How Did We Come to This?

For those of you still wondering why I quit SFWA and why I made as big a public stink about it as I could, please read the following guest post by Fail Burton:

There’s a scene in the film Soylent Green where Edgar G. Robinson looks at a piece of raw steak and some vegetables and says something like “How did we come to this?”, and he starts crying.

Here’s how I see this: anyone who came up the old way reading Heinlein, Asimov, Forry Ackerman, Stan Lee, Ray Bradbury knows the culture, messaging and atmosphere was the complete opposite of a thing like the KKK. There is absolutely no doubt of that.

There was NO INSTITUTIONAL HARASSMENT AT ANY TIME of non-whites, gays or women embedded in those stories, embedded in the messaging. Quite the opposite.


I’m not naive. In the ’60s there was plenty of “liberalism” in that culture. That is not the same thing as hate. I’m not talking about liberalism, or controversial social issues. I’m not talking about people I disagree with about how bridges are funded, abortion, Vietnam, long and short hair, the Watts riots, prayer in schools and a thousand other things I might passionately agree or disagree with. That’s America and I tolerate differences and life goes on. We still got along, we were still Americans, not people who hated.

I’m talking about something different. I’m talking about all those things re-visited, but this time through a scrim of pure hatred based on race and sex. Prayer in schools is one issue. It’s quite another when Muslims can do it and I can’t because of some daffy notion of white guilt and lies about the Crusades. That’s not a principled difference all share in or suffer in. We today have a virtual KKK now sitting at the heart of liberalism. That is far worse in SFF. KKK is where I draw the line.

If anyone had told me 30, 20 or even 10 years ago we’d have a thing like a KKK squatting right in the heart of the culture that has inherited SFF and comics I’d have told them they’re nuts.

I would feel completely different if these folks wrote only occasional articles about white privilege or white-washing covers. That’s when something is a legitimate issue. But it’s not like that. It’s a daily torrent of attacks within the SFF community that are hell-bent harassments of men, whites and heterosexuals.

I don’t know about you, but after Stan Lee and Ray Bradbury, that’s absolutely stunning, and an absolute stunning fall from grace.

I can go on Twitter and find that filth at any minute of any day. And it’s not a fringe. It’s the presidents of the SFWA, their officers, Nebula and Hugo nominees, serial panelists, editors, and magazines. I’m not going to list quotes but there’s this right NOW on Twitter:

“Do we really need more men explaining feminism to women? Do we need ANY? Go explain it to other men if you’re so inclined.” – Steven Gould, president of the SFWA

Men are inferior. Whites are inferior. Heterosexuals are inferior. It never stops. In case you didn’t notice, that’s not about funding a bridge or diversity or politics. That is an attack. It is hate speech. I know that because that same idiot would never in a thousand years put “black,” “women,” “gay” or “Jew” in there, presumably because it would be bigotry. In other words that naive fool actually agrees with me and is too dumb to know it. He is carrying water for insane gender feminists and their phobic hatreds of straight white males. Because of the SFWA, a virtual KKK is dug into our community. Stan Lee and Ray Bradbury would spit on these people.

My question is, how can anyone NOT write about that? How in the hell can anyone NOT write about daily hate speech entrenched in our community? How does boredom enter into that?

How did we come to this?