On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 12:02 PM Matthew Miller
On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 07:47:10AM -0500, Richard Shaw wrote:
> "...it is a good-evil metaphor and therefore entirely based in racism."
> Right there the writer directly connects good/evil with race without
> further justification and I don't think it is justifiable.
I think part of this disconnect is due to a difference in how people use the
word "racist". Specifically, there is a narrow definition where racism is
specific, overt prejudice or negative action based primarily on race. But
people also use it in a broader sense, with a focus on the -ism. That is, as
a system. Without even getting into facts or beliefs about racism as this
larger social construct, just simply people talking past each other causes a
lot of stress when I think actually common ground could be found.
It's easy to read the above as referring to the first, and basically an
individual call-out saying, effectively, "if you've ever used 'black and
white' as a metaphor for negative and positive, you are clearly a bad person,
a racist". But it can also simply mean: the association of black and white
with negative and positive is intractably linked with social constructs that
perpetuate racial injustice.
Now, you might disagree with the latter. But I hope it wouldn't make you
personally upset. And, I think there's compelling reasons to believe that,
regardless of any original intentions, it's time to move on from this
particular analogy, especially in tech where we have lots of other
expressive ways to describe the same concepts more clearly and directly.
Well said. We don't want to ascribe ill intent to how these terms came
about, or to people using them. We simply have an opportunity to make
an incremental improvement in our overall inclusivity at trivial or no
cost, and should take it.