I was shocked to learn that the convention Readercon was removing people as what appears due to “age” to try to bring in a hipper, younger demographic for both panelists and audience. Pro-tip #1 to conventions: if you want a younger demographic, you’re going to have to change the formatting and focus more on commerce type of stuff and really upgrade your dealer halls, panelists are not your problem.
The convention of course went with the “we cycle our guests so as to keep the programming from getting stale.” If you might recall, this is a standard line they all use now, inspired by Baycon, who removed me quite permanently as a speaker because I’m an outspoken Trump supporter. They also claimed I was pre-invited to 2018 — it’s 2018 and programming is now closed for Baycon and I’ve yet to be invited. Between that and the program director’s facebook comments at the time that stated I was banned over “speech based on ideology” it didn’t ring true anyway.
But the problem is, they didn’t just do it to one person here, they very demonstrably did it to a class of several individuals. As the accomplished and talented author Jeffrey Carver said on the matter, “a number of older, white male writers (including my friend Craig Shaw Gardner) have received the same email.”
While age is the primary motivator in such a discrimination — being white and male seems to be other identity features as to who they removed from their list. Most of the outrage is directed at age, as these folk removed are on the left, but they should be outraged that the other aspects of t heir identities are being removed also. This is where the false narrative of diversity breaks down, as it’s always about removing white and older people. Even if you’re part of their political team, they’ll purge you just over your identity over time. That is the end goal.
What I’m hoping we’ll see as these events increase in frequency, is that these folk will stop fighting on behalf of the people who want to remove them. They’ve been doing it for a long time, but eventually they’re going to lose their livelihoods over social justice initiatives. Identity is the new front of everything, it doesn’t matter how open and accepting you are. I’m very open and accepting of friends of all race, creed, or gender after all, and look at how they treat me as the leading Hispanic voice in science fiction. If you don’t check every box of their mob justice, you’re going to be out.
I’m hoping to raise awareness about what Readercon did to wonderful writers like Mr. Carver here, and to spur a movement to stop with discriminatory practices in fandom.
You can help me in my fight personally with my GoFundMe, against Worldcon’s illegal discrimination over my political affiliation, and the defamation they used to justify it. I’m not sure if the others have recourse with Readercon, because the state laws are different there. But I hope they get their due.