For further reading on the nonsense that seems to be happening around Cleis and their authors/editors, check out Violet Blue and Alison Tyler.
The second thing was that Romancelandia exploded when a couple of authors posted on Facebook about their "joking" (apparently? Because years of institutionalized slavery and rape are great for the lulz) about a Fifty Shades of Grey/Jefferson & his slave mashup. To add to the fun, it appeared on Twitter that the white women behind this "joke" were only responding to other white women, instead of the many non-white women who were livid and hurt and justifiably enraged.
It isn't my place to rage on this one, guys. The joke was bullshit, the response was bullshit, and the issued apology was the kind of apology that—well, when my 7yo apologizes that way, makes it all about her, I tell her to go back to thinking about what she's done, and tell her to try again.
If you seriously need to figure out why this wasn't ever going to be funny as a joke, check out @fangirlJeanne, who is basically always brilliant and awesome on this stuff.
My one tweet on this yesterday really, and what I do want to write about a little today, is this:
I realized yesterday that it's nothing like the same. Nothing at all.
The wonderful Alyssa Cole tweeted that she hoped that yesterday wasn't seen as a dog pile on someone who was trying to write a multicultural romance. I'm sure that some assholes will see it that way, use it to fuel their ever expanding views of "those people." But I'd like to think that more people—like me, like at least a few of the people I saw respond to Alyssa's tweet—see it differently. See it as a call to do better, to be careful, to view the position of Ally not as a badge of honor but as a call to be, well, as close to above reproach as we can manage. Because when we dehumanize someone in the way that the authors did yesterday, we're feeding into a cultural morass that already tells people they're worth LESS because of something as unchangeable as the color of their skin.
I'm deeply sorry that I didn't understand it before. I'm more sorry that it took yesterday to get me to understand it better now.