You know, I wasn't paying much attention to racefail'09 when it first started cropping up here and there as passing mentions in other people's livejournals. I figured it was another fandom drama thing that would implode in a colossal poof of wank after a week or so, and then we'd all as a collective internet move on. I do don't really do fandoms precisely to avoid this sort of ignorant wank in the first place.
But it's still going on, and proving worth paying attention to as more fans and readers and writers coming in to toss their $0.02 into the discussion. Much of it is so facepalm inducing that I'm on my way to developing a callous on my forehead to rival Wesley Willis'. And some of it is really thoughtful commentary on why it is indeed important to have more perspectives, cultures, and ethnicities represented in SF/F.
Some good has come out of it, and I don't mean established writers inadvertently proving themselves as jackasses. I mean things like karnythia starting verb_noire. Things like the effort to get readers of color to collectively tell the fandom/genre that yes, you know, we'd like a few books that didn't trace back to Tolkien and European folklore. and despite the fair amount of IM NOT RACIST KTHXBAI, it's actually a pretty damned interesting dialog on how pervasive internalized racism actually is. So... out of blue comes green. Its also jump-started the gears for my own writing projects... I spent most of the time today waiting for Dad to finish his doctor's appointments scribbling, and damn, that was a good feeling.
Reasons to care about racefail
Racefail: the beginning
A tale of layers
So, racefail... (commentary on Patricia Wrede's The Thirteenth Child)