Man, okay, LOOK.
Yesterday, we posted our decision to give 100% of our profits off Orson Scott Card’s issues of Adventures of Superman to the Human Rights Campaign. This was our decision based on Card’s viewpoints, with which we highly disagree, as well as our desire to take something that could profit a bigot and allow it to fund a worthwhile cause.
So, naturally, shortly after we made our post, we had folks who disagreed with us. They used the same two arguments that ALWAYS get used on the Internet when someone acts according to their conscience: “You have to have boycotted (or donated, in our case) everything he’s done or you’re a hypocrite” and “You’ll have to boycott (or donate) everything ever by everyone” aka The Slippery Slope Argument. We’d like to respond to both those arguments here.
1) Why start with this book? Did you carry his other books? Isn’t it hypocritical to start with this Superman one?
We’ll plead ignorance on this one. We didn’t know that Card was a board member for an organization that opposed same-sex marriage back when his other comics were released. Knowing that now? We’ve decided to use his book to fund an opposing agenda. Had we known then, when we were carrying Ultimate Iron Man or Red Prophet or the Ender books? We’d have made the same decision as we have today, we’d like to think. Either way, it’s moot, as we don’t regularly stock those older graphic novels any longer, due to low sales. Most likely we won’t be restocking them, but in case we need to by a customer’s request, we’ll donate those profits as well.
2) If you disagree with Card’s politics, you’ll have to do the same thing for everyone else you disagree with. What about (slightly offensive artist) or (outspoken writer)? You’ll have to donate whatever money you make off of them, or you’re a hypocrite.
Oh, Internet, where the world is only 1s and 0s, yes and no, Nothing Is Good Enough or Do As Thou Wilt. Come on. We are people, and we made this decision as people. We are not trying to win a Flawless Victory over the Internet, nor are we trying to pass a bulletproof piece of legislation. This ONE GUY behaved PUBLICLY in a way we were unable to support as retailers without trying to take his homophobic lemons and make equality lemonade. We do not intend to run through the CV or Facebook page or Twitter feed or Google search history or goddamn trashcan of every contributor of everything we carry at Challengers. But, man, that doesn’t mean that if it comes to our attention that a writer of a book PUBLICLY serves on the board of an organization we think is wrong, that we can’t say, “This thing we need to do something about.” If someone else does something publicly? We may make the same decision. If someone privately does something, or is rumored to have done something privately? We may not.
We know that, with the Internet, it’s compelling to use ever more constricting parameters of hypothetical situations to expose the opposing side as too zealous, too apathetic, or (amazingly) both. We think, in the real world, we can all agree that life is a series of decisions, not a carved-in-stone credo that must be defended at all costs. This time, with Orson Scott Card on Adventures of Superman, we decided that we wanted to take our profits from his book and give them to the Human Rights Campaign, to offset the money Card stood to make, and a little more besides. This is A decision we made today. We may make others like it in the future, we may not. Let’s all keep an open mind.