Random Thoughts on Diversity

  • If you have a diversity panel that is all white people (even if they are QUILTBAG or neurodiverse or disabled), that is not okay.  You should have representation from as many groups as possible.  That includes PoC. Especially PoC.
  • If you have a diversity advisement board that is all white people, that is especially not okay. See above.
  • Sometimes I just don’t want to talk about diversity. It’s exhausting. Ask me about something else.
  • If you criticize how a marginalized person campaigns for diversity, you need to back the fuck on up and be quiet. You don’t get to tell marginalized voices how to do diversity.
  • Not everyone is at the same point in their journey. If someone is talking at a 200-level and you’re still looking for the 100-level course on diversity, stop talking, listen, and go do research on your own.  You aren’t ready to join the conversation.
  • If a person from the group written about in a book says the book is offensive, listen. You don’t have to not like the book, but you do need to understand why the behaviors depicted in the book are problematic.
  • Being able to not care about diversity or to leave the conversation is a privilege. Some of us will always be part of this conversation whether we like it or not.
  • Diverse authors and editors have more to offer than just our experiences on diversity.  Look at the whole person and not just the boxes you think they fit into.
  • If you say something like “I don’t see color” or “I just like good books, I don’t pick a book based on the author” you are lying to yourself and you are furthering white supremacy and the marginalization of people of color in this country and abroad. Stop it.
  • Sticking with the status quo is sticking with a system that favors white, heterosexual, able-bodied males. Think about that when you write your stories.
  • Stories about white girls going abroad and learning so much from a strange and alien culture contribute to orientalism. That is gross.
  • There is no love in a slave/master relationship.  You cannot fall in love with a person who owns you.  That isn’t love, its survival.
  •  If you ask “Why should I include diverse characters in my story” you are speaking from a position of privilege.  You need to stop, recognize that willingly ignoring the existence of entire groups of people is privilege, and then work to educate yourself. Or don’t.
  • Diversity is not a once and done kind of thing. You need to keep working at it, keep doing better.
  • You get no cookies for being a proponent of diversity. But you do get to consider yourself a decent human being.

These are non-negotiable. Comments are off.