chomiji: Sanzo from Saiyuki, firing his gun.  Caption: Losing faith in humanity, one idiot at a time (Sanzo - humanity)

You might find that today* is a good day to donate to the Carl Brandon Society or Con or Bust or the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund. See John Scalzi's blog for a round up about the matching that's going on, and Jim C. Hines' blog ([livejournal.com profile] jimhines) for related news.

*Yes, today is nearly over. Sorry, it's been a long one. :-(

chomiji: An image of a classic spiral galaxy (galaxy)

Back several months ago, I won a Dreamwidth column by oyceter on the con-or-bust auction. She has just posted it, and it is fascinating and beautifully written.

Points of difference: 1988-2010

chomiji: A cartoon image of chomiji, who is holding a coffee mug and a book and wearing kitty-cat ears (Cho-vatar w/ kaede mon)

After trying and failing three times to post this in debunking_white (I understand that it was going to be screened, but I couldn't get it to post at all - it kept trying to make me log in to LJ when I was already logged in), I figured I'd just post it here.

In comments on one post, someone from the U.K. had asked about the current status of the KKK. The Southern Poverty Law Center is an anti-hate group that (among other things) tracks the activities of groups like the Klan and makes the information public. Their page on the KKK is here. The KKK is still, sadly, quite active.

The SPLC has lots of info on this subject. See, for example, the Hate Groups Map.

chomiji: An artists' palette with paints of many human skin colors. Caption: Create a world without racism (IBARW - palette)

Pattern recognition: A dialogue on racism in fan communities

The article is from Transformative Works and Cultures, Vol 3 (2009). You will likely recognize some of the dialog participants.

(A tip of the hat to facetofcathy on the racism_101 LJ comm for posting about this.)

chomiji: A cartoon image of chomiji, who is holding a coffee mug and a book and wearing kitty-cat ears (Yuki-promises)

Photos by Kyle Cassidy

On one level, lots of geeky people having a great time. I wish I had been able to go. On another level, although I needed more than one hand to count the number of geeky people of color whose portraits were captured, I did not need two.

(The fact that the number of fans of color is actually quite large has already been established, so yes, other mechanisms are at work here.)

chomiji: A cartoon image of chomiji, who is holding a coffee mug and a book and wearing kitty-cat ears (yoruichi-catty)

Well, artillie was right to be suspicious of the publisher's response in the case of the cover of Justine Larbalestier's book Liar. As unusualmusic has pointed out on Alas! A Blog and Angry Black Woman - yes, there is now going to be a young African American woman on the cover, but in point of fact, she still doesn't look like the protagonist of the story, and the cover is still problematic.

chomiji: An artists' palette with paints of many human skin colors. Caption: Create a world without racism (IBARW - palette)

This just in from the LJ racism_101 community:

A New Look for 'Liar'
"Proof of the power of the web: Bloomsbury Children’s Books has told Publishers Weekly exclusively that it will change the controversial cover of Justine Larbalestier’s Liar ... 'We regret that our original creative direction for Liar—which was intended to symbolically reflect the narrator’s complex psychological makeup—has been interpreted by some as a calculated decision to mask the character’s ethnicity,' Bloomsbury officials said ... "
- Publisher's Weekly

OK, cynics - how'd you like them apples? Yes, protesting can help!

chomiji: Two candy hearts.  One says Geek plus Geek ... . The other says It works for us! (Geeks in love)

Katamari Damacy Wedding

I wish we'd thought of and insisted on something like this! Take a look - it's the cutest (and happiest) thing evar.

(Tip of the hat to yeloson on gamers_of_color.)

chomiji: An artists' palette with paints of many human skin colors. Caption: Create a world without racism (IBARW - palette)

To me, one of the strangest things about the reactions of some of the SF&F fans to Racefail (one summary) and Mammothfail (one summary) is their complete lack of willingness to try to put themselves in the shoes of the fans of color who have been hurt and angered by these incidents.

Think about it: we're talking fans of a genre that considers it a pleasure to read or watch works that put the reader into the minds of fantastic or alien creatures. Whether you're talking about Vulcans, Kzinti, and Atevi, or or elves, dwarves, and youkai, science fiction and fantasy readers like to get inside different types of minds.

Or at least, they say they do. But if that is the case, why do some of them find it so hard to get inside the heads of members of their own species who happen to have a different life-experience? If you're going to get involved and excited about the troubles and tribulations of fictional beings, the least you could do would be to make the same effort with your fellow human beings in this world we share - and not greet each exclamation of pain and dismay with "I don't see why that's a problem" or "It's just a story - stop whining."

Here are some stories to get you started. Some of them may be familiar, but perhaps others of them may be new to you:

  • Stories of Native American children and parents, and their encounters with the usual U.S. school curriculum and "classic" U.S. children's books, among other things
  • Many, many stories by people of color the world over are reviewed and tagged for you at 50books_poc, so that if SF is your passion, you can find that, and so on.
  • The Remyth Project, in which people of color take back the myths that other groups have appropriated and use them creatively.
  • The justly famous essay Shame, in which African American writer Pam Noles takes us back to her fantasy- and SF-loving childhood.
  • I Didn’t Dream of Dragons, in which the Indian-born author remembers, with love and pain, the effect of reading Western mainstream fantasy during her childhood.

And throughout the day today, at the newly created community Fans of Color United, you'll find many more stories posted.

