Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Helix Boycott

I go away for a few days and come back to a full boycott. Cool! It seems that Helix magazine decided to say a few choice racist words to an author in a rejection letter. In the days before blogs, what's an unknown author to do. Just suck it up, that's what. But not anymore. You see there are these thingies called blogs. You can post stuff on 'em. And guess what? Anyone can have one — even an unknown author (at least he is unknown to me).

The response was something I've never seen before. Other authors went on to request — no demand — that Helix take down their stories from the Helix site. Not all of these authors are big names but they are big enough. Authors like Tobias Buckell, NK Jemison, and Yoon Ha Lee requested their stories be taken down stating that they no longer wished their names to be associated with the publication. Again, cool!

Oh, but wait, it gets better. The editor of Helix goes on to criticise the author for posting his racist response. —

Son, hasn't anybody ever told you that public posting of a private email message is contrary to the rules both of accepted internet practice and common courtesy?

When I get a business email from someone and they say something that I want to blog about, I usually ask -- with one exception -- you say something racist or nasty then ALL BETS ARE OFF. My email is just that MINE. You say something nasty to me then expect me not to say something back, you are smokin' some special dope! This is exactly what blogs are for. Blogs give voice to the voiceless. They're a place where democracy and freedom reign. So friggin' get used to it! And this of course, began another stream of argument on the net.

Now, the editor wants to charge the authors $40 for taking their stories down! Aside from being a major jerk, the editor is showing himself to be a bad, bad business person. And, oh yes, a bigot! The editor continues his unprofessionalism by putting up a message for the deleted stories thus —

Story deleted at author's pantiwadulous request.

People of Color have put up with this kind of bullshit for a really long time. We get insulted to-our-faces and then when we say something, we are either accused of being PC freaks or racists ourselves. I AM SO PROUD OF THE AUTHORS WHO CHOSE TO STAND UP AND BOYCOTT THIS MAGAZINE! It is about time that people of conscience band together and say enough is enough and we are not going to take this shit anymore. Let this be a message to every editor, publisher, and author out there that if you pull this crap, there will be consequences. And ya' damn right!


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