Since I'm in a piss-poor mood today, after a piss-poor day at work, I might as well launch into a topic that I've been marinating for a week. If you follow any SciFi/Fantasy writers' blogs, you have probably seen at least a reference to what is being called RaceFail '09. I won't do a good job of summarizing what all has happened, so I'll direct you here instead.
I am not going to comment directly on RaceFail. I am not a writer, and I don't know enough about the genre to make any informed comment about the representation of the Other as a whole within it. What I would like to talk about briefly - at least tonight - is the yucky feeling I get in my gut when I see white liberals shut down a discussion about race using all the textbook tactics that white privilege allows us.
About a year ago, I write a post about white privilege, and I think it's time to revisit the topic.
1) Discussions about race are not always personal, nor a comment about your unique story. Talk less, listen more.
2) John Scalzi posted this bingo card recently, which I've seen lots of, and find helpful. Keep a copy of this. Before you enter a conversation about race (which you should do, without fear), study the cells on the card. If you go any of these places, you might want to give yourself credit for being able to go a little deeper, and try it out.
3) We live in a racist society. To claim we aren't the products of said society is disingenuous.
4) We are stopping the race conversation. Over and over and over again, we stop it. We have got to have this conversation.
I might come back to this. Right now I'm exhausted.