Okay, I know I wrote this over a year ago, but have certain people forgotten about it already? Refresher course:
“I didn’t know (or care) if [the people who submitted to my markets] were black, white, purple, or polka-dot” (Resnick) or “I don’t choose stories based on race or culture or gender, I just choose the best stories” (an editor friend).
I really, really hate this excuse – for several reasons. The first of which is that it gives the appearance of being reasonable, thereby shutting down further discussion or debate. In writing, only the story should matter, not the writer! It also assumes that the submission pile represents an adequate and accurate cross-section of writers and stories. Therefore, by picking the best, the editor is automatically being fair.
The appearance of fairness, though, is false.
“I just choose the best stories” isn’t valid anymore, people. It is not. Stop saying it. No, really.