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Steven Brust
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Steven Brust was in a video call with 2 people. <a class='ot-hashtag' href='https://plus.google.com/s/%23hangoutsonair'>#hangoutsonair</a>Skyler White and Jennifer Melchert

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Steven Brust and Skyler White will have a Hangout On Air to read from their book The Incrementalists.

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Well said!  Brief and dead on.

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I can understand the temptation to go, "Here are two people, taking opposite positions, who are wrong in corresponding ways, so let us equate them."  This temptation ought to be resisted.

Beale is a white supremacist.  Our efforts must to go to defeating him and the capitalist system he openly defends.  If you were making it clear that the problem with Jemisin is that her supposed opposition in fact undercuts itself and, in the last analysis, supports the Beales of this world, I could only agree.  

 But to equate the two: the white supremacist, and the misguided opponent of racism, is unscientific and, to say the very least, distasteful.  I urge you to reconsider your position.

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The term came up on the first panel, in fact; the one on idiom.  I asked what it meant--assuming it was a good thing--and was told it meant using elements of another culture badly and/or disrespectfully.  With that definition, I don't have a problem saying it's a bad thing from an artistic viewpoint.

I daresay others use drastically different definitions, that focus more on who the artist is than on the work.

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Will, I think you and the columnists are wrong to claim this is about censorship. To say, "What you said pisses me off and I don't think you should say it," isn't censorship, it's argument.  

But now there are those who want the column pulled. I think  at that point it does become censorship, or at least starts to look like it in bad lighting.  I think that would be a mistake.

Within a professional organization, when someone uses a platform of that organization to say something abhorrent, I think the right move is to point out that it is abhorrent, and why, and use it as a vehicle to improve understanding of the issue. I may be missing some things here.  But I am worried by the, "A lot of us found what you said offensive, so your bullhorn is being taken away" approach.  

Here are the questions: 1) Where is the line between, "reflecting an attitude offensive to many people," and, "so blatantly and obviously offensive that if you don't see the problem you're morally bankrupt.." 2) Who gets to decide where that line is for a professional organization? Is it all members,or is it only (or primarily) only those in the group in question?  

Number 2, by the way, isn't a rhetorical question; I honestly don't know the answer.  The argument that woman should get all, or at least the lion's share, of say in determining how offensive that was has a lot of virtue.

Why can't anything be easy?

--skzb

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