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15 September 2010 @ 04:05 pm
Ugh.  
Anti-immigrant, assimilationist if-they-don't-pass-as-white-it's-their-fault rage-inducing xenophobic BULLSHIT warning.

Thanks, Ms. Moon. I loved The Speed of Dark, but now you're joining Harlan Ellison in the Box of Shame.

Anyone I recommended that book to? Unrecommended.

Via maevele.

ETA: Just emailed the Wiscon concom about her being a GoH next year, and how I am NOT okay with that in light of this. No idea if it'll accomplish anything, of course, but it does make me feel uncomfortable/unsafe (and I'm not Muslim, it's got to be a tiny tiny fraction of how she's hurting directly-affected folk) so.

Going off the Wiscon contact page, since I wasn't sure who to write to, I wrote to concom35 [at] wiscon [dot] info.

<ETA2 So apparently people with less fuzzy brains can parse more of that post than I can, and it's EVEN WORSE than I thought. Wow. Apparently Ms Moon thinks the European settlers here were happy community-builders who were welcomed with open arms and... assimilated... or something. Also that the Native people of this continent don't exist?
 
 
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( Read 161 commentsLeave a comment )
Nathanielelsmi on September 16th, 2010 12:57 am (UTC)
Well, a few points: 1) The media coverage of this "ground zero mosque" thing is just ridiculous, and gets most of the facts wrong. You seem to have only heard the wrong version of some of those facts, so just as an FYI: it's not a mosque -- it's a community center that includes a prayer room (possibly an *inter-faith* prayer room, I'm not clear on that); basically a YMCA. And as for the "should have known" thing, they out-right *knew* that no-one would be upset; IIUC their plans were on the front page of the NYT last year, no-one was objecting, and a number of the political blowhards ranting about it now were explicitly supporting it then. And finally, it's not even a first-generation immigrant community who doesn't know 'bout our American rights; it's just Americans who need somewhere to work out and exercise their faith (the local mosques are apparently over-capacity).

2) No-one is arguing against Ms. Moon's right to speech -- we're appalled at what she used that right to say. The whole reason free speech is in the Constitution, after all, is to make sure we have the ability to criticize other people's ideas and hopefully all learn something from the process. And anyway, her whole argument is that the people building the community center shouldn't be expressing themselves that way... honestly, I don't see what assimilation has to do with it.

Personally, I don't feel threatened by her comments (but then, I wouldn't). I feel angry, though, because the kind of attitude that she expresses and supports is one that causes direct harm to people I care about -- in this case, harm to people who just want somewhere to pray (also a 1st amendment right!), but more generally the attitude ends up hurting any sort of non-white, or non-christian, or non-WHATEVER person who just wants to live their life their own way.

Anyway, that's the context, and then for my explanation of my specific issues with her post, see here: http://e-moon60.livejournal.com/335480.html?view=2774136#t2774136

I hope that makes things clearer.
dsmoendsmoen on September 16th, 2010 06:37 am (UTC)
And anyway, her whole argument is that the people building the community center shouldn't be expressing themselves that way...

The old "tone" argument.
David Wesleydwesley on September 16th, 2010 09:18 am (UTC)
The media coverage of this "ground zero mosque" thing is just ridiculous, and gets most of the facts wrong.

I completely agree. I have been irritated from the beginning that this thing has such legs. I think most of the rhetoric regarding the issue is just stupid, but I think Ms Moon articulated some concerns that have some basis in merit and shouldn't be dismissed outright.

No-one is arguing against Ms. Moon's right to speech --

When you actively call for people to stop buying her books and to have her removed as guest of honor (neither of which is related to her post) then you are in fact advocating that her speech is not free.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on September 16th, 2010 09:40 am (UTC)
Actually, no. It merely means her speech is not consequence-free.

Throwing free speech around, misleadingly, is a great way to, ha, silence people.

She is free to continue saying whatever she wants. Your misuse of the term will not stop me from saying what I believe. Thus, free speech for all.
Becca Stareyesbeccastareyes on September 16th, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)
Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from response.
When you actively call for people to stop buying her books and to have her removed as guest of honor (neither of which is related to her post) then you are in fact advocating that her speech is not free.

Speaking as someone who has bought Ms. Moon's books, I don't see the problem in saying 'I would rather not give money to people with ugly ideas' or 'I think someone who promotes bigotry is contrary to the goals of this convention, so will bring this to the attention of the concom'. All of us have a limited amount of money and time to read and go to conventions, so we want to promote those authors which we enjoy (either as authors or as people). Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from response.

