I don't debate racists

If you've been following the latest SFWA controversy, you may have encounted a certain racist troll who is a member of that organization (but perhaps not for much longer, per that last link).

Now, said racist troll has been attacking me, as described both on his own blog and in this must-read post from PZ Myers. He seems a bit miffed that I won't debate with him on this issue.

Here's why: I don't debate racists. 

I say that even though I personally love debating and discussing issues, especially with people who don't see the world the same way I do. Being challenged on your beliefs and ideas is the only way to grow in life.

However, racism isn't about challenging beliefs and ideas—it's about the hatred some people have against those who are different. Racism isn't about debate—it's about dehumanizing people so you can dispense with debate and do to others as you wish. In such instances, nothing can be gained through debate.

Debating a racist does nothing but give that racist a platform for their views. Debating a racist treats their views as if they are justifiable and possibly true. It's like an astronaut debating someone who says the moon is made of green cheese, or a sailor debating someone who says the seas are full of honey—nothing will be gained from such debates.

In fact, people would laugh at a debate between astronauts and green-cheese worshippers, or sailors and honey-sea believers, and that is actually the proper approach to dealing with racists. Ridicule. Simply tell them that their views are unacceptable in today's world.

Growing up in Alabama, I witnessed the devastating effects of racism. As someone with a multi-racial family, I have experienced the pain of racism.

So no, I don't debate racists.