Why Most Conversations in Tech About Diversity Are Bullshit — and What to Do About It
Vivianne Castillo
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The biggest stumbling block for white people is the defensive reaction to the concept of privilege. When I first started hearing the term, I bristled because I thought someone was trying to say that my life must be easy and I never had to work for anything because of the color of my skin. Once I understood that white privilege was about the ADDITIONAL challenges faced by people of color beyond the hardships of making it in this world, I no longer felt under attack.

I believe the key to getting white America on board with social justice is to highlight the challenges that everyone faces, then emphasize how much greater those challenges are for the non-privileged. ie “I know how hard it was for most of you to get started in your careers and how many applications you had to send out, now imagine if twice as many recruiters never called you back.” Or “I know a lot of you had to deal with an a-hole boss who didn’t respect your talents and blamed you for things beyond your control, now imagine if they had even more reasons to single you out.”

There are a substantial percentage who still won’t come around, either because they are racist, labor under the delusion that privilege is a zero-sum game and think they will lose out if it is extended to everyone, or are just intellectually lazy and want excuses not to have to learn, but I do think that most of white America is teachable.

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