Monday, May 20, 2019

Regarding "Stop begging for Diversity"

by David Nemeth

Over the last four days, I have stayed out of the social media fray regarding the post, "Stop begging for diversity" (Do Some Damage). If anyone directly asked me about my role in the essay, I was forthcoming with a response. However, I chose not to respond to supposition and innuendo. And since you're probably asking right now, I did not write "Stop begging for diversity".

You may wonder about the length of time for this response and that is due to several factors including "Stop begging for diversity" being hosted on this website of which I am only a guest and having multiple people involved. All of this only slowed down communication.

Below is my recounting of the events that transpired over the last several days.

On Thursday, May 2, I received an essay that became "Stop begging for diversity". I asked the writer if I could post it and they said they’d have to think about it. If it was published, they told me, they might want to do so under a pseudonym.

On Tuesday, May 14, after the Strand Critics Award nominees came out, I got in touch with the writer and asked if I could publish the essay. They agreed but under a pseudonym. I respected the author's request for anonymity which encompassed both business and family reasons.

Later that day, I got in touch with Steve to check with him about posting it under an admin account. My reasoning, however faulty, was that by not publishing under my byline, the focus would be on the essay rather than me. That line of thinking proved wrong and for that I am sorry.

On Friday, May 17, Steve and I chatted about a response to concern in social media regarding the essay. We traded versions back and forth. I thought a statement by me might put pressure on the anonymous author. This statement has the same problem I was trying to avoid. I agreed with Steve that a Do Some Damage editorial response was warranted.

We can argue about the essay's newsworthiness or the author's anonymity, but I will not ask the writer to out themselves nor will I reveal their name. I will keep my word. 

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