Anyway, reading annoyed me sufficiently to write this post. Why what Elizabeth Moon said was wrong and why it merited a rescinding of her GOH status. For anyone who may be Googling on the same subject and stumble across here.
- Her post conflated Muslims with immigrants. Because you know, no such thing as an American Muslim.
- She said Muslims should speak out and denounce the terrorists and their actions. Just, so, y'know, people don't think they agree with the terrorists.
- She said all immigrants should assimilate. Assimilate to /what/, I don't know. (More on this in a later post, because I've been ruminating on it.)
- She hurt people with her words. She hurt Muslims, she hurt immigrants (and not just immigrants to the US), she hurt Native Americans. I'm not saying she hurt all Muslims, all immigrants, all Native Americans. She hurt people in the greater Wiscon community, to whom her words mattered more than if Average Robin in the Blogosphere had said them.
- And don't kid yourself that her words weren't at all racist. You can say there's white immigrants and white Muslims all you want, but I really don't think white Anglo-American ones are who she had in mind.
- When some of the rest of us saw what she said, though we weren't directly hurt, we perceived how her words were damaging. Then we started to see the results. And we started to see people leaving the Wiscon community. And as I said before, that hurts all of us.
- She not only closed comments on her lj entry. She DELETED them. That's not how you conduct good social business on the internet. You can moderate your comments -- delete spam, delete profanity, delete things that are off-topic, delete anything that goes against your (posted) personal policy. You can close your comments right at the second you post, or at some later date. But it's extremely rude and, in this case, silencing, to delete all the comments. Especially as it wasn't just a byproduct of removing the original post.
- She didn't apologize.
And, yes, at some point the decision to remove her GOH status was not about her. Because the discussion had moved beyond her. It was about confirming Wiscon's identity as a feminist convention. It was about not losing vast swaths of the community.
And that is what I think about all this. There are things I left out. There are quite likely things I got wrong, or not quite right.
Before you go writing your news story or quoting things I said, why don't you go read some more? You know.. a little more than one article, one blog post, the original post, and the Wiscon website.