Please note, as a fantasy and science fiction writer, I spend a lot of my time writing things that are really Other--intelligent wolves and giant talking stag-headed ponies, for example. Also angels (fallen and otherwise), hyperintelligent supercolloids, virtual winged dinosaurs, and other stuff. So I keep thinking, well, if I can write something that doesn't even have the same senses I do, how hard can it be to write a Jewish former Army Captain from St. Louis?
I've been reading RaceFail '09, the huge, sprawling, occasionally venomous debate on race in speculative fiction. The above quote from author Elizabeth E. Bear is one of my favourites, simply because it manages to be so insulting, and so revealing all at once. There's a few out there, so don't let yourself get limited.
Anyhow, I honestly don't have much to say on the whole thing. Some of it I agree with. Some of it I don't. A lot of it I've seen before, both sadly and positively. Mostly, I just wanted to link these two posts about the subject here and here, which provide a huge amount of links, and which you can follow if you've the time and inclincation. I haven't read everything--it is reportedly two months of blogging on the subject, and it'll take me some time if I persist--but there seems to be a lot on whiteness, and there's some drama from named folk, and a few links that are now protected or deleted, if that kind of thing gets you moving.
I have to admit, though, that I really do wish that it hadn't been called RaceFail. Coming into it late, it gave me the impression of a discussion about race that had failed to get anywhere which, even after all the hurt egos and bumps and slaps and screams, is not the case.