I'm sorry for not speaking up sooner. I don't take part in big online debates; I'm a one-on-one kind of conversationalist by nature and have no urge to throw myself into a fray. So I've sat on the sidelines and watched this all play out with a growing fury, frustration, sadness, and disgust. Even by internet standards, RaceFail '09 has provoked really an inordinate amount of Fail. A hugely important discussion has been consistently derailed into nastiness and petty accusations. People have spoken brilliantly and sincerely, only to have their voices ignored, ridiculed, misunderstood, shouted down, or buried in waves of status quo.
But I'm not posting now to focus on the Fail part. I'm posting -- and I wish I'd done it earlier, and more often -- to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who's been using this discussion as an opportunity to discuss real problems and issues around race and culture and writing. Thank you, all of you who have taken the time to write so many thoughtful, insightful posts and comments. Especially fans and writers of color: it isn't your job to educate anyone about racism, and yet even when hit with incredibly wanky resistance and defensiveness and denial, you've gone on making the attempt to explore complex truths. Thank you for pushing me -- as a writer, as an editor, as a person -- to think in ways I hadn't thought before. Thank you to those of you who continue, in the face of willful ignorance or outright hostility, to engage with ideas and explore difficult questions and to communicate. Thank you for your smarts, your eloquence, your courage, and your anger -- all of it. Thank you for speaking up. I'm listening.