I’ve been hearing people…

I've been hearing people in SFWA saying, "Oh, what Beale said wasn't so bad" and "we have to defend free speech!"

Beale says of Jemisin:

a) �genetic science presently suggests that we are not equally homo sapiens sapiens�

b) that the laws in Texas and Florida �have been put in place to let whites defend themselves by shooting people, like her, who are savages engaged in attacking white people�

c) He then equates her to an �average Chicago gangbanger� and then states that �there is no evidence that a society of NK Jemisins [i.e., blacks] is capable of building an advanced civilization�

d) And calls her an �educated, but ignorant savage� and compares her to an �illiterate Igbotu tribesman.�

That is more than just professing conservative or libertarian beliefs (some of which I might abhor, but would still defend anyone's right to believe, profess, and publish). That is a direct and markedly racist attack on a specific individual, an attack I would personally find actively frightening.

It would be terrible to come across these words on Beale's own personal blog � but he has the right to post there. (Just as I have the right to name his words and attitudes as vile.) But this wasn�t just on a personal site.

It would be bad enough (and grounds for sanction at least, if not firing) on a private business or organization message board. But this wasn�t a private board.

As a public statement on an official organization channel from one of the members of that organization, it now represents what said organization considers acceptable public speech. And that�s where we stand right now � SFWA must take some action to make clear that this kind of personal racist attack is unacceptable, or else it tacitly endorses it.

I don't know if expulsion is the right action. And I'm not a member of SFWA, so this is an outsider's perspective in some sense (though I am, of course, deeply enmeshed in this field in a variety of ways). But from where I stand, I think SFWA must do something.

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