These days there’s a great deal of discussion about what Diversity means (hint: it doesn’t mean cultural appropriation), why we should or shouldn’t have it, and who is permitted to engage in it. This is, despite the contention and disruption in the community, a very good thing. Change doesn’t happen unless we actively engage it—particularly when the problem in question (systemic bias) is complex and multi-layered. Let me emphasize this again: the issue of diversity in Science Fiction and Fantasy is a complex one. In my experience, it requires extensive self-awareness, a willingness to endure uncomfortable situations and discussions without defensiveness, the ability to understand that a larger, implied context is a factor in communication, and a great deal of humility.
Systemic oppression isn’t an easy problem to resolve. Humanity has been struggling with it since the first human being grabbed leadership of a group and declared another group the enemy. If it were as simple as say, one group “getting over it” or “waiting until the old people die off, carrying their offensive beliefs with them,” it would’ve been resolved generations ago. [Read more…]