John Ringo Out As ConCarolinas Special Guest

A week after ConCarolinas announced John Ringo as a special guest, a choice hailed by his fans but protested by a number of writers on the con program in an extended social media controversy, the con committee has announced he won’t be coming.

Their official statement reads:

ConCarolinas and John Ringo have mutually agreed he will not attend the 2018 event. ConCarolinas wants to provide a positive environment for everyone who attends our events from our guests, attendees, vendors, and staff.

We represent a diverse range of opinions and support that.

We will not tolerate harassment or bullying as stated in our policy.

Any comments regarding this may be sent to concarolinas@concarolinas.org

ConCarolinas ConCom: Jada Diaz, ConChair; Dawson Kriska, Vice Chair; Sue Lambert, Secretary and Treasurer; Luis Diaz, Director of Security

While the official statement focuses on a desire to “provide a positive environment for everyone,” both Ringo and the con chair are spinning a different story.

John Ringo wrote on Facebook:

I just got disinvited from a con due to threats to my personal safety. This is more dangerous to me than the five fatwahs I’ve had over the years from various friendly and peaceful lovers of The Most Holy Prophet. Peace be upon his beard. Allahu Akhbar.

And ConCarolinas chair Jada Hope, responding to questions from Jim C. Hines, said:

Ringo has also unspooled a long commentary on his Facebook page [Internet Archive link] seeking to turn the “safety” complaint back against the protesters who raised it about the author and his fans in the first place. (The excerpt is about half the wordage, see the rest at the link.)

And again with the ‘we do not tolerate harassment or bullying’ without pointing out who that is pointed at.

From my last email with the conchair:

“as ConChair I know this will be an extremely hostile environment and I am concerned for your personal safety. ”

It was mutual, more on that in a moment. But they very much rescinded because they were concerned for my safety.

That was how bad it was getting.

They weren’t concerned I’d grab and axe and start killing all the POCs, women, transgenders, what have you.

They were (justifiably from the comments) concerned for MY safety. And the ‘bullying’ they were commenting on was the bullying by the SJW twitter mobsters.

Why it was phrased as ‘mutual.’

‘Oh, no, John Ringo, no! You’re giving in to the Social Justice Bullies!’

You can phrase it that way. Or you can phrase it this way.

I’m a New York Times best selling author with over 7 million books in print. By far and away I was the largest ‘print’ guest on the list with the largest fan following and thus the biggest draw.

For someone like myself, cons are NOT about marketing. There is very little additional market to be picked up at any litcon, including WorldCon. Cons are places to go to talk with people who enjoy reading science fiction and fantasy and are generally smart and interesting people. To meet new people (one of the reasons I agreed to attend ConCarolinas was ‘new people’), to pick up new characters, to have a good time.

There is very little fiscal reason for someone like myself to attend. Ergo: The best reason is to have fun.

Not for any particular ‘political’ reason, prior to my being invited the guest list for the ‘lit’ side was HEAVILY weighted to the Left. Basically, the entire guest list is ‘between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’ with the late add of a ‘token Nazi.’

I’ve been to those cons. I know what happens. Every single panel turns into a continuous shitfest. I’m constantly stopped in the hallways to be asked when did I join the Nazi party and how long have I been a Nazi. Forget intentional ‘disruptions’ that are the hallmark of the modern fascists called ‘progressives.’ It would be just another shitfest like WindyCon or (christ, can’t even remember the name of that one, I’ve deleted the memory…) Hell, I dropped my attendance at LosCon over much less furor than this.

The panels consist of someone with no background and no real professional CV spouting some idiocy they learned in a bad writer’s workshop followed by me trying to politely tell them they’re as full of shit as a Christmas turkey and pointing out the reality of writing and publishing. Then I get told ‘That’s not true!’ or ‘You’re wrong!’ with no logical follow-up and it just goes downhill from there. If I sit there mute it turns into a Communist Party Religious Meeting of people speaking Truth to Power and being told how great they are until the next person speaks Truth To Power and so on and so forth. And pretty much every truth to power boils down to ‘The Sun Rises in the West and Revolves Around Moscow Center and Bernie/Obama/Whoever is Jesus and We Have Always Been At War With Eastasia!’

Yeah. No.

