on August 30th, 2006 at 03:36 pm
Couldn't find it in the comments, so I googled it.
She goes on and on at quite some length. I think her point was, we have to institute some sort of writerly affirmative action so as to accomodate the deep importance of race to minorities and get them to read SF/F. This kind of writing is like the number of original Star Trek episodes (and one movie) in which the mission, ridiculously, narcissistically, somehow had to do with the U.S. in the 1960s or 1970s. If we're going to encourage fiction which is explicitly set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away to conform to the state of race relations in this country, it might as well have moral instruction as its purpose, because entertainment will suffer as much either way.
On a broader scale, this seems to be part and parcel of a general movement to allow, or even to ensure everyone allows, race to matter to minorities, in whom such awareness is deemed "positive." And when race matters to white people, to stamp it out.
This kind of double standard is unmaintainable. I believe in King's dream of people being judged on the content of their character, not the color of their skin. That has to be true even when-- given human nature, especially when-- the color of one's skin would convey a benefit, because that's when the temptation to bend your beliefs is greatest.
Encouraging race to be important anywhere allows race to be important everywhere, with the ultimate result a wash in terms of accomplishment.