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Discussion on: The Enormous Diversity Problem at AWS re:Invent 2017

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nepeckman profile image
nepeckman

You're missing the point here. People don't ignore your opinions on race and gender to be vindictive or mean. People ignore your opinions because you don't experience systematic discrimination. You said it yourself, you don't see this issue. It's not because this isn't happening, it's because it doesn't affect or target you. You don't personally experience the issue, so why should people listen to your thoughts on how to solve it? And if we want to solve this issue, we absolutely need to put pressure on it. You don't solve problems by ignoring them and hoping they sort themselves out. You solve problems by addressing them. And sometimes progress is incremental and hard to see. We can't really know how many people have been helped by free tickets, or diversity programs. Maybe someone found their passion through that opportunity, or realized they could do something they previously thought was unavailable to them. Representation is really important, and you shouldn't dismiss it so callously.

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emlison profile image
Michal Lison

I find these arguments somewhat misleading.

The topic is of interest to me, and I don't see why would my opinion be dismissed on such grounds as me not experiencing the issue personally. A doctor can mend broken bones without ever having one broken herself.

I'm merely suggesting there's other ways how to solve problems than pressure people into things, and nowhere am I implying that we should wish the problem away.

My argument is that we should treat people as people, not as female people, black people or gay people - I think this approach has, historically speaking, a better track record of making societies equal than putting people into separate boxes has.

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nepeckman profile image
nepeckman

A doctor can mend bones after years of study and training. Being white doesn't disqualify you from having helpful or valid opinions on social issues, but you do need experience first. Marginalized get this experience firsthand, by the fact that they are marginalized. I'm going to be open and say: I don't have this experience. I took a couple of college classes, but that doesn't qualify me to solve social issues. I have opinions, but everyone has opinions and there is no guarantee that my opinions are good on this subject. So maybe you're right. Maybe diversity programs aren't the way to solve this problem. But unless you have some experience in solving social issues, I don't think you're qualified to provide a definitive answer. And I would defer to someone who has experience in these matters, instead of dismissing them as "social justice warriors."