It’s no fantasy: you ought to visit some Indian reservations, where all social status and…
Ron Collins
52

Another good example of that would be apartheid era South Africa; where anyone who could claim to be “coloured” rather than black, could claim extra privileges over blacks, but still fewer than whites. The “coloureds” were mainly of Indian or Pakistani descent; became just as stringent in enforcing the racial pecking order as the whites. The only reason Ghandi was able to practice law in South Africa was because he was a “coloured” and that made him a step above a “kaffir.” And of course there were all kinds of subsections of categorisations within those hierarchies, based both on exact skin tone, and and on how many drops of blood etc.

If anyone wants to see how the policies being proposed here would work on the ground, then they need to look at Africa where similar cultures still exist across the continent. Nowhere else on earth is every minute variable in everything from bloodlines to ethnic origin to skin tone matter so much. Racism is rampant and heavily ingrained in many societies and it very often manifests in the form of mobs with machetes and burning tyres.

I once was an interview with the actor Morgan Freeman in which he said, in his usual calm and thoughtful manner — “if you want to do away with racism then stop talking about it.” He said he didn't think there should be a “black history month.” He said he was American. Therefore his history was American history. Having a black history month to him was just a rather insulting suggestion that because of his skin colour, he was somehow not American; more racism institutionalised of course by those well-meaning but terribly objectively challenged ivory tower ideologues. He suggested that people who make racism the constant in every conversation; those who cannot talk about any topic without making it about race; are the ones causing racism. Constantly emphasising differences can only deepen them.

I agree with him. I have some black colleagues. The reason I see them as history researchers, and not black history researchers, is because they are not constantly banging on about race. Identity politics causes problems. It doesn't solve them. The Rwandan Genocide was the end result of identity politics.

Yet on Medium and elsewhere, you will be bombarded with endless self-pitying articles beginning with the line — “As a black man in tech” or “As a woman in tech” or as a “whatever in teach.” They all seem to be written off the same template; parroting out the same predictable biolerblate designed to tug at the heart-strings and garner applause. None of them ever actually say anything. They just suggest that somehow there is some invisible force that they cannot quite put a finger on, apparently “oppressing” them is some way because they are black, or gay, or female or whatever. I have only have one thought about them. If you want to be a good tech person, then just be a person in tech. Nobody else cares about you identity obsessions and if you stop shoving them in everybody else’s face all the time, and blaming them for every setback; then people will have a lot more respect for you.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Svetlana Voreskova’s story.