Andy Boyle, you sir, are brilliant! You have the greatest respect from me and probably countless others.
Those of us that have been subject to racism or who may just be from another country or ethnic heritage, even if we’re born and bred in the countries that reject us, can shout from the rooftops about this innate bias as much as we want, but it is dismissed by the minds that create (and are oblivious to?) that bias as having a chip on one’s shoulder, a baseless accusation or experience. This is also equally, if not moreso, a problem with the experience of women in technology, as both sadly require the folks in the position of ‘privilege’ to take a stand and help.
Before I go on, I’d like to declare at this time that I’m yet to become comfortable using that particular word privilege, as it doesn’t feel right. It’s more disadvantage of the discriminated group (though I’ve yet to come up with an appropriate term). That doesn’t detract from the importance of that message though. It requires someone inside that elite to stand for those outside it. It happened with slavery, it happened with apartheid and it even happened even when JFK turned civil rights for black Americans into a moral issue, which finally gave the US the impetus to slowly make changes to the way American society is run, even though all that hard work appears to us foreign nationals across the pond to be being undone as we speak.
Here in the U.K. we are certainly not immune from it. I am still seething from the Brexit debacle, as people sided with racists, legitimising their position and their campaigns even benefiting from racist money.
Now, I’m going to put this out there, not least to support your position Andy, but more importantly to reiterate the obvious. There is a whole world of everything out there that people don’t know, nor experience. Rarely do people in the west experience war on the scale that Syria or Iraq is experiencing it now. Indeed, there were 4 times more people displaced in Syria to date than in the UK during the entirety of WW2, and there are only 23 million people in Syria compared to the 50 million during that time. Despite this, empathy is zero and will be zero.
The capacity of people to bridge over that cognitive horizon is far too limited it seems. it’s impossible to empathise with an experience they have never had, nor one that they have not come close to having. That is bad enough, but to then hide or defend that indefensible position becomes dangerous! Sure, it’s demeaning and devaluing but crucially, puts one’s own, total inexperience and naivety above the people who live it, every, single day. That’s unacceptable in my book!
Again, I doth my cap to you sir.