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Hi Harper,

For simplicity and to avoid confusion I am responding to both your comments in this response.

In your other comment to me you state:

One last thing I forget to say. Trust me when I say, I mean this in the nicest way possible, do not ever tell someone, you found it unfortunate they found a certain term “racist”. It’s the worst thing you could ever say to someone.
I understood what you meant, but again let me educate you. You can never walk in someone else’s shoes. For example, say we both got into a car accident. We had the same broken bones, both of our cars were totaled, etc, etc. My experience would still be different than yours as far as recovery, paying my medical bills, if my family and friends supported me, and so on and so on.

To be clear, I didn’t tell you that it was unfortunate that you found a term racist. What I said was that if what Veronica had said caused you offense, then that was unfortunate. Which is to say, I am sorry the situation occurred. It does not seek to define your offense, nor does it attempt to explain intent. Both of which I have no way of knowing.

As for your comment that no amount of workshops can take the place of lived experience, I agree completely and I am glad you mentioned that. And that is why I won’t argue about the term or tell you that you shouldn’t find it offensive. If you do, you do. What I would like to put out there however, is that you might consider that “POC” is a term in common use and widely accepted by virtually all anti-racist organizations in North America, by many educational institutions, and is favored by a large number of the people it claims to represent. I understand and appreciate you are not one of them. I am not trying to say that you should embrace it either, I am simply framing the context around which it is used.

You suggest that we use the term “people of different cultural backgrounds. That phrase encompasses all nationalities.” It does do that, and I would say that is exactly why it needs to be more specific. That term could identify me, in so far as I am a white male of Irish heritage who lives in Canada. From my perspective as a publication editor, if I am trying to recruite more black, Asian, or Native American voices, getting a whole whack of submissions from people who look just like me does not accomplish the goal to include diverse perspectives. Which is why I state in my publication description:

We publish new, emerging, & seasoned writers; women, writers of color, & GLBTQ writers are especially encouraged to submit.

In the first part of my sentence I have covered everyone from every culture. Next, I am getting descriptively specific with who I want to target and feel encouraged to apply; the people I don’t hear as often as I hear people like me. That would include, black, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Indigenous voices; in other words, people of color.

I am not expecting you to embrace the term or even suggesting that you do, my hope is that by explaining this position in a little more detail you can see that Veronica was very much embracing diversity, and doing it in a way that exceeds the industry standard.

All the best.

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