Reply to post: Jeez

Google diversity memo: Web giant repudiates staffer's screed for 'incorrect assumptions about gender'

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward


I was born a white male (I apologise profusely) in a poor family in a poor area. Due to my inherent white privilege I worked hard at school while most of my classmates couldn't be arsed, and started programming computers around the age of 6. I'm sure this is not far off the experience of many Reg readers.

During childhood I literally wasn't even aware that racism was a thing. I grew up around 1st and 2nd generation immigrants of various nationalities and as kids we never even thought about it. It was well meaning but clueless adults who started to drive wedges between different groups by banging on about how we shouldn't be racist. Kind of like how kids wouldn't even think about sniffing glue until someone told them not to do it.

I started to get really pissed off by all this stuff when you could get bullied for the wrong hair colour or glasses or whatever else but anything remotely racial was somehow special and incurred the immediate wrath of higher-ups. Through a 10 year old's eyes that's just unfair and discriminatory.

I really wanted to get into a scientific career involving computers but realistically couldn't afford to stay in school that long so dropped out at 16 and worked various jobs like joiner's apprentice, BT contractor and all the other good stuff. At the time I couldn't have got a job at a "real" computing job due to lack of a degree, despite being able to code backwards in C with my eyes shut. In the end I scraped together enough money to start a business, left the country and spent over a decade making it work.

What grinds my gears is that I'm told more and more frequently that my current day success is all a product of white male privilege. Honestly, I can't deny that if I was e.g. a black woman it would be even harder to take the STEM route due to societal pressures and natural human bias. But most of the people telling me this stuff are not downtrodden immigrants but 3rd+ generation Asian Americans whose wealthy parents paid for their whole ride through college and masters degrees. I hope I don't come across as bitter, I'm really not. I probably wouldn't be anywhere near as successful in the end without the pressure.

For 20 years I have been a naturalized immigrant in a country with no laws against racial discrimination and usually the comments above come sneeringly after I mention in conversation some personal experiences of racism. At first it's physically impossible for anyone to be racist against a white person, then it's apparently fair and just because someone shouted ching chong at them in high school.

TL;dr: racism/sexism sucks. And if you believe in hiring people or giving opportunity with a bias against one particular ethnicity or sex then you are a racist/sexist.

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