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Platform response - Nisi Shawl — LiveJournal
Platform response
Troubled by the election statement of SFWA Vice Presidential candidate Lou Antonelli, I have responded to his post on this topic. My comment is awaiting approval. Meanwhile, I'll paste it in below.


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.

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19 comments or Leave a comment
(Deleted comment)
al_zorra From: al_zorra Date: March 6th, 2012 10:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good. Frakin'. Grief.

How dumb can you be?

holyoutlaw From: holyoutlaw Date: March 6th, 2012 11:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Excellent response.
From: morgan_dhu Date: March 7th, 2012 12:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I am merely a fan of your writing, but I felt I had to post in support of your response to Mr. Antonelli's distasteful reference.

Unfortunately, it appears that he has chosen to answer you in a manner which completely reveals his lack of understanding.
jimhines From: jimhines Date: March 7th, 2012 01:12 am (UTC) (Link)

I started to write up a longer response here, but I think the icon sums it up better than I could right now...
warriorofworry From: warriorofworry Date: March 7th, 2012 01:02 am (UTC) (Link)
You put it well.
As for the response - well, if that isn't a classic way to belittle someone, don't know what is.
spacehawk From: spacehawk Date: March 7th, 2012 01:11 am (UTC) (Link)
...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.
jamiam From: jamiam Date: March 7th, 2012 01:45 am (UTC) (Link)
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.
spacehawk From: spacehawk Date: March 7th, 2012 02:02 am (UTC) (Link)
As a general rule, I don't want to assume intent to harm when ignorance + privilege can explain it.

Here, however, he has rebutted the presumption. /sigh/
nisi_la From: nisi_la Date: March 7th, 2012 01:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, folks. I see that my comment has been posted, along with a response to it. I rest my case.
spacehawk From: spacehawk Date: March 7th, 2012 01:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I signal boosted.
twilight2000 From: twilight2000 Date: March 7th, 2012 01:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow. Just wow.
rose_lemberg From: rose_lemberg Date: March 7th, 2012 01:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow. Thanks for the heads-up, Nisi.

And I see he thinks he represents diversity... o.O
From: joycemocha Date: March 7th, 2012 01:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow. Just....wow.

Um...I'm not even going for Associate membership (heck, my pro sales are all non-genre related nonfiction), but I know more about SFWA politics and the like. Wow. And yikes.

What you said.
pantryslut From: pantryslut Date: March 7th, 2012 02:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Lovely response on your part.

Ugh on all the rest of it.
e_bourne From: e_bourne Date: March 7th, 2012 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
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.
zizi_west From: zizi_west Date: March 7th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Another fan here thanking you for your response.

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.
Zantippy Skiphop From: Zantippy Skiphop Date: July 27th, 2012 08:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

About "canine-american"

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.
Zantippy Skiphop From: Zantippy Skiphop Date: July 28th, 2012 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)

canines again

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
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