R K Modena, a wonderful woman I am proud to call a friend, speaks out on the Hugo controversy, and why it is so much more than a tiny teacup tempest over an award. I’m quoting some of her post here, but really, you should go read the whole thing. It is an amazing memoir of history, and it left me speechless and in tears. Thank you for sharing this, my friend. I know how vulnerable you are, and I appreciate the sheer courage it took to put this out there. You are my hero, and I do not say that quickly and without deep thought.
Nazi is not a term you throw around lightly (CLICK TITLE TO READ MORE)
This is why I prefaced this post with a history of who I am, and a rather summarized description of my experiences. I have faced real racism, real discrimination. I have stood OPENLY in support of the Jews, of Israel, for which I have been stalked by someone on the side of the Antis FOR NEARLY SEVEN YEARS AND RECEIVED THREATS AGAINST MY CHILDREN FOR.
Peter Grant has fought against it.
Brad Torgersen goes to fight ISIS / DAESH – against REAL terrorists, REAL religiously motivated hatred, REAL rape culture, REAL KILLINGS OF GAYS.
You who sling mud at us, who question our honor our integrity, our hardships and experiences are doing so FOR THE PETTY REASON OF AN AWARD FOR FICTION.
With Irene Gallo’s original response to the protests of her words, and her subsequent non-apology, it is clear she is unrepentant in her contempt, in her hatred.
The difference between her and my father is, she is ‘sorry’ that ‘we were hurt by her calling us Nazis’, not that she is sorry at all ‘for calling us Nazis.’
My father apologized for his words, for calling the then actions of the Israeli Immigration Police as Nazi-like.
Irene Gallo and her like are not building, they are destroying. They are discriminating against merit, and favoring things extant to merits.
I frankly feel bad for Tom Doherty. He has employees who are more interested in their own agendas and their own ideology, than they are interested in keeping the business of the customers who do not share that ideology, or being welcoming towards authors who do not share that ideology. I do not know him, but I’ve heard about him, for the large part, good. I do not remember bad things said about him – and I heard about these good things from Larry Correia, John C. Wright, Sarah A. Hoyt, and others I may have forgotten. It is clear he treasures what he has built up.
An actual apology, instead of a sulky ‘I’m sorry you’re pissed off by what I said,’ would have been good. Perhaps probation. It depends on what punishments are deemed fit by the head company (Macmillan in this case) – as noted by other people already, the human resources departments of other companies would have already fired her for her unprofessional conduct.
Personally, I have no wish that their words ever be silenced. Let them speak, let them scream. Let everyone know what they think. Let them show the world how they react to disagreement.
Judge them by their words, their actions, revealing their character.
I am following this with another post, from a man who is also a hero, although I know he’s going to reprove me when he sees me next. No, Peter, you were not ‘just doing what needed to be done” you are a hero, and I’m not the only one who thinks so. I’m honored to know you, and to have heard some of your stories.
His post today is mostly dealing with the comments that have been spilling out in the aftermath of the exposure of the vile statement made by Ms Gallo. But if you look here, you will find just what her lumping him in as a neo-nazi meant. And as he very correctly points out, these comments are not about truth, and reality, but about sustaining what they want to believe, irregardless of the damage they do. They want to keep their status quo, and the Sad Puppy movement to increase voters to the Hugo Awards is threatening that.
Notice how the commenters cited above aren’t addressing the specifics of what Ms. Gallo said – they’re saying that she’s right regardless of those specifics, because of other, often extraneous factors. “My mind’s made up. Don’t confuse me with the facts!” They also freely insult others, regardless of the fact that they would never accept or tolerate the same insults being directed against them. To call anyone a ‘sub-human piece of filth’, as quoted above, is barbaric . . . yet some of them revel in that sort of thing. That says far more about them than it does about the person they’re accusing.
Another favorite tactic of such individuals is to ignore the overall thrust of the problem by nit-picking the details to death. If someone makes an allegation of a pattern of misconduct, they respond by taking every single element of the allegation, separating it from the others and nickel-and-diming it to death, demanding verification, supporting evidence, etc. They can (and do) spin out the process in such depth and for so long that others lose patience and walk away . . . whereupon they claim victory because the original allegation “has not been proved” (to their satisfaction, anyway).
I know some of my readers are confused about why I spend so much time on this. Is it that she wants a Hugo? They are wondering, and I am sure there are people in some of those comment threads who are sure that’s why I stand here taking their slings and arrows. No, it isn’t. I would be doing this even if I didn’t have a nomination. I am watching people I know and like being heaped with vitriol for no reason other than that they dared challenge the establishment. They saw that the Hugo awards were controlled by a few, and we as a group have seen the Hugo voting pool more than double this year. What we’d hoped to achieve – a greater diversity not only of nominees but of voters – is happening. The reaction to it by those who are losing control of the awards is biting and savage.
Should we have anticipated this? No. None of us had any idea this would blow up, and looking back, perhaps we ought to have seen it coming. It is not a political thing, but it is a cultural war. We have stepped into the forefront of those who are in power and seek to keep that power, and we have shown them they are losing the gates. Heck, the gates might still be standing, but the gatekeepers are futilely watching the fences fall down and the people walk around the gates to go on their way.
And in the reaction of the gatekeepers, as they slaver and attack us, others can see their true nature. With that, I shall have to be content. I’ve always been one who stood up to the bullies when the younger children were threatened. This is just an extension of that. I cannot sit idly by and watch the bullies in action. Can you?
(edited to add: John Scalzi has an excellent primer on how to apologize. Perhaps someone can suggest he ought to share it with Ms. Gallo?)