At a lost for words

Or, how I let my fear of vulnerability stop me.

A lot has happened in the two months since I last posted. I wrote a 1,770-word essay that I’m considering sharing, but am not sure what the repercussions may be, so that’s some progress. lol

In other news, I went to an “unconference” on free and open source software at the beginning of October. I was very observant of the diversity – or lack thereof – at the conference, so tweeted about it. This blog post was written in response to my tweets. I didn’t read all the comments to his post, but I did listen to a discussion that the folks over at Ubuntu UK Podcast had in response/as a result of Mark’s blog post. Both Mark and the Ubuntu UK hosts pretty much understood the points I made and seemed open to discussion within the free and open source community. However, from the few comments that I did read, as well as the tweets I received the day Mark posted the article, quite a few people chose to become defensive and misinterpret my points, which pretty much shows they’re not particularly interested in “diversifying” the conference – also, it’s worth noting that it’s not just about OggCamp though since the same criticism can be made of many tech conferences and spaces, especially in the free and open source software community as a whole.

Last Friday, one of my classmates asked our professor why there were only middle-class white people in the pictures from a research project she conducted and was sharing with us. She responded with a round-about answer that basically said “diversity is hard.” When I asked, “why was it difficult,” she gave some bullshit answer that beat around the bush instead of her just admitting that she could have reached beyond her (and her colleagues’) networks, and done so without tokenizing the non-white people she encountered (she made some comment about going up to non-white people on bikes being like “We want YOU at this event. It’d be great if you came.” SMH.

Why do white people continue to think that “diversity is difficult” or “I can’t stand attempts at forced diversity” (as one person said in the comments to Mark’s post) are good excuses for why so many of the spaces they occupy – jobs, academia, community organizations, friend groups, etc. – lack diversity?

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