What I find amusing about Section B.3 is that Matthew Johnson actually affects to take the public posturing of both members and non-members alike seriously while overtly begging the question about my supposed “racism”. He also ignores the fact that people have openly stated that they have JOINED the organization because of me while others have stated their intention of doing so.
3. Effect of Beale’s continued membership on SFWA
Aside from the threats of harassment and nuisance litigation discussed elsewhere in this report, there is evidence to suggest that following his recent actions Beale’s continued membership in SFWA will serve to alienate many current members as well as discouraging currently qualified writers from joining.
The following is a sample of statements made in social media (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) in which writers who are not currently SFWA members state that Beale’s behaviour is a barrier to their joining SFWA:
“Now I know not to join SFWA. I don’t go where I’m not wanted.”
“If the Board doesn’t vote Beale out… I’m not sure if I want to join.”
“Please count me in as one of those people [saying they no longer have interest in joining].”
“This is why I belong to NINC, not SFWA.”
“If he’s there when I qualify, then I’m writing a letter explaining why I have no interest in joining.”
“If he’s in when I qualify, I am never joining.”
“I cannot even imagine doing it [joining SFWA] as long as this type of thing happens and people like this are allowed to continue in this organization.”
“I wish I was an SFWA writer just so I could renounce my membership.”
“I’m one of those who won’t join as long as Beale is a member.”
“I’d like to publicly state that, while I qualify for SWFA membership, and have been waffling over whether to join for some time, I will not be joining while Beale is a member.”
(Because of the number of these, and because they were made in publicly-available fora I have not
provided screenshots. They are available on request to Board members.)
Perhaps the clearest evidence of the effect of Beale’s continued membership on prospective writers is the case of a writer who had qualified and applied for membership actually cancelled in the middle of the process, citing the following reason: “I simply can’t be part of an organization that supports racism.”
Many current members have also stated that they intend to resign their membership if Beale remains a member. (All of the quotes below either come from e-mails sent to officers of the Board, in which case the members gave permission for a portion of their e-mails to be reproduced here, or were taken from publicly-available fora.)
“I will be appalled if SFWA don’t expel Theodore Beale and definitely won’t want to be part of their organization again.”
“I was tempted to walk away after the earlier debacles, but this is just beyond outrageous.”
“My membership is on the table as well. This organization is a professional embarrassment.”
“I don’t want to remain part of an organization that allows its public facade to be used for this sort of drivel. If the question comes down to my support of SFWA versus being part of an organization that gives Beale a platform to harass fellow authors, then I will step away from SFWA.”
“I’m giving SFWA one last chance, but if they botch it I’m gone and will urge others to do the same.”
“I’m concerned for SFWA’s increasingly tarnished reputation and frustrated that Mr. Beale seems intent on alienating myself and other women and minority members from the organization.”
“Keeping this individual in the organisation is not good for members. It makes the organisation laughing stock in the wider community, and detracts from more worthwhile activities.”
“I love what SFWA does for writers, and I love being a member, but I hate thinking that I am a member of an organization that this racist, sexist guy also belongs to.”
“I value various SFWA services, projects, and advocacy efforts, but I am unwilling to belong to a writers’ organization which welcomes and enables a virulently disruptive and unprofessional member who keeps breaking rules and violating policies, and who uses the organization’s tools and venues to personally attack other members.” (This last comment was from a member whose membership was not, in fact,
renewed due to the concerns stated here.)
Most prominently, an outgoing Board Member indicated that he intended to let his membership lapse until Beale was no longer a member: “My membership is due and I can’t in good conscience renew it until SFWA finds the means or moral backbone or whatever’s ultimately required to expel someone as hateful and wilfully destructive as Beale—notjust from the organisation but from the culture present within it.”
A broader sampling from member e-mails received on the issue can be found in Appendix II.
I’ll begin by noting that SFWA is not a sorority where only the right girls are permitted to join and those who lose the favor of the popular girls are expected to leave the sorority house. It doesn’t matter if every other member of SFWA threatens to quit, that is still not a reasonable grounds for kicking any member out. If people want to quit, for any reason, then let them quit. That’s their business, not SFWA’s. Obviously the organization is not providing them with sufficient value for them to remain members.
