The ongoing drama about racism and sexism in the SFWA (just read the other posts in the series for an overview, particularly this one) has finally come to a conlusion of sorts.
Yesterday, the SFWA posted the official announcement that they had expelled an as of yet unnamed member from the organisation. Of course, anybody who has been following the current controversy can probably supply a name. Locus Online also names the name as well.
What is more, the expelled member himself, Theodore Beale a.k.a. Vox Day has posted about the expulsion and included not just his usual screed about the evil feminists who are taking over the SFWA but also PDFs of both the SFWA report about his behaviour as well as his response. The most interesting bit of information I gleaned from all this is that Theodore Beale defines himself as hispanic rather than white. Which just goes to show – as if we didn’t know that already – that jerks come in all ethicities and colours.
Reactions in the SFF community have been mixed. N.K. Jemisin, who was the prime (though not the sole) target of Theodore Beale’s a.k.a. Vox Day’s expulsion provoking diatribe, is understandably pleased and also shares some behind the scenes stuff.
John Scalzi, another common target of VD’s tirades (unresolved mancrush, I’d say), declines to comment, but tortures the outgoing VD with video snippets of The Sound of Music. And yes, The Sound of Music is torture.
Chris Gerwel of The King of Elfland’s Second Cousin thinks that the expulsion of VD is the SFWA sending a message that unprofessional behaviour such as using the official SFWA Twitter stream to promote his racist rants will not be tolerated.
The Sensuous Curmudgeon, an anti-Creationist blog, also seems to be pleased by VD’s expulsion from the SFWA, since VD is a supporter of Intelligent Design (of course, he is).
Meanwhile, I tried to find some posts defending VD for the sake of balance, but there was nothing. I even checked out the blogs of various very rightwing writers and got nothing aside from the usual “Wah, evil communists are ruining our country” routine. BTW, Sarah Hoyt really seems to hate The Fast and the Furious, which must be the only point I ever agreed on with her.
So it seems for the moment that no one is missing VD. And just for the record, he was expelled not for posting racist diatribes on his blog, because everybody has the right to post all sorts of crap on their personal blogs. Instead, he was expelled for using the SFWA Twitter feed to promote his racist crap, which goes against the organisation’s bylaws.
Meanwhile, VD is not the first person to have their SFWA membership revoked. Stanislaw Lem had his honorary membership revoked in 1976, because some SFWA members were annoyed by Lem saying criticial things about American SF and Philip K. Dick, once more living upto his name, felt that Stanislaw Lem had embezzled money for translating one of Dick’s works into Polish and was quite possibly a Communist agent and even went as far as informing the FBI of his suspicions. For more on Stanislaw Lem’s expulsion from the SFWA, see here, here and here.
So in order to be expelled from the SFWA, you either have to be a) a Polish writer targeted by the paranoia of a mentally ill SF luminary or b) a fellow who keeps making racist, sexist and blatantly offensive statements and uses the SFWA Twitter stream to distribute them.
Yes, I know. I sighed, too.
Meanwhile, I am rather pissed off at the moment, because just today I had some person post insulting crap about me at a writerly forum I frequent, because I had dared to make the shocking statement that Orson Scott Card was seriously off his rocker and therefore responsible for all the myriad shit he gets. This time around the reason was that Orson Scott Card has apparently compared Obama to Hitler and also said all sorts of other racist crap in a column (the original is here, if you can stomach it). Yes, apparently saying something against Orson Scott Card, known homophobe and general joke in the SFF community (and still an SFWA member, if he ever bothered to join), is still controversial enough among certain corners to attack people about and call them supporters of pedophiles (no, I have no idea where that came from either).
Being a good forum user, I did not engage the jerk, but immediately reported the offensive post to the moderators. Who needed three hours to take it down, whereas e.g. supposedly anti-American posts are gone much quicker.
But at least the SFWA saga had come, if not to a “happily ever after” then at least a “happy for now” ending.