Meghan (megmccarron) wrote,

Foot-dragging or internet time?

So, last night, in an elation over Moon-disinvitation, I tweeted this:

Happy for news, but it remains that a racism 101 fail should never have taken this long to be resolved within a "progressive" community.

Kristin replied:

There were two different meetings and a lot of behind the scenes work involving a fairly large and diverse group.

And Nalo replied:

Given due process in committee/community work & the necessity to not act unilaterally, I'd say this was a speedy response.

I responded in a perhaps obscene five different tweets, to the effect that

a. Wiscon does have an intentionally slow and deliberative decision-making process, so it's true that speediness should not be a built-in expectation

b. I did wonder if some of my impatience was built into the fact that the debate I was aware of was taking place on the internet, while the debate over Moon's actual disinvitation was taking place in the real world

c. Despite a & b, I was disappointed that there was even a question, let alone a month-long debate, over whether someone who posted a diatribe against Muslims and then shut down debate on her blog should be honored at a convention representing itself as feminist and progressive. 

d. And the fact that there was a debate suggests to me that Wiscon has a great deal of work to do on the subject of becoming truly progressive.

This resulted in an unweildy twitter debate, which is near-impossible to re-create here.  For now, it can be read here.  (Readers of the far future, this is merely a search of my twitter name, so this will probably be buried).  It came down to the sticky issue of how an institution should respond to this kind of scandal, and how quickly, and what principles should be discarded/put at risk in that response.

I left the debate feeling I was wrong for framing my comments as impatience.  I'm not on the concom, and plenty of people who are/were displayed staggering amounts of patience in order to set things right.  But I remain saddened and angry that this decision was not a no-brainer, and that the fact that there had to be a debate in real-time meant that the internet-time damage to Wiscon's reputation was immeasurably more than just 39 day's worth.  I am GLAD everyone who spoke out did.  It was absolutely the right thing to do.  It rested on the comcon, and especially the troika, to fix this.  Yes, asking for a "quick fix" is problematic, especially in an institution that values consensus and debate.  But, perhaps nievely, I assumed that Moon's comments fell under the sway of certain core values that I expected Wiscon to uphold, without debate, as a group.

My co-tweeters -- have I left anything out?  Is there something to add?  Please do join in.
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