Selling Books and Donating Money

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In May, I announced my intent to donate the income generated by sales of my short story, Revolver, to the ACLU. Thankfully, readers responded well, I sold some stories, and this past weekend I was able to make a $25 donation to the ACLU.

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I know that in the wake of Charlottesville, giving money to the ACLU might be seen as problematic by some. Indeed, I don't and cannot support their defending of hate speech by white supremacists, but I do understand why they felt protecting their speech was important to the First Amendment. If we are to have free speech, then that means protecting speech we're uncomfortable with, and this can be a knife that cuts both ways. But, and this is important I think, while we are free to speak our minds and say whatever we want, even if it is utterly reprehensible, hateful bullshit, we are not free from the consequences such speech might entail. If white supremacists want to gather and spout their hate in a public square, then so be it. However, if reasonable people decided all those white supremacist motherfuckers needed a good punch in the mouth...well, let's just say those white supremacists had it coming. They're not free of the consequences of their hate speech, and fuck them anyway. Like I said, it's a knife that cuts both way, and Revolver has certainly stirred up emotions in more than a few readers and offended plenty of those folks that, dare I say, absolutely needed offending. I live in a country where it's free for me to write and publish a story like Revolver, one that is very critical of fascistic regimes, and I would rather like to help keep it that way.

Despite not agreeing with the ACLU in their decision to help allow that Charlottesville rally last month (and unlike the Nazi- and white supremacist-sympathizing Trump, I do not believe that events involving Nazis and white supremacists are a many-sided issue - there is only one side when it comes to be anti-Nazi, and unlike Trump I do not believe there are many fine people, or even one fine person, in their camp), I do still believe the ACLU is an organization worthy of support and one of our best avenues for helping defeat the numerous shameful and un-American policies that Donald Trump and his administration are working on enacting, particularly while Jeff Sessions uses the Department of Justice to curtail American's civil rights, and police departments across the nation ramp up their militarization

Frankly, I'm also a bit torn on donating to the ACLU in light of recent catastrophic disasters hitting my country. After Hurricane Harvey, and now Irma, there's a lot of devastation and displaced families that need help. The bottom line, though, is that I did promise readers and those who bought Revolver that the money raised would go to support the ACLU, and so that's where the money went. I would certainly encourage everyone reading this to, if at all possible, find a charity or two that you can support that aids in disaster relief. That's what I'll be doing.

Charity Navigator has some suggestions for who you could support to aid in the aftermath of Harvey. They don't have a list of charities put together for Irma just yet, but I expect this page will be updated in the coming days with that information. 

While I'm on the subject of donating to worthy causes, Brian Keene posted on Facebook this morning that he is donating his birthday to Scares That Care. Scares That Care, a charity for which Keene was recently made a member of the Board of Directors, helps fight real-life horrors in the form of childhood illness, breast cancer, and burns by raising money to help offset the tremendous financial burdens these ailments can wreak upon families and individuals. 

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I donated to Scares That Care this morning. If you wish to do the same, please head over to Brian's official Facebook page and donate.

Michael Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.


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