might also wish to read about Malcolm X—not just the Autobiography that was shaped after his death by a man who did not share Malcolm X's opinion of capitalism, but some of his later speeches and interviews. He is a far more complex thinker than the people who rage on the internet in the belief that anger and insults will make a better world. As I said initially, the question is not civility versus diversity, and never has been.

  • Liz Argall Perhaps, W, you should try that respect thing yourself.

  • Will Shetterly Liz Argall, I aspire to it. If you care to quote anything I've said that's not respectful, please do, and I'll gladly apologize. As King and Brother Malcolm knew, being respectful does not mean you may not disagree.

She objected again, and I said,

  • Will Shetterly Liz Argall, I was surprised when Robert J Howe took umbrage, but I really had thought most people knew Malcolm X did not say "respect everyone" with no awareness of the difficulty of doing that. It was entirely my bad for assuming what was common knowledge in my day would still be common knowledge now.

    As for ignorance, there ain't no shame in it. I love the internet because it makes it possible for anyone who wishes to correct their ignorance to do so. But confirmation bias rules, alas.

  • Michael Canfield Why do calls for civility always put the onus on the progressives? When V.D. calls another writer a half-savage, why does the right not call for civility then, rather than post apologetic excuses ("oh, he only meant *her* not her entire race") as if that, which, as his full text shows, is a lie anyway, is somehow any more civil. Pournelle is not civil, he is dismissive and condescending. Resnick and Malzberg are not civil when they cast critique against them as censorship and pc fascism. They are not showing the respect for another point of view that would demonstrate basic civility. (I do miss their columns, though). Or there is the concern troll's old standby: "there's enough blame to go around on both side, guys". Sure, all right, but it's nothing more than a distraction by those who don't want to fight the fight they can't win, because no one really has a persuasive argument in 2014 in favor of racism and misogyny.

  • Will Shetterly People are free to engage in a race to the bottom. But if that's the tactic you think best, you shouldn't quote King.

    And if your argument is that it's okay to respond uncivilly to uncivil behavior, my understanding is Jemisin began the name-calling with V.D. I blogged about that at the time:

  • Liz Argall "Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Michael Canfield If this is directed at me, Will Shetterly, I did not quote King, or anyone. I'm giving my opinion. My point (which I think I clearly stated, but oh well,) is not an "argument" that it's "okay to respond uncivilly to uncivil behavior", rather I was questioning why it's only the progressives that are accused of uncivil behavior, and these calls are made instead of arguments against the substantive criticisms put forth by Jemisin and others. I can only conclude that the civility arguments are made by people who do not want to talk about race or gender. As an example, look at another schism in the SF community: the debate between self-published (so called "indie") writers vs. "legacy" (or traditionally) published writers. There is a lot a incivility in that debate, namecalling and ridicule on each side. But what does NOT follow from that is relentless calls for civility for the purposes of derailment. Look, it's obvious that many writers are introverts, and poorly socialized, and rude jerks. Anybody who has been to a couple cons can see that. But while we are all waiting for the everyone else to become saints can we stick to the subject?
  • Nick Mamatas Some context.

    Nick Mamatas's photo.

  • Brian Zottoli In the Autobiography, there is a passage in which "Malcolm" also predicts his imminent assassination that made an impression on me as a teenager. Remember this not Malcolm X but Alex Haley writing in his voice from interview notes after his death:

    re the really sincere white people have got to do their "proving" of themselves is not among the black victims, but out on the battle their own home communities... generally whites' very presence subtly renders the black organization automatically less effective... [But]... We will completely respect our white co-workers. We will meanwhile be working among our own kind, in our own black communities -- showing and teaching black men in ways that only other black men can -- that the black man has got to help himself... Only such real, meaningful actions as those which are sincerely motivated from a deep sense of humanism and moral responsibility can get at the basic causes that produce the racial explosions in America today...The goal has always been the same, with the approaches to it as different as mine and Dr. Martin Luther King's non-violent marching, that dramatizes the brutality and the evil of the white man against defenseless blacks.

  • Will Shetterly Liz Argall, you seem to be under the impression that being respectful does not allow for treating people with respect. Were you around during the civil rights era? I took a very small part in that struggle, and I remember people constantly advising each other to be polite and not to sink to the level of the racists who opposed us. Thoreau, Gandhi, King, and Malcolm X all knew that respect helped their struggle and did not hinder it.

    Michael Canfield, this thread follows a post about King, and it's about dealing with racism, so I think King's approach to dealing with racism is relevant. If you want me to agree that respecting everyone is not everyone's approach, fine; I agree.

    Nick Mamatas, the context does not change the advice: "respect everyone" means "respect everyone". Has anyone laid a hand on anyone in any of the skiffy squabbles?

    "Message to the Grass Roots" was effectively the culmination of Malcolm's thinking as a member of the NOI. He later repudiated much of what he had said and done then, but so far as I know, he never rejected "respect everyone."

