Because Nothing Says Inclusivity Like Banning an Hispanic Author, Worldcon 76 Locks Out Jon Del Arroz

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Jon Del Arroz

Jon Del Arroz is a serious science fiction author. And by serious, I mean he's taken the time and trouble to join the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America guild, something I've bothered to do, and now probably never will.

Del Arroz, an Hispanic, was planning to attend Worldcon 76, when he received notice that they were disallowing his attendance, stating he had intended to break their code of conduct. "Worldcon 76 strives to be an inclusive place in fandom, as difficult as that can be, and racist and bullying behavior is not acceptable at our Worldcon."

Because nothing says inclusivity and anti-racism like banning an Hispanic author from your event.

What triggered this reaction? What was it that Del Arroz had done to merit sucha response? Had he published a political manifesto? Posted with a frillion AK-47s on Facebook? Publicly burned a picture of Ray Bradbury?

No. Having received veiled threats in regards to his attendance at the event, and after having asked about protective measures at the convention, Del Arroz made it clear that he was going to go to the convention with: a camera.

The nerve! Who goes to a science fiction convention with a camera!?

"Worldcon refused to even acknowledge the very real threats to my person and family made by science fiction professionals and anonymous stalkers," Del Arroz tells Megan Fox at PJ Media. So Del Arroz felt wearing a camera that would capture any violence would be a deterrent to violence.

What it deterred, instead, was his ability to attend Worldcon 76. But Worldcon's edict was stronger than that. In a response to Arroz, Worldcon's Incident Response Team area head Lori Buschbaum wrote, "If you are found on the premises of the convention center or any of the official convention hotels you will be removed." (Emphasis mine.) As Arroz was clearly planning on attending the convention -- a privilege he paid for -- it is reasonable to assume he also reserved a hotel room, which he now can't even stay at regardless of the convention without threat of eviction.

Authors and fans have been supportive of Del Arroz in social media, but on Worldcon's own comments page, the PTB are having none of that business.

Once you begin banning, it's hard to stop.

This entire string of events seems to have begun with an exchange on the science fiction fandom site, File770, between Del Arroz and SFWA president Cat Rambo.

"I had never interacted with her," Del Arroz tells CriticalBlast. She called a blog of mine 'egregious stupidity' which I thought was not a good look for the SFWA president to do to a new author. I asked for an apology, she never gave one." Del Arroz then calims that Rambo escalated attacks despite attempts to reach out. Del Arroz is a self-described "vocal Christian and Hispanic Trump supporter," and feels that it was these reasons that drove Worldcon's decision.