When Con Carolinas removed John Ringo from their convention, effectively banning him because a small internet outrage mob attempted to harass him out of a convention, they did more than just attack a single author. They set a precedent for other conventions to start pushing their “code of conduct” policies to a point where they can start removing people they don’t like because of their political affiliation.
The mantra was what we would expect from a convention. They claimed they wanted to stop harassment, giving no details as to what actually occurred when they made their post. To the outside observer, it could look like they were removing Mr. Ringo for harassment, which is absurd, as he was the one targeted in this situation, and he did nothing, not even responding to the attackers directly.
But it’s encouraged conventions to get more brazen in targeting conservatives, within a month after the incident with Mr. Ringo.
Fogcon, the convention I attended in March in which, like at every convention, my behavior was exemplary and professional, made this post on their facebook page last evening:
This post was made specifically to target me as it seems someone around the concom was upset not that I did anything — which is on record everywhere that I didn’t do anything other than sit at the bar with friends and attend a panel peacefully — but because my identity upsets them so much they wanted to try to bully me out of future conventions.
This happened at the convention itself as well, as security was called on me because I was sitting at the bar, having a drink, and speaking with a friend. We weren’t bothering anyone, but someone went out of their way to falsely try to accuse me of wrongdoing because of who I am. This is exactly why I said it was necessary for me to have a security camera on me at Worldcon in case someone attempted to harm me, or attempted to accuse me of something. Worldcon chose to ban the victim of what is truly reprehensible behavior because of my political affiliation. It again, set a precedent where conventions are going to do this and even take more extreme measure in the name of political purity–I mean, “diversity and tolerance”.
With their post on Facebook, Fogcon is taking a step further in delving into authoritarian fascism with this post. This is the kind of behavior where Nazis attempted to root out Jews from businesses, from social life, and eventually to throw into concentration camps. It’s saying that they will take select people and go through and research into their online profiles, who they are at home, etc. before allowing them to attend a convention. It’s a big can of worms where I don’t think they understand the long term implications of what they’re doing.
When they institute a policy like this, they can’t apply this standard equally to all attendees. Almost everyone who attends a convention and has a Twitter or Facebook account was probably mean on the internet to someone at some point. I even have had a run in with FOGCon chairman Steven Schwartz the last two days, as he tried to rile up my very much harassing trolls to push further. Will they be investigating his twitter account and seeing if he’s mean? Will the same standard be held? Or is it okay because he harassed the “right” person?
His last three tweets on his account were encouraging known harasser, Kelli Stassi, who has been defaming me daily since Worldcon made their illegal proclamation. What about before that?
His entire account is simply used to @ Donald Trump and harass the president up until he decided to attack a conservative author.
You see how as soon as you delve into anyone’s social media, you can find this sort of thing. And now there’s a blog where it’s documenting convention chair of FOGcon’s known harassment of authors of political figures. A con with rules surfing social media would have to act if they apply this standard to conservative figures. In California, if double standards are applied based on politics, it’s illegal.
This is the path conventions will start to go down if they pursue this path, not because they’re keeping conventions safe — as a Christian, family man, and businessman I’ve never harmed a soul intentionally, and they’re aware of that — but to keep ideas and people out of conventions so that the politics goes unchallenged.
The long term strategy where this is bad for them is science fiction isn’t nearly as lockstep as they think. There’s huge swells of conservative authors, christian authors, and others who don’t agree with the SJW mantra, or want conventions to be panel after panel of identity politics whining. When those people take control of conventions, and these policies are in place, they’re going to start to ban in reverse because of the left’s behavior. If I’m bad for firing back at John Scalzi after he attacked me, it necessitates that John Scalzi is bad for trying to harm my career in the first place. Elizabeth Bear is bad for wishing death on me on twitter when I had never interacted with her. Jim C. Hines is similar for stalking me and posting the fruits of that on his blog to try to defame and destroy me. The list can go on.
“It can’t happen to our team, we control the cons,” they might think. Or perhaps they may not think at all. But this is what happens when the path of silencing dissenting ideas is taken. In California, I’ll remind, that there are civil rights laws to address this kind of behavior by organizations. It’s called the Unruh Act, and FogCon, in their attempt to appease a few bullies trying to hate popular conservatives out of fandom, would be good to remember that not applying standards equally to all is very illegal in this state.
Pursuing silencing of people and ideas is not a safety matter. Perhaps my safety would be in question at their convention because people might attack me, but I am no danger in attacking anyone, which is well documented. Since this isn’t a matter of safety, it’s a matter of silencing certain people and ideas, something we should not allow to happen in our society. I will continue to fight for the civil rights of conservatives and others to be able to speak, live, and work professionally, and I will not be intimidated into silence.
If you like my writings and civil rights work, support my fiction, cuz that’s what it’s all about. Despite a very loud minority of angry sci-fi authors and establishment publishing goons, I’m very popular with readers who don’t have extreme political agendas, just look at my reviews. I get messages every day about the work I do and how fun my books are. That’s why I’ve got an award winning Steampunk novel, For Steam And Country. Check out here.