Now, the reason I find this amusing is that there are some SFWA members who are known to threaten to quit, or to allow their membership to lapse, on a fairly regular basis. It would be violating discussion forum confidentiality to quote the Forum posts, but I will provide to the Board links proving that there were nine explicit threats to quit over the SFWA Bulletin issues 201 and 202 in the Forum alone, and that doesn’t count all the statements on blogs, social media, or sent to the Board via email. (If anyone wishes to dig up a few examples of those threats to quit over the SFWA Bulletin, it would be helpful; if you’re not sure if someone is an SFWA member or not you can check it out via the public member directory.)
Moreover, it appears that more people, including the editor of the Bulletin, quit over the Bulletin issue than have quit due to my blog post responding to Nora Jemisin’s deceitful and defamatory attack on me. Yet, the Board never felt the need to discuss expelling the member directly responsible for all the threats to quit and the actual members quitting even though he publicly apologized and took responsibility for it.
As I pointed out yesterday, Brad Torgerson and other members have openly expressed their intention to quit the organization due to the politically correct behavior of ideologically opposed members, who are now being encouraged in that behavior by the Board’s witch hunt. Fortunately, there is an obvious and objective metric that is capable of settling the issue here, and I have written to Mr. Johnson to find out how many members SFWA had on June 13th versus how many it had on July 15th.
As for the prospective members, again, there are no shortage of prospective members who are already qualified, or potentially will be qualified for SFWA, who have expressed their lack of interest in joining an organization which is a) politically correct, b) openly left-wing, and c) run by a Board which is not only willing to permit the long-term harassment of some of its members, but take part in that harassment itself.
Since the Board is presently claiming to take the opinions of prospective members seriously, if you are a writer who is not currently an SFWA member and consider the SFWA Board’s behaviour to be a barrier to your joining, (or if it applies, rejoining), please let me know either in the comments, or, if you require anonymity, via email.
The real reason for all of these attacks and all this posturing about quitting can be found in a 2008 comment by the Toad of Tor herself on Nora Jemisin’s site. It all comes down to the left-wing ideology in the end; left-wing whites are always puzzled by the lack of enthusiasm shown for their ideology by those whose primary form of identity is not left-wing ideology. And note the all-too-familiar pattern: Jemisin was publicly attacking me five years ago, long before I’d ever even heard of her.
“The SF community has always been puzzled by the shortage of fans of
color, and the low percentage of nonwhite pros. I’ve seen a lot of
theorizing about it, but most of that was written by white fans, so I
won’t quote it lest I embarrass myself.
“As far as I know, the community has one out-of-the-closet racist: Vox
Day (Theodore Beale), who is obviously unbalanced. The primary targets
of his hate are feminists, conservatives, and atheists, but he’s been
known to put in a good word for the Nazis and what he conceives would be
their approach to the problem of illegal immigration. For obvious
reasons, there’s no telling how many closet racists we have, but I don’t
imagine it’s a lot. Where we fall down is in understanding how race
operates in society right now.
“Political leanings: First, while we do have some hardboiled
conservatives, they’re a minority. The U.S. SF community is a lot more
liberal than you’d guess from looking at it, Canandian fandom is even
more so, and on average British fandom is significantly to the left of
U.S. fandom. (I should know more about the Australians and New
Zealanders than I do.) The U.S. community’s third political tendency is Miscellaneous Other:
Marxists, Trotskyists, Bakuninists, misc. commies, and whatever Ken
MacLeod is, plus libertarians, minarchists, anarcho-capitalists,
Objectivists, extropians, a few monarchists, and heaven knows what-all
Teresa Nielsen Hayden managed to embarrass herself anyhow, since in addition to her outright lies, she didn’t realize that she was attacking one of those pros whose shortage she finds so puzzling. Perhaps if white SFWA members like the Toad of Tor would stop openly attacking writers of color as mentally unbalanced, Nazi-loving racists, other writers of color such as Larry Correia would not find SFWA so hostile and unwelcoming. As Nora Jemisin herself says: “Of course that sends a message to fans and writers of color: you’re not welcome.”
They have certainly made it abundantly clear that this writer of color is not welcome in SFWA.
§ 107 . Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use
the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted
work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by
any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as
criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies
for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of