As for me, I do enjoy Ms. Moon's books, but find her opinions a problem, so will be moving this to the 'buy used' pile.
Samantha Hendersonsamhenderson on September 16th, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
"When you actively call for people to stop buying her books and to have her removed as guest of honor (neither of which is related to her post) then you are in fact advocating that her speech is not free."

No. Ms. Moon had every right to say what she did. People have a right to agree, or disagree, or state and suggest and call for people not to read her books, or advocate everybody running out and buying 5 copies of her books right now, or saying that they won't go to Wiscon if she's a guest or saying they won't go to Wiscon if she's not a guest. No one who objects to the post has the ability to prevent her from having her say and I don't see anyone even indicating a desire to do so -- expressing indignation at what she said is not the same thing.

With freedom of speech comes the consequence of people reacting, for better or worse, by utilizing their own right to free speech.
David Wesleydwesley on September 21st, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
No. Ms. Moon had every right to say what she did. People have a right to agree, or disagree, or state and suggest and call for people not to read her books, or advocate everybody running out and buying 5 copies of her books right now, or saying that they won't go to Wiscon if she's a guest or saying they won't go to Wiscon if she's not a guest. No one who objects to the post has the ability to prevent her from having her say and I don't see anyone even indicating a desire to do so -- expressing indignation at what she said is not the same thing.

I absolutely agree with everything you said, except that when you mis-represent what someone says ("Apparently Ms Moon thinks the European settlers here were happy community-builders who were welcomed with open arms and... assimilated... or something. Also that the Native people of this continent don't exist?") and then damages that person (loss of income from drop in book sales), it's called libel, and it's against the law.
Samantha Hendersonsamhenderson on September 21st, 2010 03:34 am (UTC)
1) You were saying that "actively calling for people to stop buying her books and to have her removed as a guest of honor" is taking away her right to free speech. I was stating that it is not. What does that have to do with libel?

2) I doubt very much the quote you reference is libelous, because in fact that is an interpretation one could make from Ms. Moon's comments (some of which were in the comment thread she's deleted). She certainly very much downplayed the harm done by Europeans to Native Americans. Now of course, that wasn't what her post was about, but she was talking about the necessity of an immigrant group not harming the existent group. Also, irony, let me introduce it to you.

3) Her sales are not going to be affected by this. And people have a right to not buy, or buy, or unrecommend (which is what Shweta did, BTW; she didn't call for an organized boycott) what they want.

People's right of free speech is not constrained by other people's right to the same free speech, just as people's freedom to practice their religion is not constrained by the existence of other people practicing their religion (or no religion).
David Wesleydwesley on September 21st, 2010 06:34 am (UTC)
1) You were saying that "actively calling for people to stop buying her books and to have her removed as a guest of honor" is taking away her right to free speech. I was stating that it is not. What does that have to do with libel?

Free speech has limitations. If you commit libel against someone for exercising their free speech, then you are in effect using a form of coercion to remove them of their right to free speech. Your statements of disagreement are not libelous. Shweta's statements in her original post are certainly heading in that direction.

2) I doubt very much the quote you reference is libelous, because in fact that is an interpretation one could make from Ms. Moon's comments (some of which were in the comment thread she's deleted). She certainly very much downplayed the harm done by Europeans to Native Americans. Now of course, that wasn't what her post was about, but she was talking about the necessity of an immigrant group not harming the existent group. Also, irony, let me introduce it to you.

Please name one statement from Ms Moon that meets the definition of libel: A misrepresentation that causes harm to an individual. And by harm, of course I mean something tangible, that would stand up in court. I did not see anything in Ms Moon's statement that downplayed the harm done to Native Americans. Her discussion wasn't about the necessity of an immigrant group not harming the existent group, it was a discussion from the perspective of an existing group, not to be harmed by immigrants who don't assimilate. The European Colonists didn't assimilate with the Native Americans. Do you think that's worked out well for the Native Americans? So, unless you are aiming for cultural suicide, you would be wise to expect a vigorous level of assimilation by immigrants.

3) Her sales are not going to be affected by this. And people have a right to not buy, or buy, or unrecommend (which is what Shweta did, BTW; she didn't call for an organized boycott) what they want.

Right. Maybe Shweta posted the link to the Con management so she could send them another note later without having to look for it. The intent is pretty clear to me. And I hope you are right about the sales.

