Why The Save the Pearls Kerfuffle is Important

I’m going to make this quick because I think there are a lot of other people who have said what I’m about to say better and in more detail and because I have other places to be besides in front of my computer blogging.

While there are large portions of this whole mess that make me very upset, particularly in regards to the decline of Weird Tales as a respected voice in fantastic literature, but there is one thing that makes me–happy isn’t quite the right word, but it’ll have to do–about recent events: people are talking about race and racism.

Something that I’ve become aware of as I’ve become more educated is how deceptive it is for people to talk about colorblindness.  I, too, once thought that it was good to be colorblind on the issue of race, but after four years of hippie liberal social-justice college and another year of absorbing bits and pieces of material as my partner went through the racism sequence at Penn in the course of getting her MSW, I know that that’s not really the case.  Saying that you’re colorblind is more of a way of excusing yourself or ignoring the effect that race has.  To say “I don’t see color” does not mean that you don’t have any prejudice or that you don’t live in a racist society; instead, it’s a way of letting yourself ignore your prejudices.

Unfortunately, this is the internet, so there’s never going to be a totally civil discourse (though I will exercise the Hammer of Enlightenment here if it becomes necessary).  Still, it’s nice to think that this situation could start a real, ongoing dialog on the subject of race both on and offline.

If you’re looking to read a discussion of writing outside your culture, this would be a good place to start.  And remember, wherever you are, if you start getting offended, before you do or say anything, please check your privilege.

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About Hilary B. Bisenieks

Hilary B. Bisenieks (Biss-en-yex) n. 1. An author of fact, fancy, and opinion based out of Oakland, CA. 2. A graduate of the Creative Writing program at Warren Wilson college and Mary Robinette Kowal's Short Story Workshop. 3. A man unable to be trusted to update basic biographical information with any regularity. View all posts by Hilary B. Bisenieks

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