Will Shetterly has posted an enormously comprehensive chronology of the events of 2009 which have since come to be known as, “RaceFail.” (click here to see it.)
As with Jay Lake, I am quite certain Shetterly and I stand at different corners of the political boxing arena. As with Jay Lake, I find it telling that the usual suspects have made an enemy of Will; a man who is, ideologically, a natural ally.
Anyway, good reading, especially if you’re wanting to get a broader spectrum of opinion on events as they transpired.
Will has also coined a wonderful new word: failfen — SF&F fans (fen!) who are also devotees of ‘fail’ as it happens in the so-called ‘community’ of SF&F. Failfen were on the forefront of the tiny little stink in a tiny little place known as FishBoobFail — and for which I am immortally emblazoned at at least one liberal fan wiki site — and failfen continue to be on the lookout for the latest in ‘fail’ wherever it might show itself. Because failfen are the ultimate, unquestionable sentinels of political truth and social justice in our beloved SF ghetto.
I’d like to add another word to the discussion: facerail.
The word rail when used as a verb means, “to utter bitter complaint or vehement denunciation (often followed by at or against.)” During RaceFail, such railing was the hallmark of the discussion, with the self-appointed guardians of SF community political propriety railing at length against various authors, editors, publishers, other fans, and so forth. The attitude was one of, “in your face!”
Facerail. Facerailer. Are you a facerailer? Have you facerailed anyone lately? Doubtless there are still many out there — fans and authors alike — who have been clever enough to avoid a high-dudgeon tongue-lashing from the facerailing failfen.
Facerail: to excoriate with extreme language and over-the-top self-righteousness, the supposedly racist actions, words, thoughts, or demeanor of someone you don’t know well enough to properly judge in such a manner.
Facerailer: one who engages in the act of facerailing. Often caucasian, often female, always on the internet, many times from behind a LiveJournal alias. But not always. Can be non-caucasian, non-female. May use real name. Forever and eternally obnoxious.
ETA: Allfailfenrail: the general present-tense state of conspicuously going out of your way to enage in failrail of any sort, against any perceived ism — real or, as is usually the case, imagined. Can be considered either a subset of, or superset over, facerail.