People's right of free speech is not constrained by other people's right to the same free speech, just as people's freedom to practice their religion is not constrained by the existence of other people practicing their religion (or no religion).

Your statements are true in and of themselves, my right to free speech is not constrained by another person's right to free speech, it is constrained by such things as slander and libel. Just like freedom of religion stops when the practice is harmful to others.
Samantha Hendersonsamhenderson on September 21st, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC)
1) In her original post, Shweta indicates she is angry (and various other emotions) at Ms. Moon's post. Then she indicates she will contacting Wiscon to state her objections to Ms. Moon being GOH. Then she posts a link, with an accompanying statement, to a comment that further parses and interprets part of Ms. Moon's post. None of it is libel, none of prevents Ms. Moon from posting about whatever she wants to post about, none of it threatens to beat her up on a dark street if she doesn't shut up. I also will point out that none of it implies that Ms. Moon has done something verging on illegal by stating her mind, as you seem to be regarding Shweta's statement. I don't know if you are intending the implication that Shweta is doing something actionable here by stating her reaction to have a chilling effect, but that's the way it's coming across to me.

2) Where did I say anything Ms. Moon said was libel?

3) No, duh, she posted the link so people could contact Wiscon and protest if they wanted. People actually get to do that, believe it or not. People can also support her being GOH, believe it or not. The concom may or may not take those opinions into account, as is their right. Are you seriously saying that that people don't have a right to object to a proposed GOH because such objection might affect their sales? That they don't have the right to post a link so that other people can do the same?

I find it problematic when an individual's or a group's reaction to someone's words, whether in a book or a story or a post like Moon's, results in accusations of censorship or infringing on free speech. Nothing prevents anyone from writing what they want (barring inciting riot and all that), but no one is immune from anyone reacting, rightly or wrongly, to what they say.

I also find it problematic that you seem to be more concerned about Ms. Moon losing a few book sales because Shweta won't buy her books or, gasp, unrecommends them, to the point of your vaguely accusing her of an illegal act, than the pain caused by Ms. Moon's post.
David Wesleydwesley on September 21st, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)
1) In her original post, Shweta indicates she is angry (and various other emotions) at Ms. Moon's post. Then she indicates she will contacting Wiscon to state her objections to Ms. Moon being GOH. Then she posts a link, with an accompanying statement, to a comment that further parses and interprets part of Ms. Moon's post. None of it is libel, none of prevents Ms. Moon from posting about whatever she wants to post about, none of it threatens to beat her up on a dark street if she doesn't shut up. I also will point out that none of it implies that Ms. Moon has done something verging on illegal by stating her mind, as you seem to be regarding Shweta's statement. I don't know if you are intending the implication that Shweta is doing something actionable here by stating her reaction to have a chilling effect, but that's the way it's coming across to me.

Please look up the definition of libel. Shweta misrepresented what Ms Moon said and then implied a call to action that could cause harm to her. I am only interested in a "chilling effect" in the sense that I would like people to enter into public discourse with something of substance, rather than accusations and name calling. Don't you see that Shweta's actions were an attempt to shut down Ms Moon rather than debate her on the substance of anything said? Why aren't you concerned about that chilling effect?

2) Where did I say anything Ms. Moon said was libel?

You didn't.

3) No, duh, she posted the link so people could contact Wiscon and protest if they wanted. People actually get to do that, believe it or not. People can also support her being GOH, believe it or not. The concom may or may not take those opinions into account, as is their right. Are you seriously saying that that people don't have a right to object to a proposed GOH because such objection might affect their sales? That they don't have the right to post a link so that other people can do the same?

Once again, no. People can do all of those things as long as they are not libelous.

I find it problematic when an individual's or a group's reaction to someone's words, whether in a book or a story or a post like Moon's, results in accusations of censorship or infringing on free speech. Nothing prevents anyone from writing what they want (barring inciting riot and all that), but no one is immune from anyone reacting, rightly or wrongly, to what they say.

Of course not, but reactions still have to be allowed by law.

I also find it problematic that you seem to be more concerned about Ms. Moon losing a few book sales because Shweta won't buy her books or, gasp, unrecommends them, to the point of your vaguely accusing her of an illegal act, than the pain caused by Ms. Moon's post.

