Lou, I'm sorry to say I found your statement about adopting "Canine-American" children incredibly offensive. I, too, am a doglover, but I struggle for the words to tell you exactly how and why your flippant trivialization of the ethnic identity movement with this phrasing revolted me. I'm not sure I have the patience to explain what was wrong with saying what you did. I hope you do find someone who will do that work for you.
For the moment, please just know that I've shared my distaste with others, and had my assessment of the problematic nature of what you say confirmed. Also, while I'm impressed that you have offered to run for the position of SFWA Vice President, I won't be voting for you. I hope that you'll come to understand why.
...Wow. When I first read this I assumed he was trying to make a bad joke, and failing. (Not that this would excuse it, but that it would explain it.) Now that I see his response, there goes that theory!
I agree with warriorofworry -- what a way to belittle someone. And shame, blame and attack, too.
Yeah. I figured it was just a gross example of privilege blinded ignorance, with no actual intent to harm. But apparently I need to revisit my ignorance vs. intent dichotomy, because the dude just proved it completely false.
I believe that Mr. Antonelli's intentions were innocent in that he didn't mean to offend anyone -- I think his honest intention was to be cute and humorous. Ignorance is not a crime. We are all ignorant until we learn better.
What did offend me was that once he discovered that he had been offensive, his first move was not a sincere apology that spoke of his understanding that he caused pain, and a removal of the offending text. Instead, he became defensive, which is inexcusable, and tried to find support for his position.
That's what struck me as wrong. We all make mistakes. We should have a goal to learn from those mistakes in an open dialog and then more forward with better understanding.
I'm not a SFWA voting member, but I do vote within other national professional organizations. I would never seriously consider someone who posted such tactless, aggressive responses to a reasonably worded expression of concern -- not to mention the disregard for and hostility toward the historical & social importance of ethnic identity.
Well, I think everyone, including Lou, thinks his responses weren't very elegant or even nice. I guess I'm just shocked at this whole argument going on. Is this how conversations normally are at SFWA? I left a pretty lengthy (two, actually) response on Lou's blog (at the link Nisi left, above), so I won't repeat it here, but I am very confused by this whole argument even getting traction. I get people being hurt and defensive, and counter-attacking and all that - what worries me is that those feelings are allowed to run the conversation. It makes me feel like the SFWA wouldn't be a very emotionally safe place for me to be. I'd be afraid of saying the wrong thing and being wrung out to dry. We all have terrible wounds, and people step on mine all the time, but I don't decapitate them for it and it would upset me to be in a place where I wouldn't be treated with the same patience I give other people when I inevitably blunder into hurting someone's feelings. So I guess I'm asking - is this the normal SFWA atmosphere? Thanks for listening, and I do hope to join, one day. I just want to know what battle arena I'm getting into.
oh and I'd also like to say - I didn't realize this whole thing was months old, because I saw time stamps on Lou's blog so thought it had just happened. I'm so sorry if I dredged this whole thing up again! This probably involves people who know each other and have a history and so it all emotionally contains more than I can see - plus, I think I must have missed a comment from Lou based on responses to the comment unseen by me. In other words - I have no idea what I'm talking about and will shut up now. o~O