…To be clear: This isn’t any loss to me. It is a loss to the con and the attendees who were looking forward to John Ringo attending. It’s even a loss to the Social Justice Bullies since some of my fans might accidentally have bought some of their books.

To me, there is NO downside.

YES! I caved to the social justice bullies and now I DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH TSA! WOOOOT!

And con chair Jada Hope added this response:

Caveat – I am commenting as Jada Hope – individual human being. Even though I am going to post somewhat as ConChair, this is not endorsed by the ConCarolinas ConCom.

This decision sucks. To be concerned for John’s safety to the point of looking at having security guards (possibly armed – an off duty police officer is present at the con during “high traffic hours”) – what fun would that be for John?

Like John, I hate traveling and I’d rather stay in my chair (I’m in it now as I post). And yes, we could have marched to the top of the hill and planted the flag of “Nobody tells us what to do”.

Again, what fun would this have been for John? He doesn’t need the marketing exposure.

I apologize, again personally as Jada the individually member of the human race, to everyone who was looking forward to John attending.

One thing I will address is the rumor that John and I were in collusion to pull a “Gotcha” by delaying the announcement. Very late in February John signed an agreement to be a guest. That Friday I was in a car accident and sustained a concussion aka traumatic brain injury and was under doctor’s orders to not be on the computer or phone. I posted very little from 3/2 until a week and a half ago and a week ago Thursday I ended up with the concussion symptoms coming back full force.

There was no collusion.

I can only apologize to John and his fans for this getting so out of hand.

As my dear friend Sue has said:

“Public stoning is no longer done in the town square. It is executed via social media.”

148 thoughts on “John Ringo Out As ConCarolinas Special Guest

  1. @Michael —

    “From what’s been reported”

    Quotes of threatening statements and sources of those statements, please.

    Don’t get me wrong — nobody should be threatening anybody with physical violence, and if you’d like to point out any specific individuals doing any such thing I’ll be very happy to condemn them to their faces.

    OTOH, we have seen time and time again (JDA, I’m looking at you) just how much some folks enjoy lying and stretching actual occurrences far beyond any semblance of reality. So…. yeah.

    Quote those supposed threats, please. Otherwise, don’t expect us to take them too seriously.

  2. A.G. Carpenter I saw that – So gross. Sexually abused women really don’t hate their abusers – they’re just upset and lashing out at Republicans! That seems like an interesting hill to post your flag on if you’re not a disgusting human being bent on victim blaming. Spoiler alert – Sexually abused people hate their sexual abusers.

  3. Michael A. Rothman: What ConCarolinas chair Jada Hope wrote in a comment on John Ringo’s post earlier today:

    I don’t think when John referred to the death threats that they were specific to his attendance at ConCarolinas. If they were then John needs to report those to the police and I need to know who they were. That’s unacceptable and needs to be reported.

  4. Michael A. Rothman: I love how you folks denigrate conservatives as a monoculture on here, yet when anyone says anything about liberals you point out there isn’t a standard liberal.

    Except that people here frequently point out that conservatives vary widely in their beliefs. So you should probably not make sweeping statements when you have no idea what you’re talking about — because it immediately makes one suspect that you have no idea what you’re talking about with anything else you say, as well.

     
    Michael A. Rothman: I find this place an echo chamber that is unfriendly and basically makes Mean Girls seem like a guidebook for Fandom.

    I presume that you must feel the same way about Baen’s Bar, the Mad Genius Club, and the personal blogs of the MGC members, as well. Please post the URLs of the politically-neutral forums you usually hang out in; I’d be really interested in checking them out.

  5. OTOH, we have seen time and time again (JDA, I’m looking at you) just how much some folks enjoy lying and stretching actual occurrences far beyond any semblance of reality. So…. yeah.

    Quote those supposed threats, please. Otherwise, don’t expect us to take them too seriously.

    A source for the statement that actual threats have been made is useful. But maybe let’s back off the “I demand proof” wagon. I see this all over the Pups/Gators approach to women who have been harassed, threatened or doxxed. It’s not cool. (No matter how much you might think the person in question lies. No matter how much you dislike them.) The “pics or it didn’t happen” approach is, actually, a form of harassment when it comes to folks reporting trauma.

