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Because some people are taking silence on RaceFail '09 to mean complicity, let me say:

Attempting to silence people by intimidating them is a shitty thing to do.

The ability to suck it up and admit you made a mistake and will try to do better in the future is a skill in sadly short decline.

I try to write about all kinds of people in my fiction, though for whatever reason I tend to confront issues of sexuality and gender more head-on than I do those of race -- but I confess that I surely screw up a lot when I'm writing people of genders and sexual orientations other than my own. I do my best to pay attention and be respectful when I'm trying to model how the world might look inside someone else's head, regardless of the details of that character. When I make mistakes, I try to do better in the future.

I hope you don't feel unwelcome in fandom; "fandom" is not a big monolithic thing anyway. It's a bunch of various kinds of people lumped under an umbrella term of dubious usefulness. (I'm a writer, sure, but have never meaningfully felt like part of "fandom," personally.) When under that umbrella, all you can do is find the people you like, and avoid the ones who piss you off.

I can't comment with more depth and specificity because there's a multi-volume-fantasy-epic's worth of wordage out there on this subject, and I haven't read it all, have barely skimmed some of the round-ups; the demands of parenthood, full-time day job, freelance writing, my own fiction writing, and other such things limit the time I can devote to the subject, so I know I haven't seen all sides of every argument. But I didn't want my silence, because I feel too uninformed to comment meaningfully, to be taken as complicity in things I'm not complicit with.

Also, you know, as a white guy, it doesn't really seem my place to step in and make pronouncements about this subject. There was something on RadioLab a while back, about how when black and white people take intelligence tests, white people do better -- unless the test-giver says beforehand that the test isn't actually meant to measure intelligence, in which case, whites and blacks do equally well. That really drove home for me that there are things I just don't get, deep unconscious damaging assumptions at work, things I'm totally unaware of, things that are simply invisible to me because of my background. All I can do is try to be more aware. I'm trying.

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