    Here's what he said shortly before his death:

    Brian Zottoli, yes. My family was one of a multitude that went out on the battle lines. We could not get fire insurance because word was out that the Klan would burn us down. We may not have been typical, but we were hardly unique—I find it sadly ironic that fandom's anti-racists mock Harlan Ellison, who was among those who risked his life to march with King. Perhaps my greatest frustration with the heirs of Derrick Bell is, like him, they write furiously and bitterly and offer no practical solutions.

    www.malcolm-x.org7 hrs · Like · Remove Preview
  • Will Shetterly Just heard that Jay Lake died. Here's something he said that pertains to this subject: “Any cause that requires mockery and abuse to advance itself isn’t one I need to engage with, regardless of my basic beliefs or agreement with the underlying goals.” I will always be sorry I didn't get a chance to know him offline.

  • Nick Mamatas X is describing the tenets of Islam. As can be seen on p. 13, he calls the white man in America a wolf. There can even be said to be some level of respect there—the respect someone gives a bully. But it's rather different than "civility" (by which people actually just mean collegiality), which was the point instantly grasped by every human being who read my screecap save WS.

  • Will Shetterly Nick Mamatas, I'm surprised that you don't know this: in that speech, he's describing the tenets of the Nation of Islam, a black nationalist group that was not affiliated with mainstream Islam. He said that before he left NOI. And regarding the part about treating people with respect, if you believe he did not mean it, please quote an example of him treating people disrespectfully or advising people to defer to racists rather than stand up to them.

    You might want to do a little googling about NOI. After he left NOI, he described the problem of power in the world very differently. A quote of his that anti-racists never share: "I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice, and equality for everyone, and those who want to continue the system of exploitation. I believe there will be that kind of clash, but I don't think that it will be based on the color of the skin." —Malcolm X / El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz

  • Will Shetterly Nick, I'm especially sorry to haul out a thesaurus with another writer, but civility and respect are so closely linked they're offered as alternatives in some. Dunno how common that is, but this was the first hit:
    Synonyms for civility at with free online thesaurus, antonyms, and definitions. Dictionary and Word of the Day.

  • Will Shetterly Nick, do you still consider yourself a socialist? If so, here's another quote of Malcolm's you might like: "It’s impossible for a white person to believe in capitalism and not believe in racism. You can’t have capitalism without racism. And if you find one and you happen to get that person into conversation and they have a philosophy that makes you sure they don’t have this racism in their outlook, usually they’re socialists or their political philosophy is socialism.”

  • Nick Mamatas Will, I am not in the habit of telling minority sects that they really aren't a part of their broader religion. (I do remember, of course, that you are.) 

    I can only presume you dove for the thesaurus rather than the dictionary because the actual dict
    ionary definitions of the word civility and respect don't actually jibe the way you insist that they do. One is perfectly capable of being respectful without being civil, as X is toward "the white man in America" in the speech you quoted out of in context, and one is perfectly capable of being civil without having any respect for the person one is civil to. For example, I am treating you civilly right now.

    It's trivially easy to find examples of X being disrespectful, since he had a lot of opinions, many of which changed over the years. Here's a standard example: "Women talk too much, and to tell a woman not to talk too much, would be like telling Jesse James not to carry a gun, or telling a hen not to cackle."

    If you want to have a conversation about Malcolm X, I'd suggest that you find someone else, because I know enough about him and have read enough of his stuff to not be impressed with your technique of Googling "Malcolm X quote" and hoping that waving a famous black man at Andy's white audience will humble them.

  • Will Shetterly
     Nick, you may think NOI and Islam are the same, but Malcolm did not, and I'm in the habit of trusting him on his beliefs. Can you cite any greater Islamic organizations that included NOI at the time he was with them?

    I completely agree that "respect e
    veryone" is about words and deeds, not thoughts.

    I don't know whether it's easy to find X being disrespectful before '63, when he began to separate from NOI, but I would characterize that particular example as a generalization that's neither respectful nor disrespectful. X's take on women improved. Here's a quote I like: "It's noticeable that in these type of societies where they put the woman in a closet and discourage her from getting a sufficient education and don't give her the incentive by allowing her maximum participation in whatever area of the society where she's qualified, they kill her incentive. And killing her incentive, she kills the incentive in her children. And the man himself has no competition so he doesn't develop to his fullest potential."

    As for whether you know enough about Malcolm X, that's entirely your call, of course.

  • Nick Mamatas The quote you cited is what X describes as the content of the Koran. He is not making a specific claim about NOI. As far as his comment about women—try it out on your wife and report back to us. Act like you thought it up and agree with it.

