FSFE in Outreachy?

Carmen Bianca Bakker carmenbianca at fsfe.org
Sat Sep 2 08:45:20 UTC 2017


On Saturday, 2 September 2017 09:51:36 CEST Nikos Roussos wrote:
> I don't see any discrimination here, and in general in any initiative
> that tries to help minorities.

It is discrimination by its very definition, though.  That is: making a
distinction between groups of people.  This program most definitely does
that.  It distinguishes between a population it identifies as
disadvantaged minorities (cis/trans women, ethnic minorities in the US),
and a population it identifies as advantaged members of the majority
group (everybody else), and treats those populations differently.  One
population is permitted an internship, and the other is not.

That is discrimination.  What you probably mean, however, is that this
is acceptable discrimination to you.  I don't think like that.  Two
wrongs don't make a right, and I like to stay as consistent as I can in
my beliefs/opinions: I loathe unjust discrimination.

Orwell put it well in Animal Farm.

> Treating these efforts as
> discrimination means that we ignore the fact that we live in a world
> where not all people have the same opportunities and that people of
> certain gender or color are privileged.

I personally find this brush a little too broad.  Gender and ethnicity
aren't excellent indicators of levels of privilege.  Take an orphan
white boy, or a black girl born/adopted into a rich family, and this all
falls apart.

You are right, of course, that _on average_ black people and women get
the shorter end of the stick in many cases.  And that ought to get fixed
as soon as possible.  But that, to me, is not justification for
collectivist discrimination.

I also disagree that treating (positive/affirmative/reverse)
discrimination as discrimination per se means ignoring the state of the
world.  You can be _for_ equality, but _against_ certain methods that
might lead to equality.  And I am wholly against this type of

I very much prefer alternative methods.  I really admire a lot of the
LGBT community, for instance, in how they approached their struggle for
equality.  Their focus on love is exemplary, and the inclusion of gay
characters/people in popular media -- often as equals -- has done more
for them than anything else ever could.

And none of that necessitated active discrimination.

> There is a well known comic strip that illustrates that fairly well.
> http://comediscovervcc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/equity-graphic.j
> pg

I know this graphic.  I choose to interpret it as class inequality, not
gender/ethnic inequality.  Low privilege is not by any means inherent to
your gender or ethnicity.  It is a possible indicator at best, but never
absolutely inherent.  Low privilege is, however, inherent to low income.
In which case, I agree that the lower classes require more assistance
than the higher echelons -- at the cost of those higher echelons.

To assume that minorities per se require assistance, is to me the soft
bigotry of low expectations, which I eschew immensely.

But all that aside, I really don't want to cause a huge kerfuffle.  I'm
here for free software, and I've said my bit on this tangent :-)  I
respect your opinion, I just disagree.

Yours sincerely,

Carmen Bianca Bakker
Technical Intern
Free Software Foundation Europe e.V.
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