Relaxed of Tunbridge Wells
May I turn this issue rather personal. It's likely that most commentards around here are white, and most are probably older than they care to admit. I know I am in those categories. And I know it is difficult even to acknowledge that one may have an entrenched view that really is unnecessarily entrenched. And I know that the IT industry really can use some self-scrutiny, as a lot of the time, it is ideologically up itself, and that sometimes the ideology that underpins it has been a problem rather than a solution.
I will further admit that I have difficulty in understanding what the fuss is about regarding some things. But just because I can't understand it, does not seem to me, on reflection, a reason to dismiss it, as that is a circular argument which is intellectually bereft. And I must place into the category of things I do not fully comprehend many aspects of the societal discussions currently taking place.
Why all that introduction? Because for the last several years, I have called myself by a silly little in-joke here on ElReg and elsewhere - tinslave. It's just an anagram of my first name and initial of my last name, but is a little in-joke that probably could only be made among those in the IT industry (unless another industry refers to hardware etc as "tin".) As far as I was concerned, that is an utterly innocuous name, and if someone objected to it, it would almost certainly be because it's such a pathetic in-joke rather than for other reasons.
But I have changed that name, and registered a new domain as well.
Why? Because its not a problem to do so, and it is a small acknowledgement that there is something I do not fully understand, but do understand that words carry connotations for some that are unhelpful. I don't think for one second that anyone would be "offended" by my tiny strand in the web, but that's not the issue. Similarly, the "it's only a word" argument applies to me too - it's only a word, so replace it. So I took action and changed the name. If you like, I did it for myself, for my own intellectual good, and perhaps the good of my conscience, rather than for others.
I am not concerned about the "whatever next" argument either, as I understand enough about the current societal debate going to see that there really is a systemic issue to be corrected, even if my understanding is not thorough. That argument is also not a rebuttal to the issue at hand.
I offer these thoughts not as a confession of any kind, but simply because I've thought long and hard about this recently, and concluded that the "it's no big deal" aspect applies more t my use of these terms than it does reflected the other way. I therefore support the idea of re-thinking entrenched concepts when new or hidden information comes to light.
----> Beer, because I needed it after so much thinking.