It’s pretty implicit: underrepresented writers couldn’t possibly just be good enough to have earned awards on the merits of their writing, so the only reason they’ve gotten nominated is because they’re [check a box]. Most people only mean underrepresented writers when they say things like this, note; the possibility of white male writers being nominated or awarded just because they’re white and male never seems to occur to them. So it’s certainly possible that [Brad] Torgersen is also trying to snub white men here… while simultaneously gloating over the nearly all-straight-white-male ballot that he and his buddies have successfully foisted on us. Yeah. No. He means women and brown people and gay people.
–N.K. Jemisin on inherent racism.
For context, Jemisin is responding to Sad Puppy Brad Torgersen’s claim that “affirmative action” in SFF has meant that
works and authors [are] judged on the basis of author or character demographics and box-checking, not the audience’s enjoyment of the prose.