I grew up in a poor, mostly black, rural county in Virginia. The opportunities for learning to code were zero. There was no computer science class, while students attending public schools in the DC suburbs of northern Virginia got to have programming classes starting in middle school.
People WANTED to learn to code, but they couldn't. These were poor people, of all colors and genders.
Will this make Women's Studies graduates and professors happy? Yes. Will it make African-American Studies graduates and professors happy? Probably.
I could point out the bullshit in this idea in so many ways, but I'll stick with just one:
Among black americans, which group has a lower graduation rate? Males or females? Which group is more likely to be unemployed, males or females? Which group is more likely to be incarcerated? The list goes on.
I know it's not cool to help boys/males these days, but all the statistics point to a dramatic problem with young men of all races today. It's too bad that there isn't a powerful special interest group backed up by a bunch of humanities professors looking out for the impoverished non-black non-females of America.
Charities should be based on need and helping the greater good, not on playing favorites.
(For those who don't get sarcasm, or if I somehow stumbled on a high poe factor, the preceding rant was sarcasm)
Conversely, you don't give a cancer sufferer the same amount of money as you gave someone without cancer. Which is what people often suggest when projects want to help disadvantaged groups ("We shouldn't get BlackGirlsCode any more money than we give to WhiteGuysCode, otherwise it's RACIST!")
The group isn't preventing white people from coding. If you want white people to code, you can make your own group. And it will fly really well anywhere in the South and many places in the West and you won't have to say anything about how it's only for white people, there are a hundred ways that can be signaled.
Again, if you want to help boys specifically - I actually think that's an important target for 'affirmative action' because boys are falling so far behind in academic achievement. Do it. Good for you.
And good for the people trying to help black girls
I got into programming because my dad did it, not because of some rational calculus of my abilities and society's needs. Role models are like that.
At least until the point black women are vastly overrepresented in positions of power in the tech industry, I don't see anything wrong with a black woman programmer acting as a role model for young black women.
If you would also like to set up PoorPeopleCode, nobody is stopping you.
Women code less than men of the same socioeconomic background. Not everything is about money. Plenty of these girls would make decent livings for themselves in other fields, but thanks to this program, some will find that programming is their true calling. That is a worthwhile effort.
To be COMPLETELY fair, we would need to concede that in this particular demographic...
That is... poor, black children...
NO ONE has a real opportunity to code, male or female. So I think a PoorPeopleCode would have made more sense here.
Having mentioned that, I believe firmly in the principle of people being able to contribute charitably to whatever cause they please. It's just that, quite naturally, there will develop in any culture... well ... let's call them 'preferences'. In India, the government just started an investigation of private schools which forced Dalits to wear different uniforms, stand in the back of classrooms etc. In Indonesia... it's not good to be a Chinese Christian. And... in the US ... I'm not letting anyone in on any secrets when I tell you that you don't want to be a black boy in our school system for instance.
These 'preferences' usually manifest themselves in charitable giving and... VOILA. This doesn't make the charity 'bad', just puts it in line with most of the other charitable giving in the US. Not so much 'bad', as just... 'unexceptional'.
Sorry to be so longwinded. Was just trying to be fair to both sides.
But you could easily implement this plan and be lauded just by naming it something other than WhiteMenCode.
If this were a government welfare program it would be important not to be partial but this is self-help.
I think it would be very laudable to go to very white parts of Appalachia and found HillbilliesCode or whatever you wanted to name it.
Bigots, for one. And beyond that, we all harbor subconscious biases that collectively act to disadvantage certain populations of people.
> Surely it would be better to organise something like PoorPeopleCode
Oh SURELY it would be BETTER. Are you actually physically sitting in a belfry made of ivory right now? Maybe that would be better, if someone had the resources and know-how to make it happen.
But back here in banal reality, how about a black woman starts BlackGirlsCode, and a Latin@ person starts LatinKidsCode, and so on, with each of them using their particular strengths and personal networks, each biting off and fixing a tiny little portion of admittedly larger problems?
No, of course that's not fair. White men need very little help coding and getting involved in tech. However people who do need it, should get it.
Do white guys need more help in America? Statistically, white men have a higher chance at being well... anything. Actor. Model. CEOs. Executives. Managers. Interracial marriages. Politicians. Lack of racial profiling. White men getting worked up about this is like rich people getting worked up about poor people getting welfare.