    [I have my doubts about Ringo’s validity here, but folks have been really pissed. And things are polarized. It’s a legit possibility he was threatened. I do think that Jada Diaz initial comment that they were worried it wouldn’t “be fun” for him and folks would be “ugly” indicates there were likely no threats, but maybe they didn’t want to make things public. Hard to say. But the whole “Prove your injury/pain” schtick is a bad one.]

  6. While I honestly assess Jada as a kind and well-meaning person, I remain relieved to have withdrawn my slot as a performer from this convention–despite it being one of my home conventions. I remain disappointed in how this was handled and how concerns from women and people of color were addressed.

  7. @AG Carpenter —

    But maybe let’s back off the “I demand proof” wagon.

    Nope, sorry.

    I’ve been in a LOT of debates with rightwing types. And all too often there is absolutely no evidence to back up their claims, and/or their supposed evidence doesn’t actually say at all what they claim it does.

    I’m not from Missouri, but “show me” is the only safe motto when engaging in this sort of discussion. These guys all too often rely on “truthiness” instead of actual truthfulness.

    women who have been harassed, threatened or doxxed.

    Women who have been harassed, threatened, or doxxed are perfectly capable of coming up with specifics.

    These guys, not so much.

  8. A.G. Carpenter: Don’t jump the gun. First, I want Rothman to point me to John Ringo saying he got a death threat about being a guest at ConCarolinas. Having read the couple of thousand words Ringo has written about the matter this week, which includes references to fatwahs that may have been issued on him when he was in the service, I’d think if he’d gotten some he would have been quite willing to share anything of that sort.

  9. “Women who have been harassed, threatened, or doxxed are perfectly capable of coming up with specifics.”

    Often the opposite, because they don’t want to take the chance of the harassment starting anew.

  10. @Hampus —

    Often the opposite, because they don’t want to take the chance of the harassment starting anew.

    Wanting to keep the specifics private is not at all the same thing as simply not having any specifics.

  11. Not giving out specifics is the same as not giving out specifics. Are you using your telepathy again to know of the reason?

  12. @Hampus —

    Not giving out specifics is the same as not giving out specifics.

    Hampus, your English is very good. I’m sure you can understand the difference between my statement and your misrepresentation of it.

  13. Contrarius: Hampus, your English is very good. I’m sure you can understand the difference between my statement and your misrepresentation of it.

    It’s your sly I’m-a-native-English-speaker privilege that’s sticking in my craw. I don’t like it.

  14. @Mike —

    It’s your sly I’m-a-native-English-speaker privilege that’s sticking in my craw. I don’t like it.

    I was actually expressing my confidence in the quality of his language skills. But if you don’t like that response, here’s an alternate:

    Hampus, you accuse me of “using my telepathy to know the reason” — but you yourself are the one who posited a motive for these victims of harassment. You said, and I quote: “because they don’t want to take the chance of the harassment starting anew.”

    How is it “using my telepathy” when I have your own words to refer to?

  15. @ JJ: Is it time to remind everyone that “politically neutral” generally means “their politics align so completely with mine that I don’t notice anything unusual”?

  16. A.G. Carpenter:

    If anyone is still wondering about why women are super-uncomfortable about dealing with Ringo…

    Wow. Not only does he play the right-wing pity-party card, he combines it with a combination of (1) oh, woe is us, poor little not-so-nice “nice guys” getting ignored or abused by all the pretty girls in favor of the jerks; (2) what is essentially nostalgia for nerds vs. jocks à la Revenge of the Nerds with the self-declared alpha-male soldier-jocks suddenly the set-upon gamma-male nerds (oh the whiplash); and (3) slut-shaming, all with a glazed icing of false concern for victims of abuse, who just take it because they’re too willing to sleep to the top to stand up for their rights or real interests.

    Though the nostalgia for Revenge of the Nerds actually fits the whole tone of his screed more than Ringo might have realized.

  17. Lee: Is it time to remind everyone that “politically neutral” generally means “their politics align so completely with mine that I don’t notice anything unusual”?

    Well, given that this is a guy who defended Roy Moore on Twitter, I’m not expecting that to have any effect. 😐

  18. @Mike

    For some bizarre reason I decided to check the FB comments for the “actual death threats – and from the so-called accepting and friendly forces of Fandom” that Michael Rothman claims are reported in there, as it seems he is going to allege-and-run. The only thing that comes close is this from Ringo

    I’ve had five death fatwahs handed down against me. (Okay, one was against the Kildar.) I told them I was willing to take my chances.

