A few years ago while walking my department's hallway I just barely heard something odd on the air. One of those words. No, not that word, but close enough. I turned a saw one of the departmental admins smirking at me. He said hello and walked by as if nothing happened.
A lot of things went through my head that moment. I wasn't on my A+ "fuck racist" game. I didn't have a witty retort for him. I actually did nothing at all about it for a few days as I had urgent professional and personal stuff that had just come down. As the weeks rolled around I started to think about making some sort of official complaint. Looked up any rules and regulations. Thought about likely outcomes. I would have to go to the department head. Would he be sympathetic? I'd have to explain it. There'd be a lot of "well that word isn't bad, right?" or "maybe that's just how he says it". I'd be playing up the Angry Negro part. Even if I had a completely legitimate complaint. I'd be "that black guy who complains about things". Being shut down seemed like a much more likely scenario than anything else. For a variety of reasons about the environment in my department I thought any official response would be unsympathetic at best.
Sciam Blogs seems to be living this out right now in regards to their decision to censor Danielle Lee's post calling out another blog network's bad behavior. I can't tell you how disappointing this looks. It feels like one of those moments, and I've had plenty, where a person truly shows you what their priorities are. Sometimes you just have to say goodbye. I hope that this isn't that.