Saturday, May 31, 2014

Whiteness of Santa Barbara shooting. SciFi gags on diversity. BookCon diversity. A Chicano teen does great.

The real question about Santa Barbara killings?

About the shootings, here's Chauncey DeVega:
"As I often ask, what shall we do with the white people? When an entire social structure has been erected to reinforce the lie that white folks are "normal", and those "Others" are "deviant" or "defective," it can be very difficult to break out of that haze of denial. Such an act requires a commitment to truth-telling and personal, critical, self-reflection that Whiteness, by definition, denies to most of its owners

"White privilege and Whiteness hurts white people. Aggrieved white male entitlement syndrome is killing white folks' children, wives, daughters, sons, fathers, and mothers. Yet, White America stands mute. Again, what shall we do with the white people...especially if they are so unwilling to help themselves?"

Chauncey might also have asked, when will the white people start taking care of themselves? If you have an answer for her, let her know.

Diversity breaking into more lit cons

Author Matt de la Peña put out a call for people attending BookCon to join a discussion today, Saturday. Your voice and input are needed.

Saturday, May 31, 10:00 am - 11:00 am, Room 1E02
Speakers: Aisha Saeed, Ellen Oh, Grace Lin, I.W. Gregorio, Jacqueline Woodson, Lamar Giles, Marieke Nijkamp, Matt de la Peña, Mike Jung
Description: After taking the Internet by storm, the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign is moving forward with brand new initiatives to continue the call for diversity in children’s literature. Join the WNDB team as they share highlights of their campaign, discuss the success of grassroots activism, highlight diverse books and how everyone can diversify their shelves and talk next steps for the campaign. 

Speaking of #WeNeedDiverseBooks, the postings of Cultivating Invisibility: Chipotle's Missing Mexicans are still cooking plenty of menudo picoso. Read and join them.

Damien Walter puts it to the SciFi/Fantasy moguls

How some feel about diversity entering the SF/F world
Latino and other voices in SciFi and fantasy lit raising questions of white privilege, exclusion of minorities and an end to non-diversity seem to be gaining ground. So much so, that a backlash arose around the Hugo awards for best fantasy and sci-fi this year. Here's some of Damien Walter's explanation about this in his piece, Science fiction's real-life war of the worlds.

"For many years, a very particular and very narrow set of authors has dominated SF. But battle for a broader fictional universe is under way. It is no coincidence that, just as it outgrows its limiting cultural biases, science fiction should also face protests from some members of the predominantly white male audience who believed it to be their rightful domain. What the conservative authors protesting the Hugo awards perceive as a liberal clique is simply science fiction outgrowing them, and their narrow conception of the genre's worth.

"The real prize for science fiction is not diversity for diversity's sake (although I happen to believe that would be prize enough). We live in a world of seven billion human beings, whose culture has not been reflected or rewarded in 'the mainstream'. Science fiction – from cult novels that reach a few thousand readers, to blockbuster movies and video games that dominate contemporary culture – has the potential to talk across every remaining boundary in our modern world. That makes it, in my opinion, potentially the most important cultural form of the 21st century. To claim that potential, it cannot afford to give way to the petulant protests of boys who do not like to share their toys."

Read the rest of his piece about this "conspiracy theory" and its losing backers. If you're progressive, you'll love it.

Only 1 of a new species

And you gotta love this kid. An inspiration from the Denver Post this week: "Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez from Boulder, Colo., is only 14 years old, but already he's a seasoned superstar in the world of political and environmental activists. He has given TED talks about his work as a leader of Earth Guardians, a worldwide organization of conservation-minded children and young adults. Last fall, he was invited to speak about the global water crisis at the United Nations. His What the Frack hip-hop video, a catchy anti-fracking song, has more than 2,000 views.

By age 12, Roske-Martinez had organized more than 35 rallies and protests. He helped stop the use of pesticides in city parks, and was among the fiercest advocates for a fee on plastic bags. His was a key voice in a project to contain coal ash, and to end a 20-year contract with Xcel Energy, allowing the city to pursue renewable energy as its primary resource.

His passions include hip-hop, participating in the annual sacred running relay from the Hopi reservation to Mexico, the current Earth Guardian campaign (a tree-planting project in 20 countries) and the summer Earth Guardian campaign to clean and protect potable water.

"This year, we're focusing on protecting one of the four elements every three months. The first quarter, it was Earth, and we did tree-planting. This summer, it will be water, and a group of 500-plus kids in Togo, Africa, will focus on that. This is about us saving the world for ourselves. I share facts about our environmental and climate- change crises. We are fighting for the survival of our generation and the health of the waters, the air, our community. We are fighting for kids everywhere."

Read all about him and forward the Earth Guardians' address to any kids you know. They'll decide what to do with it. And their planet.

HINT: To read the Denver Post article, as soon as the title appears, click the Stop Loading button. They want you to pay a buck, and will block you from it.

Es todo, hoy,
a.k.a. Rudy Ch. Garcia

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