    They didn’t want to risk it. What con does?

    As you quote him mentioning “the five fatwahs I’ve had over the years” in the article I think it’s pretty clear that he’s not talking about current threats there, or indeed anything from fandom. So in a shock development, Rothman is at best enthusiastically misinterpreting things.

    Incidentally, I’m sure you’re familiar with the deep frustration of trying to search a facebook thread for something. I just ran across this handy tool which auto-clicks all the “expand reply” and “see more” buttons for you 🙂

  19. As I’m sure there’s going to be a certain amount of “What has Ringo ever done, anyway?” it might be handy to reiterate some of the things that got brought up in the last thread that aren’t in this one.
    Firstly (h/t Christopher Hensley) this piece by Ringo himself about RavenCon in 2006 (note:pdf) which Laura Resnick helpfully summarised in comments. It’s still rather long even in summary so I’ll just pick out this para:

    He also does a lot of name-calling (which appears to be entirely aimed at women) in this con report: ex. Stupid Bitches, Dumpy Lady, Screaming Feminist, Fat Lady, Tits, Miss Piggy, feminazis, etc. He also gives creepily detailed physical descriptions of some of his co-panelists: ex. “She was dressed in skin-tight jeans, a scoop neck shirt (wearing falsies, by the way) that showed off about 2.362 inches of cleavage,” etc. (Hm, could this be another clue about why some people don’t want to do panels with him?) He goes on and on and, indeed, on about how another man at the con, one whom he doesn’t like, is a “nobody.”

    Also (h/t Laura Haywood-Cory) this fb note by Ringo about Women’s Rights:

    “Women’s rights are ONLY a Western concept. Yes, there were some VERY SMALL groups in other societies where women had power. Very minor. Not generally represented. Even when they were large (Carthage) there was a specific reason (trade based) and they eventually lost to male dominated patriarchies (Rome.) The ONLY reason that women started to get any traction at all in society dates back to the Code of Chivalry which was influenced by the Cult of Mary which got started in the 13th century. And FORTUNATELY for women, and having just about zero to do with THEIR contribution, that ‘evil vicious dominant’ society that gave them SOME value as people (unlike Japanese, Chinese, Indian…) managed to smash every other major culture in the world.

    Not that we get any credit these days. Ungrateful bitches.

    And Chivalry (‘Don’t pull girl’s hair, don’t bully them, never hit a lady’) is the sole and only thing that has EVER given women ANY SORT OF FUCKING BREAK.

    Only. Thing.”

    And finally (and before I break the links limit and end up in spam) if anyone thinks those are too old to prove his current attitudes, there’s this fb note from last year which I described as

    I honestly don’t know where to start with it. I mean, he pretty much kicks off by describing his schadenfreude at someone being raped by an immigrant, then goes on a greatest hits tour of right-wing wingnuttery – leftists are all fascists, the Nazis were socialists, gamergate was suppression of free speech, antifa are the real Brown Shirts, “The way that ends is with ovens”, various of the nonsense stories that get repeated as “the truth the media won’t tell you” over at the far end of that political spectrum, etc etc

    And those are just the things which are in Ringo’s own words. Add to that the number of reports of his poor behaviour on panels over the years and so on, and it ought to be clear why other guests and attendees might be concerned.

  20. Hampus, I think you’re being over-categorical again. You have previously asked people to step in and tell you so,when you do, so I am.

    “Specifics are available and recorded” is not the same as “will provide specifics in public”, especially when the provider’s personal security would (potentially) be at risk. However, from an observer’s point of view, “specifics are available, but not published” and “specifics are not available, and not published” have the same observation (“no specifics have been published”) and the only way to distinguish between them is placing an amount of trust in the utterance “I do have specifics on record”.

  21. Michael A. Rothman: I find this place an echo chamber that is unfriendly and basically makes Mean Girls seem like a guidebook for Fandom.

