Yes, People Should Care

There is one disturbing comment that has been sticking in my mind over and over and over in the Spinrad debacle.

The comment is from Jeff VanderMeer, and in it he says:

Yes, the comment is stupid and ignorant. Rather than righteous indignation, though, perhaps you might’ve had patience and engaged with the rest of it, or even contacted Spinrad first and seen what he had to say, started a dialogue and seen where it took you. I guess what I’m saying is I totally understand why, for example, Nnedi would shake with rage, but you’re farther removed from the center of that comment.

Emphasis mine.

This part of Jeff’s very long comment (which had mostly other stuff in it too, apart from this bit that sticks in my mind) was upon Jason Sanford getting so angry, even though he is not black, and thus not directly affected and thus should not be too angry to engage in discourse with Spinrad.

That is… an ignorant paragraph, even though it’s part of a much longer comment full of other stuff. It’s presumptuous even though you’re Jeff VanderMeer. Sorry. I don’t think it’s surprising for Jason Sanford to be so angry that it distracts him. I don’t think it’s surprising at all if anyone has this reaction to Spinrad’s essay, whatever race or culture they’re part of.

<about me>
And yes… I tend to take the lead from the privileged when it comes to “why so angry?” and I should stop doing that.
</about me>

3 thoughts on “Yes, People Should Care

  1. Of course people should care–I never said in my comment that people shouldn’t care. *I* care. I’m just really happy that instead his piece resulted in a really great series of blog posts, starting with Nick Mamatas’ and going on through Jemisin’s, Charles Tan’s and others.

    I’ve also been trying really hard to be less impulsive and more constructive, and less angry about things, more analytical, so that’s where I’m coming from.

    Anyway, all that said, you may be entirely right in objecting to that part of the comment, and I respect your opinion.



  2. Hello Jeff VanderMeer,

    I phrased the title of my post poorly. Should have been more like, “Yes, people should get angry,” or something. I know you care, I just didn’t think it was weird for Jason Sanford to get angry.

    As for analytical and less impulsive…. It’s possible to be quite angry and yet very analytical. (As N. K. Jemisin showed.) I’ve seen people use analytical as a way to distance themselves away from the anger other people are feeling, which is the bad extreme of being analytical.

    I’m not saying you have done this, but I saw it happen with other people a year ago and I don’t really want to see it happen again.

  3. I should state I don’t think it’s weird for Jason to have been angry, either. Maybe I stated it poorly. Anyway, point taken and I appreciate the opportunity to think more carefully about things. Thanks for that.


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