When David Weber got chair Jada Hope Diaz to publicly accept all his conditions for becoming ConCarolinas’ guest in 2019 (see video of her statement here), including an apology to John Ringo, who had withdrawn as a guest amid controversy over his selection, and then rallied thousands to sign his “Ensure Freedom of Speech & Assembly at ConCarolinas” petition “to support Jada Hope and Luis Diaz’s stance on the demands to disinvite guests at ConCarolinas based on unfounded and unproven stories posted by Internet pressure groups” — he did not expect that two weeks later they’d be quitting anyway.
Weber moved immediately to take control of the conversation:
Jada informed me yesterday [June 22] that she and Luis would be stepping down from the ConCarolinas con committee. My family and I were driving home from Myrtle Beach when she and Luis actually posted the news online, so I’ve just seen the formal announcement.
For all of you who signed the petition supporting the position they had taken at closing ceremonies on the dis-invitation of guests, I think a couple of things need to be understood.
The first is that Jada made it clear to me in her exchange of IMs with me that it was HER DECISION to step down, based in large part on medical considerations, because of her continued problems with the concussion symptoms from her head injury. I have no doubt at all that all of the stress involved with the concom’s internal debates played a major role in that (not to mention the brouhaha about John Ringo, prior to and during this year’s convention), as well. If nothing else, I’m sure it was at least a part of what her doctor was talking about when she said she had to cut back on stresses.
However, Weber also said the couple had lost the support of some other members of the ConCarolinas committee:
The second is that the concom has as yet made no statement (that I am aware of) regarding the policy that she enunciated at closing ceremonies about guest invitations and DIS-invitations. I was assured by several people who contacted me to discuss the ongoing, background tensions within the concom that the unhappiness with Jada and Luis as cochairs had nothing to do with that policy and that they — at least as individuals — supported the position Jada had taken in that instance.
But Weber is taking pains to insure that the change in leadership won’t be interpreted as a repudiation of his agenda:
I messaged Jada in these exact words:
“Don’t think anyone who signed it [the petition] just wants to beat up on cons, but they [the concom] need to be aware that a lot of people on the outside looking in DO see the petition as a referendum on your no dis-invitation policy.”
I think that is absolutely true, and I think the ball is now in the reorganized concom’s court, and I think that we, as the signers of that petition, NEED TO GIVE THE CONCOM TIME TO GET ITS FEET UNDER IT AND DECIDE WHAT IT WANTS TO DO GOING FORWARD.
This is not a time to leap upon the concom and beat it with spiked clubs for “forcing Jada out.” It is time for us to see what happens going forward and to let ConCarolinas CHOOSE ITS OWN PATH. If, at the end of the day, we don’t like the path it chooses, then it is always our option not to support the con. If, on the other hand, the con embraces Jada’s position on this issue going forward, then I believe it is incumbent upon us to meet them at least halfway.
I have said from the beginning that the object is to fix the problem, not to break anyone’s — or any GROUP of anyones’ — kneecaps. It’s time to let adults be adults and make adult decisions and then for the rest of us to respond as adults.
Jada Hope wrote in a comment on Weber’s June 24 post.
I want to thank everyone who has Been supportive to me and Luis (who is making me deactivate my account today). So many don’t even know me or Luis and have been kind and encouraging.
After our meeting with the other members of the committee I am very convinced they will support the statement that was made at closing ceremonies….
David Weber’s June 24 update said he is in dialog with ConCarolinas’ acting con chair:
…Since my previous post about Jada and Luis stepping down from the ConCarolinas concom, I have been in contact with the acting con chair.
He tells me that they are very much in the process of ASSEMBLING a concom; it was a small committee to begin with, and it just got two vacancies, so it may take them a little while to round up the pigs and chickens before they can start getting them into a row.
He reiterated to me that Jada’s decision to withdraw was directly related to her health and that her doctor was becoming seriously concerned about the damage she could do herself spending lots of time with computer screens and stress and was “adamant” that she stepped back.
He told me that the con is strongly committed to maintaining Jada’s stated policy where dis-invitations of the guests are concerned. He said to me:
“First priority is new leadership in place. Second is reiterating the spirit of the closing ceremonies video. Disinviting is bad form, full stop. The concom will not be pressured from any group to renege on a contract.”
That is, in fact, only a portion of what he said to me about the con committee’s commitment to openness and a rejection of the dis-invitation of guests and about the creation of a mechanism to support that policy and give it teeth.
I believe that he is completely sincere about this, and what he has to say about Jada’s health tracks perfectly with what Jada herself has told me, as well as what I have heard from a third source.
So it sounds to me as if the convention is determined to stand by the policy Jada announced at closing ceremonies.
I hate it that Jada’s health is shaky enough to make her decision to stand down necessary, but at this time, I genuinely believe the revamped con committee will stand by her guest policy.
Which constitutes a win for the grown-ups.
When someone asked Weber who the acting chair is, Weber declined to say:
I’d rather not name names at this point, but if you know the ConCarolinas original concom, he was vice chair.
Weber is taking pains to verify why the change happened, and what the new chair’s policies will be, because of the adamant statement he made in his petition —
We believe that if ConCarolinas ejects Jada Hope and Luis Diaz from the Convention Committee (the managing body of the convention) and reverses the position they have taken on the dis-invitation of guests, then no one who believes in freedom of expression should attend this convention ever again.