    From a friend of Dave Freer, Sarah Hoyt, Jason Rennie et al? Complaining about ‘mean girl’ behaviour and echo chambers? Oh boy…

  22. “Specifics are available and recorded” is not the same as “will provide specifics in public”, especially when the provider’s personal security would (potentially) be at risk. However, from an observer’s point of view, “specifics are available, but not published” and “specifics are not available, and not published” have the same observation (“no specifics have been published”) and the only way to distinguish between them is placing an amount of trust in the utterance “I do have specifics on record”.

    Yes, this. And, I’ve seen that at work. Someone gets trolled and harassed. They receive threats and say “Hey, I’ve gotten threats.” First there are cries for “Show us or we won’t believe you”. Then, should the person decide to go ahead and share screen caps two things happen. 1) They blur out the senders name/email address (these are usually sock puppet addresses but you never know) to prevent counter harassment and are accused of faking the email. 2) They don’t blur out the senders name/email address and they’re accused of trying to rally a counter-harassment.

    It’s a situation one can’t win. And, although I do believe that either folks were misinterpreting what Ringo said (as folks have pointed out up thread) or he was exaggerating, I’m not going to encourage the demands for “proof”. Especially if it comes in the form of “Well, these types always lie,” because that, too, is a familiar mantra from the Pups and Gators and I don’t believe in turnabout is fair play. Especially when PoC, women and the LGBTQ+ community are most likely to be hurt by those attitudes when they try and bring attention to harassment. /derail

    Ringo is, from what I can tell from his local fan community, considered a bit of a “character” who “likes the spotlight”. Also, his local fandom, and the more distant fandom they attract to their events, is overwhelmingly white, male and straight. Even those with the best intentions (and I’ve been talking to folks in detail about it) still have some serious privilege blindness going on. (“Ringo gets along great with . I’m sure he can’t be homophobic, intentionally or otherwise.” Because there are never token friends. And misogynists never marry women. *rolls eyes*)

  23. Hi, Ingvar, thank you for the reminder! I shall ponder this. And yes, it is absolutely true that this one of my more stubborn weaknesses and that I appreciate when people tell me.

    A G Carpenter:

    That matches with what I have seen.

  24. @Cameltoe:

    >From a friend of Dave Freer, Sarah Hoyt, Jason Rennie et al? Complaining about ‘mean girl’ behaviour and echo chambers? Oh boy…

    Yes, and I’m friends with Steve Barnes and Moshe Feder and other names you guys all love. Nice attempt to make my 5000 face friends as a means of an identitarian attack I’d expect no less from someone like you.

    I don’t and won’t monitor this thread, but since someone pointed out your comment I wanted to indicate to this coven that your attempt to dismiss people by their associations can go both ways.

    Go ahead and cherry pick whatever you like. I expect nothing less. It adds to your reputation for being such a lovely person.

    Have a good life.

  25. I find all of this pretty regrettable, esp given the news about OdesseyCon still struggling with its controversy a year later. I hope this con doesn’t fall apart also.
    It seems clear they didn’t except Ringo to be a controversial guest. They may have known that his co-panelists had problems with him in the past, but people hadn’t refused to be on panels with him before, so they were surprised that guests started withdrawing this time. Their mistake.
    Armed guards? Really? That would certainly make it less fun for everyone.

  26. “I wanted to indicate to this coven that your attempt to dismiss people by their associations can go both ways.”

    *stares directly into camera*

  27. @Michael A. Rothman

    You say:

    @Cameltoe:

    That is out of line, plain and simple. At no point has anyone in this thread addressed you by a rude or disrespectful name and yet you think that’s acceptable?

    On another matter (and you’ll note how I can disagree with you without resorting to insults) I’m going to assume that since you’ve not been able to reply with any evidence of the threats from fandom you claimed Ringo was subjected to, and I’ve looked for it where you claimed it was, that evidence doesn’t actually exist. Would you like to show your integrity by withdrawing that claim?

  28. @ AG Carpenter. The dynamic I’ve seen more often is – yes, but those aren’t serious threats. That’s just boys being boys/ just the way they talk. You aren’t in any actual danger.
    In this case, however, Ringo hasn’t claimed to have received threats. Sounds to me like he is assuming some were made because the con told him they were concerned for his safety.

  29. The dynamic I’ve seen more often is – yes, but those aren’t serious threats. That’s just boys being boys/ just the way they talk. You aren’t in any actual danger.
    In this case, however, Ringo hasn’t claimed to have received threats. Sounds to me like he is assuming some were made because the con told him they were concerned for his safety.

