A Message from the Windycon Chairs
It is an understatement to say that 2020 has been a very difficult year for the world. The COVID-19 pandemic and the economic
upheaval in its wake have highlighted the frailties and inequalities in our social systems. What were once the mundane routines
of our lives have become acts of courage and love for our families and communities against an invisible killer.
Furthermore, in the United States, we have been struggling increasingly divisive partisan politics that threaten the basic civil
rights of the most vulnerable groups of our citizenry. At no point in the last four years had this threat been made more apparent
than during the presidential debate on September 29th, when the sitting President of the United States, on broadcast
television, gave tacit approval to a known hate group by telling them to "stand back and stand by".
In these unprecedented times where trolls and bad-faith actors half-attempt to pass of their vile words as "sarcasm" and
accuse those who call them out as "not being able to take a joke", I find it is necessary to be unflinchingly explicit in
rebuking such insidious ideas before they take hold.
As the current chair of Windycon, let me be very clear: we completely reject white nationalism and ANY movement which discriminates
against people based on their race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation. We will not tolerate anyone
who espouses such beliefs at our events, and such people are not welcome at our events.
I state this not as a political statement, but as a reaffirmation of basic human rights and decency needed for any society to function.
The vast majority of those on the conservative side of the political spectrum hold these to be uncontroversial statements and wholly
support equal protections for their fellow citizens. Still, some may see this statement as an attack on their political beliefs, to
which I say: so be it. If your politics promote violence against minorities, then I do wholeheartedly reject your political beliefs
and judge you for holding them. Do not come to Windycon. You are not welcome.
There are days when I wake up and the idea of planning something as frivolous as a fan convention in the middle of such strife seems
patently absurd. But when I see the smiles on our team's faces over Zoom and the excitement on social media as people continue to
discuss speculative fiction in Facebook groups and Twitter threads, I am reminded that now, more than ever, the world needs more
reasons to come together and celebrate the creative spirit that exists in all of us. And in remembering those better days behind us
and imaging those to come, I know that all this is worth it.
Convention Chair, Windycon 47 in 2021
J Hope Berger
Vice-Convention Chair, Windycon 47 in 2021