Some do, yes. Depending on whether your concern is for actual living, breathing individuals, or for statistics and metadata about some collective.
Sure, it's easy to talk about how white men have "privilege" and are "over-represented" in some group, etc., etc., ad infinitum. But somewhere, out there, is a poor white male kid, growing up in some impoverished neighborhood, whose family can't afford a computer, who attends a slummy school with no computer education, and who would absolutely benefit from a "White Boys Code" initiative. And to that individual, all the statistics about white male privilege and over-representation mean bugger-all.
Note: none of this means I'm against the Black Girls Code initiative, BTW. I just think the person who posed the question above about "White guys code" has a point in a way. In this case though, if an individual wants to put their time, effort and resources into helping one specific group, well, that's their right. No one can save the entire world (except Bruce Willis, I guess), so we all have to pick our battles.
That's the problem with statistics - they work on large masses and derive means, medians and modes. There are real people who aren't accurately represented by such statistics and making decisions solely on said statistics is unfair to them.
Saying that white men have a better chance of being rich does not imply that white men are never poor.
>That's the problem with statistics - they work on large masses and derive means, medians and modes.
Great lesson, but if what you're saying is that poor people are disadvantaged, the statistics back that up, too. Both of these statements are true:
1) Black people are disadvantaged
2) Poor people are disadvantaged
These are separate problems. A black individual making $60,000 a year still has fewer privileges than a white person making the same.
Maybe you don't think it's as dire a problem as the poor/non-poor problem, but so what? They are still doing something positive. Maybe I think their resources would be better applied to some other problem, but unless I'm going to volunteer to fix it myself, I'll leave them to their work.
Being rich does not negate all of the issue that people of color face. Class and white privilege are not the same nor mutually exclusive. They are intersectional and related. When a person of color wants to do something to empower other people of color, that doesn't make them a racist. To say that since some people of color are poor means that a program must be for all poor people is a form of moving the goal posts and derailing.
> There are real people who aren't accurately represented by such statistics and making decisions solely on said statistics is unfair to them.
Statistics tell us the same thing people of color do: they are not treated equally and face racial discrimination, micro and macro, all the time. There is a reason why people of color have less access and opportunity to engage in tech.
Sure, but just by being another race, there is very little if any chance for non-white males to do certain things. A feel-good story like Jim Carrey would NEVER happen for a Asian male in America. Heck there was even a survey that found women estimate Asian men would need to earn about $200k to have the same 'status' as a white male. So yes, while being poor sucks for all, but be a poor minority is even worse.
A lot of these groups, and their titles, just seem to further stigmatize the segments they're trying to help. True equality will only come when access to information and opportunity are available globally and without bias. Drawing lines in the sand isn't the way to go about change.
Charities should be based on need and helping the greater good, not on playing favorites.
This isn't a charity. A black woman started this program to address a legitimate need that she saw. Others who agreed with her gave her money to do it.
Where is the bad in this? How is this anything but a net positive for the world?
Teaching kids to code is an absolutely nice thing to do. But segregating based on color or gender or caste is never a good idea. What if a poor white or Asian or Hispanic kid wants to join this class? They'll be turned away?
To give an example: India is a deeply divided society, based on caste/religion etc. In many educational institutions, huge percentage of seats are reserved for the so called "lower" castes. So a kid, who gets very low grades, can get into a good institution, just because he is from a lower caste, even if that kid's family is rich. On the other hand, a poor kid from a so called "higher" caste, can't get in, even after getting high grades, as there are only so many seats and competition is tough. This has wrecked havoc in the Indian society, as absolutely dumb kids get into good colleges, while bright kids are left out.
Charities should never ever be based on color, gender, caste etc. Charity should be based on need and need only. Any kid who wants to learn to code, should be welcome, irrespective of their color. It does however, make sense to say no based on affordability - meaning, saying no to a rich kid makes sense, as he/she will find another teacher anyway, because he/she can afford it.
Again, she is doing a great noble work, no question about it. It would be even more awesome, if she just taught all kids, instead of just black kids.
Charities are free to focus on where the most need is based on the limited resources they have. There is a significant lack of women of color in US tech circles, so there is nothing wrong with a charity targeting that. Charity by definition won't be able to focus on everyone.
> To give an example: India is a deeply divided society, based on caste/religion etc.
This is a US-based charity targeting people of color living in the US. Comparisons between the US and India are not helpful here.
> Charities should never ever be based on color, gender, caste etc. Charity should be based on need and need only.
