Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saying What Should Be Obvious, Because It's Not


I don't think I've said this here, and I wish I didn't--we didn't--need to say something that should be obvious.
But obviously, tragically obviously, it's not obvious, and it needs to be said. 

This morning I walked into the coffee shop, saw the barista wearing her BLM T-shirt, and then the newspaper headline, in large caps:
"YANEZ NOT GUILTY". [Wash Post op ed]

That's the cop who so obviously murdered black man Philando Castile, here in my town. 

I feel sick.
I'd dared to hope this murder case would be different, for the stupid reason that Philando Castile was a "nice black man"––(the way Rosa Parks's civil disobedience garnered more sympathy from white folks because she was a "nice" and non-threatening black woman)––a nice guy who worked with kids in a lunchroom.

I 100% don't mean any of the other victims of police violence in any way deserved that treatment, even if they weren't nice! NO:
Even if you are a dangerous criminal, the police shouldn't shoot you to death (or even rough you up). The police are not members of execution squads.

I just meant I thought the jury's perspective might shift toward justice this time, since they couldn't shift any blame to Castile
But, no.

How this all plays out in the culture, long-term, we'll have to wait and see.

S-p-e-l-l  I-t  O-u-t

In my fandom book, I used lots & lots of examples of fans of all races, sexualities, genders, body types, etc. I consciously searched for and included them. But I didn't point to that--I didn't say: look, I'm writing about minority representation.

But my editor said I should SPELL IT OUT, specifically say that the "everyone gets to play" sandbox rules I talk about in the book include Everybody Who Is Not a White Male of a Privileged Class/Group, or it wouldn't be obvious that I meant that.

I was angry that that was true, but it is, so I added what feels like clunky writing--"BIG ARROW HERE"-- pointing out what you'd wish you didn't need to point out (and that you wish weren't true).
For instance, that statistics show mass media doesn't fully represent people who are not white men (the statistics are laughable, they're so skewed---like, in movies,
males make up 87% of the people in crowd scenes).

I didn't want to laden the book with the obvious--that non-white and all lives matter, in fandom and everywhere--but I had to agree:
If you don't say it, people won't hear it.


ArtSparker said...

It seems to me that firing the officer was a huge admission of his guilt by his employers - another aspect of this that I find it difficult to wrap my head around, and an example of the ability/defect of being able to simultaneously believe contradictory versions of reality in order for things to continue in their course.

Fresca said...

Yes! The officer was, at the very least, guilty of not practicing good police procedures to keep himself and the driver safe.

Humans have this amazing ability, yes, don't we? to hold contradictory beliefs.