    I seem to recall that when someone threatened to dox Hines during the peak of GG there were bunch of folks that were demanding he post the email in it’s entirety (including his personal info) in order to prove it was an actual threat. At which point he would have essentially doxxed himself. (And I’d seen similar regarding claims made by Brianna Wu, Zoe Quinn and (I think) Laura Resnick. It did consist of either “If you can’t provide all the details it’s a lie” OR “If you won’t provide all the details clearly you aren’t scared by it because it’s obviously harmless.”)

    So, yes. There is a certain amount of “Clearly they’re just yanking your chain” rhetoric about death/rape threats against women that goes hand in hand with the “Pics or it didn’t happen” mentality regarding victim credibility.

  30. Mark:
    re Handy Tool for overcoming Facebook’s determinedly built-in inconveniences: I used to have one of those that I used. It expanded threads and did other things that made reading FB bearable (even convenient) for me. So FB bought out the app and ‘upgraded’ it to be useless. I remember that day. It’s the day I quit Facebook. If this handy tool really works, I expect them to do it again.

  31. Michael A. Rothman ignored all the things brought up against Ringo or and dropped supporting his own exaggerated nonsense in lieu of insulting a person instead- He’s not here to be reasonable. I’d ignore him.

  32. If anyone is still using the userstyle to ignore people:

    img[src*=”404aee1462435fb42b3c72f420c90b6f”] + span::after, /* Rothman */

  33. Michael A. Rothman on April 17, 2018 at 4:15 am said:

    You seem polite and nice and not remotely hypocritical.

  34. *Watches Argument Between regulars here in this very thread*

    WORST ECHO CHAMBER EVER

  35. Cameltoe

    Ah, I see that Mr. Rothman enjoys engaging in the sort of effervescently witty name-calling that is so popular with the Puppy crowd. Upon reading such labels, who does not turn green with envy over such subtly comedic felicity of expression and such sparkling phrasing? The gods themselves do tremble.

  36. (I have, instead, been accused of threatening someone. VD claimed for a couple of years that I had threatened to kill him or threatened him with violence. In fact, I’ve never even threatened to tickle him. However, back in the halcyon era when I was blissfully unaware VD even existed, I made a comment on Scalzi’s blog to the effect that I would wind up killing an alpha male if I had to live with one (I was thinking of fictional archetypes in my former genre, romance, where concepst of the “alpha male” were often discussed) and VD–for reasons which elude me to this day–saw it and decided it must be a personal threat against him. Which is among the various reasons I consider him paranoid, neurotic, and prone to hysteria. He and his followers posted a few hundred comments on Scalzi’s blog in reaction to my post, attempting to goad me; I was unware of this, since I was moving and was offline. I learned about it months later. And on various occasions thereafter for the next year or two, VD claimed that I had physically threatened him.)

  37. I won’t jump into the whole mess in general, but I will say this: back when I was reading Baen books regularly, I’m sure I read Ringo’s stuff. It strikes me as interesting that I literally cannot remember even one title or the plot of any of his books. Clearly, his writing wasn’t for me.

    And that’s all I have to contribute.

  38. No, not me. I am fortunate in that I have so far never been threatened with doxing or with physical harm.

    Apologies then. (There is someone specific I’m thinking of but cannot remember her name.)

    (Also, I’m laughing a bit over the fact that VD assumes he would be an alpha-male in a relationship. Or out of a relationship for that matter.)

  39. bookworm1398: In this case, however, Ringo hasn’t claimed to have received threats. Sounds to me like he is assuming some were made because the con told him they were concerned for his safety.

    I believe it’s even simpler than that — they’re invoking the word safety in an attempt to turn the tables on the women who said on FB that Ringo’s misogyny would make them feel unsafe at the con.

    People who read the word “safety” begin filling in the blank with reasons drawn from past experience that the word would be used which are unrelated to any claims Ringo has actually made. And that is an intended result of their using the word, to gain sympathy by creating a false impression about what has happened to Ringo.

  40. @ Paul Weimer — sorry, Paul, I deleted that story as soon as I posted it. I decided I didn’t want to descend further into talking about that jerk.

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