Stories are important. Stories, in fact, are life. Read. Learn. Grow.

chomiji: An artists' palette with paints of many human skin colors. Caption: Create a world without racism (IBARW - palette)

See this.

I keep running back to see how it's growing. One of the loveliest things about it is how many of these fans got the bug from their parents or other family members.

(Do read and follow the original poster's caveats/directions in the main post, however, if you are tempted to respond.)

chomiji: A cartoon image of chomiji, who is holding a coffee mug and a book and wearing kitty-cat ears (Cho-vatar w/ kaede mon)

I have not been posting here very much, and I am way behind in replies. A fair amount of my online time has been taken up with the RaceFail09 situation. I am having a lot of trouble looking away. The draw is irresistible enough that I really have to be careful at work. On Friday, I took a little break before the final push of the day, and when I looked up, it was time to go. So I had to spend the first 90 minutes of what should have been the weekend making up for it.

Part of this is the "train wreck" fascination. There were a number of people involved in this situation - authors, columnists, editors - who use communication as their means of earning a living. And yet somehow they were managing to dig themselves deeper and deeper with every statement (summary here). But the main part of it is the eloquence of the people who have either been hurt by this or outraged by this or both.

cut for more ... )

Edited to fix wonky links. Thanks, stoneself!

chomiji: An artists' palette with paints of many human skin colors. Caption: Create a world without racism (IBARW - palette)

I've been reading some remarkably well-written posts on this subject this week, and feeling sad and uncomfortable about whether I'm being part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

More stuff )
chomiji: A cartoon image of chomiji, who is holding a coffee mug and a book and wearing kitty-cat ears (IBARW - Spork out!)

One of the things that is striking about most English-language story-telling endeavors - whether we're talking written fiction, comics, television, or movies - is how uniformly Caucasian the casts of characters are. And if people of color appear, they're in stereotyped roles: the Native American tracker, or the black housekeeper. If the setting is historical, the justification is "that's the way it was then." For IBARW, here's a little online research about the Old West of the United States, and why it's actually more historically accurate to have people of African, Native American, Hispanic, and other types of descent among a cast of cowboys, gunslingers, general store owners, and other classic Western archetypes during the late 19th and very early 20th centuries.

Click for Cowboys of Color and more ...  )
chomiji: An artists' palette with paints of many human skin colors. Caption: Create a world without racism (IBARW - palette)

It's already Tuesday and I haven't posted squat about this. I fail. I have a sort-of article in process, which I hope I will be able to post tomorrow.

If you haven't run into this before: this is a week to use your LJ, blog, or other online journal to consider, talk about, and otherwise air the subject of racism in the world. Real-life experiences, literature, history, current news: it's all grist for the mill.

There is an LJ community for IBARW right here, and it says that if you want to participate, you should:

  1. Announce the week in your blog.
  2. If you use a blogging system that allows post icons/pictures, switch your default icon to either an official IBARW icon, or one which you feel is appropriate. To get an official IBARW icon, you may modify one of yours yourself or ask someone to do so. Here's a round up of IBARW icons.
  3. Post about race and/or racism: in media, in life, in the news, personal experiences, writing characters of color, portrayals of race in fiction, review a book on the subject, etc. (Linking back [to the IBARW community] is highly appreciated!) The optional theme this year is intersectionality.

For more information, you should check out the community, which will tell you about getting your IBARW blog entry included in the IBARW del.icio.us account and on the IBARW round-up posts.

chomiji: An artists' palette with paints of many human skin colors. Caption: Create a world without racism (IBARW - palette)

Today I'd like to introduce my favorite science fiction and fantasy artists/illustrators: Leo and Diane Dillon (who are an interracial couple) and Kinuko Y. Craft (who is Asian American).

Read on for info and pix ...  )
chomiji: A cartoon image of chomiji, who is holding a coffee mug and a book and wearing kitty-cat ears (IBARW - Spork out!)

The Scene: An uptown urban street.
The Time: 7:30 p.m. on a hot summer's evening - last night, in fact.
What Happened: A tallish, chunky middle-aged white woman (yours truly) was trudging home from the Metro when a group of half a dozen young African American men appeared across the street, being loud and boisterous. And the Racist in My Head sat up and squawked "Uh oh! Are we in trouble?"

Cut for length - read on ...  )
chomiji: A cartoon image of chomiji, who is holding a coffee mug and a book and wearing kitty-cat ears (IBARW - Spork out!)

I think one of the most common reasons why well-meaning people might not try to take action against an issue as big as racism is a simple feeling of being defeated before we start. There's a tendency to think, "The forces of prejudice are so massive and have such inertia that nothing I can do will make any sort of difference."

But I think that in this, as in so many other things, small steps should not be discounted or dismissed.

You might want to ask yourself, "To how many people do I need to make a difference before I can count it as worth while?"

Is "one" really too small a number?

Maybe not for a start.

I am talking to myself here as much as to anyone else. Once upon a time, perhaps more than 20 years ago, I made the day for one young man at a science fiction convention simply by making it clear that there were people of color among the pre-made player characters I had prepared for a roleplaying game I was running in Open Gaming. I don't know exactly what was going through his head when he grinned widely and exclaimed "He's black! This dude is black!" but it was something pleasant.

But now I think, wouldn't it be even better if a young person of color wasn't astonished to find him- or herself among the characters or a game - or a book - or a comic, because it was the norm?

I need to do more. I need to do my part so that the day I've just described will arrive.

International Blog Against Racism Week: August 6-12, 2007

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