Putting this silliness into its proper context isn’t difficult. The Horror Writers Association asked for volunteers to serve on the jury for the Bram Stoker Award for Best Anthology, and former HWA trustee, author, and publisher David A Riley held up his hand. After all, he had served on the Bram Stoker Award jury for First Novel some time before. This is far from a prestigious position, requiring several unpaid hours of reading short story collections, but Riley wanted to help the HWA and give it the one thing no one can ever give back to you: time.
But because Riley had been a member of the UK’s National Front party, an association he now regrets being a part of and left over thirty years ago, he has been deemed a racist, fascist, and awful person. Amidst outrage from Social Justice Warriors everywhere in the horror community, Riley withdrew from the jury. This didn’t satisfy the mob, who would only be happy with Riley’s racist, fascist blood spilled across the shattered remains of a freshly-sledgehammered bust of H.P. Lovecraft.
When I first saw so many SJWs get so upset about this issue, I knew it was bullshit, because SJWs are always full of shit. So unlike the angry Social Justice mob, I actually had the intellectual curiosity to go to the man himself and talk to him. As it turned out, the truth was a lot more complex than the racist, fascist fantasy cooked up by leftist drama queens. If former Ku Klux Klan member Robert Byrd was good enough to serve in leadership roles in the U.S. Congress throughout a decades-long political career despite having filibustered multiple civil rights acts, I think David A Riley could serve on the Bram Stoker jury. The problem is that “Sheets” Byrd was a leftist and Riley is not.
I can’t help but draw some parallels between Riley’s experience and my own, when Jim Mcleod kicked me off the staff of Ginger Nuts of Horror and subsequently called me, a Jewish man, a Nazi for expressing opinions in my own space that had nothing to do with genre fiction. That was also a politically-motivated attack perpetrated by SJWs intent on damaging my career. While it hasn’t had much effect in that regard, it did damage some relationships and ruin others. Not over anything I did to them, of course, but because I had the wrong opinions and dared to talk about them on my social sites. Despite the books of theirs I reviewed, the time I spent on their behalf doing favors and promoting and supporting, I had become a fascist (a claim historically-ignorant leftists throw about with at least as much abandon as Rick from The Young Ones). To a SJW, it’s never about the work you do: it’s about your ideological purity. Having the right thoughts. Expressing the right opinions.
Prove you’re not a racist. Are you white? Are you male? Do you use outdated terms like male? Sit down and shut up. You’ve had your time in the sun. It’s our time now.
The lack of self-regard on the part of Riley’s detractors would be hilarious if it wasn’t so disquieting. I thought only vampires feared mirrors.
In a few weeks this will blow over and a new outrage will rise to give the SJWs in genre fiction a fresh reason to feel good about themselves. Who’s going to be the next scalp?