Thread originally from 1/17/2019 and was lightly edited for clarity here.
Ten years out from Racefail 09 and I don’t think (SFF/curatorial/transformative) fandom has gotten better about race.
In fact, the only thing they’ve really gotten better about is masking their racism in these spaces.
And that’s not a high bar to clear.
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Note: This is the write-up of Robin Anne Reid’s segment in the roundup on race and racism in fandom that we had at PCA 2019 April 17, 2019.
The main point I want to make for this discussion is that Academia, in general, is having its own versions of Racefail ’09 in various disciplinary spaces and conferences. I am working on a book about Racefail ’09, and the more I work on describing and documenting the events of a decade ago, the more I see how current academic imbroglios follow a similar pattern, one that fits Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s definition of color-blind or unconscious, racism.
When academics of colors who, in the same way that Avalon’s Willow pointed out racist tropes in fantasy and sf during Racefail ‘09, point out systemic racism in academic disciplines, specifically, Medieval Studies, Classical Studies, and Anglo-Saxon Studies, they are met with claims from white liberals whose dominant response is “I’m not racist.”
The problems include programming at the major conferences, statements made, and actions taken by tenured white scholars in positions of relative privilege, against tenure-track scholars. The academic Racefail I am most familiar with involved doxing, death threats, and attempts to drive scholars of color out of the profession and was recently covered in the New York Times.Read More »
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