Shweta's ability to dredge up old tapes from her past and inappropriately apply them to the present does not mean that Ms Moon has caused any pain. If something my wife does reminds me of a painful memory regarding my father, does that mean my wife has caused me pain, or does it mean my father caused me pain. It's my responsibility to understand the difference and deal with it appropriately so that my wife only has to answer to her actions, not my father's. Shweta was very eloquent about the pain of rejection that she felt growing up and is absolutely worthy of sympathy for it, but I personally find a big disconnect between what Shweta perceived from Ms Moon vs what she actually said. If we allow Shweta's painful childhood to be an excuse for not having to be reasonable, then we are all screwed. Successful public discourse and debate isn't a contest over who has the biggest victim trump card.
shweta_narayan: angryshweta_narayan on September 21st, 2010 06:26 pm (UTC)
OKay, that's enough.

Dave, you are of course welcome to make this bizarre argument. You are however not welcome to continue to do so in my space.

I have already given you far more leeway than I should; any more of this and I'm hitting the ban button.

I will not be deleting any of your posts, borderline abusive as I find them, because unlike Ms Moon I believe in free speech, and I know you're not actually an SF Murphy level troll, though you are acting like one here.
Samantha Hendersonsamhenderson on September 21st, 2010 06:49 pm (UTC)
Shweta, I posted before I saw your reply. Please feel free to delete that if you wish - I don't intend to respond to Mr. Wesley anymore.
shweta_narayan: authorpic1shweta_narayan on September 21st, 2010 06:54 pm (UTC)
No worries, dear. This sort of thing being part of our community's public record, I'd rather keep the delete button for accidental reposts and actual trolls :)
Samantha Hendersonsamhenderson on September 21st, 2010 06:44 pm (UTC)
Why ask me for examples of Ms. Moon being libelous if I never said she was? I don't really expact an answer to that, as your logic is fragmenting.

In your original comment, you said you didn't understand the reaction to Ms. Moon's post. Those reactions were from many, many people of many races, religions and histories, without any reference to Shweta's follow-up post (which I am not even considering here). You seem to be making it about Shweta in particular, which indicates to me there's an agenda at work here that I want nothing to do with, and don't intend to respond to any more.
Vvvvexation on September 21st, 2010 07:13 am (UTC)
I seriously doubt that describing an interpretation like that as a "misrepresentation," let alone a deliberate one, would hold up as part of a libel suit--especially when it's accompanied by a link to the supposed libel-ee's exact words so that others can decide for themselves how to interpret them.
David Wesleydwesley on September 21st, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
I don't think this would ever hold up at this point because it would be very difficult to prove harm. But, in the age of the internet, things can snowball out of control to the point that real harm is apparent. I'm pretty sure a libelous statement doesn't disappear just because the libeled party has made their own statements. It would make the concept of libel a moot point. A misrepresentation is still a misrepresentation.
shweta_narayan: angryshweta_narayan on September 21st, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC)
Repeating in part here. Dave, given that you have stopped even the semblance of constructive and/or respectful engagement, it is time you STFU here.

Note that you are not being silenced. You are more than welcome to take up the poor dear white bigot's cause in your own space if you like. You can even continue to misrepresent the First Amendment there if that makes you happy.

You are merely being heartily disinvited from my personal space.
Vvvvexation on September 21st, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC)
Eep. Sorry; I should've checked before replying.
Vvvvexation on September 21st, 2010 08:11 pm (UTC)
A misrepresentation may be a misrepresentation, but a speculation that is clearly labeled as such is not a misrepresentation. And I never claimed that the mere fact that the libeled party had made their own statements canceled out libel; what I said was that pointing directly to those statements would make it even harder for a claim of misrepresentation to stick. Frankly, I don't see how you can possibly claim that quoting (or linking to) someone's exact words and then speculating out loud as to the thoughts behind them counts as misrepresenting them. One can misrepresent someone else's position by making false claims as to what they actually said, but nobody's making any such claims here.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on September 22nd, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
This is basically a repeat of RaceFail09's "POC are being loud, let's shut them up with legal threats". It's even more insidious in this case, in some ways, because intended targets are immigrants and thus inherently more legally vulnerable than US citizens.
Vvvvexation on September 22nd, 2010 03:15 am (UTC)
So you suspect plain old bad faith in this particular argument? I didn't want to assume so, myself--but then I never do.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on September 22nd, 2010 03:40 am (UTC)
It started with the danger signal of "Let's just talk reasonably about why you feel threatened By Moon using her free speech (to claim that Islam "unfits" its followers for citizenship here), shall we, and why this makes you want to threaten her free speech?

It went on to be all about Moon with her victims brushed entirely under the carpet.

I am still not convinced it is deliberate bad faith, but it is most certainly not good faith, so it's unwelcome.