  • Liz Argall WS, the manner in which you reference and misrepresent great social activists feels deeply disrespectful and abusive of those people. You also show strong indications that you have not read the full text of Letter to Birmingham which formed a base of this post by that Andy made. Here is another excerpt from the text that may provide a smaller chunk to reference and digest easily.
    "First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"
    When you speak with pride about having involvement with civil rights movements as a moderate, given your actions, there seems to be a certain relationship between you and people who Martin Luther King, Jnr references as some of the most harmful people to the cause. 

    I too have been involved with civil rights movements, however I demand no cookies, it is a duty, part of the fabric of who I am, an ongoing process I am humble to that requires constant learning. Perhaps it is telling that some people reference how they _were_ part of causes as they try to silence or tone down current movements and return the conversation to boring same old discussions of 'civility', when there is so much more work to do and this should be the least part of the conversation. Others continue to be part of causes and do not see it as a static point. People currently doing the work of positive social change seem less inclined to claim station through some historic involvement of unknown value.

  • Will Shetterly Nick, to be more precise, at the time, X was a member of NOI and was reading the Koran. It's analogous, I think, to being a Mormon and reading the Bible. His statements there about the white man were consistent with being in NOI. They changed later. Really, this is Malcolm 101; you can even find it in the Autobiography that Alex Haley edited.I'm not following you on the quote about women. Education and incentive matter. Or if you're thinking of the quote you offered, that was from '63. I prefer both Malcolm and King in the years after that.
  • Will Shetterly Liz Argall, I've never been a moderate. If I had been a moderate in the '60s, I would not have been beaten for being a niggerlover. But since you claim to be doing "the work of positive social change today", do you have any specific solutions? I go with two: the apolitical solution of Basic Income, which has been supported by conservatives, liberals, and socialists, and socialism, which would help everyone, regardless of race or gender.

  • Nick Mamatas If you wish to isolate "respect everybody" from all context, it is only appropriate to allow others to isolate "the white man in America...He's wolf" from all context too. It is inappropriate to do otherwise. You tortured X's claim by leaving out the cemetery bit—incidentally, in X's conception a number of people who are subject to the various controversies in the field should be in the ground now. Harlan Ellison and Rene Walling both come immediately to mind.

  • Will Shetterly Nick, I usually don't leave out the cemetery bit, and I thought I referenced it in this thread. Really, if no one's laid a hand on you, treat everyone with respect.

  • Nick Mamatas So you'll be heading up the legal defense fund when the next touchy-feely harasser gets a bullet in him, yes?

  • Will Shetterly Nick, if someone hits a guy who's touching people who don't want to be touched, I'll probably applaud.

  • Nick Mamatas "cemetery"

  • Liz Argall WS, your actions of the past may be laudable. Your actions of the present seem to fit squarely within the definitions of someone who silences social change.

  • Will Shetterly Liz, you really believe socialists wants to silence social change? David Harvey's written about how identity politics can serve neoliberalism, but I hadn't realized they were that effective.

  • Liz Argall Additionally, I see no respect in the way you reference people, be it radically removing Malcolm X from his context (and when caught saying 'well I like the later Malcolm X better) or while others grieve for Jay Lake you use him for a pull quote.

  • Will Shetterly Nick, at the time when Malcolm was writing, "lay a hand on" was assumed to be "lay a violent hand on". I don't remember anything he said about how women should deal with guys being creepy, so if you've got a quote handy, I'd be grateful.

  • Liz Argall Is socialist the label you use to identify yourself with, WS? I am surprised. My experience of most committed socialists is that they have better things to do with their time than asking people to be quieter.

  • Will Shetterly Liz, I begin to suspect you know nothing about Malcolm, because his life changed radically in '63. And I haven't asked anyone to be quieter. Gandhi, Thoreau, King, Malcolm, and a great many more know that there's no connection between respecting others and being silent.

  • Will Shetterly If you'd like to know how Malcolm's thoughts evolved, my favorite short example is the Pierre Berton interview:
  • Will Shetterly Nick, I just glanced at the Berton interview, which is post-NOI, and noticed X saying this: "the Muslim world rejected the Black Muslim movement as a bona fide Islamic group."

  • Nick Mamatas No, "lay a hand on" means making even the minimal intrusion into contact—the quote gains its power from the juxtaposition of the mild "lay a hand on" leading to the cemetery. X isn't saying "If someone tries to put you in the cemetery, you put him in the cemetery first."

    Nor did I say anything about the larger Muslim world's thoughts about NOI. Given that Islam is fairly decentralized as far as billion-adherent religions go, any such comment would be useless anyway.

    All this demonstrates is that in the 1980s, even the semiliterate could publish novels.

And soon after that, Andy said we'd gone far from the subject, which is certainly true.

I am oddly sorry that I didn't get to address Nick's notion about "Lay a hand on". Google has more pages addressing it than I expected, and, well, the internet has my back. But Nick just likes to troll me, so it's all good.