Mowed and mowed and mowed this evening. I'm beat.
Then I came in and read blogs. What a mistake. Many, many examples of FAIL on the 'sphere tonight, but here is my favorite: Karynthia of Verb Noire went to WorldCon and sat on a panel with this charmer who insists racism is not an issue in her 'verse, because she and her friends just don't see color, and if we could all just learn to be like her....
Here's her book, btw, which has possibly the whitest woman in the universe on its cover.
Among other things, in her tasty post, she tells us, very earnestly, that story I have never heard before, about how her kid's bestest friends are a black kid (only she calls him a kid "the color of pitch") and a Spanish kid "who barely speaks English" and a Korean kid. See? See? Some of her kid's bestest friends aren't white (though how she would know this if she can't see color I do not know) so she can't be racist!
The other story she tells I like even better. She has these two friends, see, from DC, who were married for ever so long, and until they went on this trip down south, when some redneck pointed it out to them, they never even noticed one was black and one was white! That's how colorblind she and her friends are!
Which, okay, you might not believe this story. But I totally do, see, because the exact same thing happened to me. Well. Not the exact same thing. But close. See, one of my cousin's bestest friends was gay. Well. We didn't know he was gay, because we're sexblind. We're not homophobes! We never notice stuff like that! Also he didn't know he was gay either. Neither did his boyfriend. They were just people to us. That's just how we were raised, not to judge people on who they did sex with, or how many musicals they owned the DVDs to but on the content of their character. But! Once we went to this rodeo in Oklahoma and the cowboys there called my cousin's friend and his friend faggots.
But! We never ever ever used that sort of language. Not raised that way! So my cousin's friend and his friend got SO confused. They thought it meant they were bundles of wood. (That's what it says in the OED!) You can imagine the resulting confusion, all those attempts to start fires by rubbing themselves together at BoyScout jamborees and so forth.
Luckily another of my cousin's bestest friends found this on Urban Dictionary and all became clear, but still! I totally see how Arhyalon could FAIL to see or comprehend or understand why someone's race or the issue of racism might matter in America in 2009.