November 17, 2015

Accusations of Racism at Skepticon 8

A Forest controversy. - - 52952
Richard Webb, via Wikimedia Commons

The latest controversy between skeptics and social justice warriors is an interesting one. We have accusations of racism made against a speaker at Skepticon 8, and we have a video record of everything this speaker said. This gives us a rare opportunity to judge for ourselves whether the accusations are warranted. Sounds like an ideal scenario for a skeptic, doesn't it?

Start by reading this Facebook post from Danielle Muscato, noting the following:
During the session, Mark said multiple indefensibly racist things that, in my opinion, cannot be reconciled with a continued relationship with him.
That doesn't sound good. I have to assume that none of the Skepticon attendees would expect to hear "indefensibly racist" things coming from the stage.

What did Mark Schierbecker say that was so objectionable? Watch the video and see if you can find the "indefensibly racist" things Mark is alleged to have said.

Could you find them? If not, you are in good company. Damion Reinhardt's take is also worth reading.

H/T to Notung @SIN_Notung

Update: After watching the video, Muscato has apologized for his accusations of racism, and Shierbecker has posted some of his thoughts, including this one:
I want this incident to be a reminder to myself and others that you shouldn’t let others determine the story you tell. No matter what, you should be true to yourself, consequences and social justice warriors be damned.