This is nonsense. Those that would benefit the most from this charity program already face discrimination and lack of opportunity BECAUSE OF their race and gender.
> It would be even more awesome, if she just taught all kids, instead of just black kids.
It would also be awesome if social barriers didn't exist at all and this kind of program wouldn't be needed, but we don't live in that world. That said, this program is absolutely doing good work and is right to target who needs this kind of assistance the most.
A huge number of black Americans in the U.S. face discrimination because they grew up in a culture which affects the way that they dress, speak, and act. The Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson has a fascinating book called Disintegration about the various cultures present in the African American population in the United States. The particular culture of African Americans that faces the huge barriers of discrimination, bad schools, and bad upbringing are referred to in his book as "the Abandoned."
As a white American who grew up in a trailer park in a mostly black area of the rural south, I happen to have a knowledge that most white Americans I encounter don't SEEM to have. And that is that the vast majority of discrimination against black americans is selectively directed against the "Abandoned", mainly in a passive, rather than active way. It is much more insidious in that sense.
I bring this up because too often I see whites who simply don't know anything other than what they learned in a college class say that "blacks" face barriers. It is much, much more complex than that. Here's a quote from a New York Times book review of Robinson's work:
"During the past four decades, Robinson persuasively argues, black America has splintered into four subgroups: the Transcendent elite; the Mainstream middle class, which now accounts for a majority of black Americans; an Emergent community made up of mixed-race families and black immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean; and the Abandoned, a large and growing underclass concentrated in the inner cities and depressed pockets of the rural South."
Ah of course, if only people acted more white they wouldn't have all these problems! /s
Improving ones class status or conforming to mainstream, white ideas about acceptable culture do not in any way stop or erase racism. Systemic and institutional racism affects all people of color. That some have different experiences or are affected differently is to be expected given how racism intersects with class and gender.
> As a white American who grew up in a trailer park in a mostly black area of the rural south, I happen to have a knowledge that most white Americans I encounter don't SEEM to have
You definitely may have a different experience compared to other white people, but you aren't black and don't live that experience, this factoid isn't relevant. By definition you cannot claim to know black experience first hand because you are not black.
> And that is that the vast majority of discrimination against black americans is selectively directed against the "Abandoned", mainly in a passive, rather than active way.
I don't dispute that the most marginalized people are the most affected by racism, classism, etc. However, that doesn't mean that racism doesn't affect people of color who have class privileges.
BlackGirlsCode is a program directly targeted at the people you call "Abandoned" (get way to establish other-ness by not calling them people and implying that at some point these people were cared for by the mainstream). The whole reason why this program exists in the first place is to help people who have been hit the hardest by racism, classism, and gender discrimination.
"Ah of course, if only people acted more white they wouldn't have all these problems"
This statement is exactly what I'm talking about. As if there is one 'white' culture in America. There isn't. I speak in a different manner at work than I do at home. My native dialect is not considered acceptable in business. I don't say y'all or ain't, and I shorten my words into the Anglo-Saxon, northeastern dialect that is the de-facto business standard English of the U.S. If I don't, I suffer the consequences. 'White' is a race, not a culture. But again, you completely miss this. I guess you also think that a black person who speaks in a north-eastern anglo-saxon dialect is 'acting white' correct? This is such bullshit, and it is the epitome of a person who learned about culture in a classroom, rather than living in a truly integrated environment.
My best friend growing up was victimized (physically attacked) by 'Abandoned' kids because he did well in school and 'acted white.'(there words, not mine) Nice to see this type of thinking isn't limited to just them. /s
The majority of white people I encounter who claim to be multicultural have never even spent the night under the roof of a person of color, let alone attended churches or social gatherings to truly understand that its about culture, not race.
You are right that white flight is really a class flight, but we should be clear that whites overwhelmingly benefited from this movement for a variety of reasons, including their easier access to better economic status and the enactment of racist laws that prohibited non-whites from participating in moving to the suburbs.
However, calling people "abandoned" still doesn't make any sense. How can a group of people be abandoned if they were never included in the mainstream in the first place? In a capitalist economy like the US, the middle class depends on the poor to continue to function and that kind of classism is a big part of our society. Ultimately all that matters is that people of color still face many barriers and oppressions, micro and macro, every day and those oppressions are intersectional with race, gender, and class, among other things.
> This statement is exactly what I'm talking about. As if there is one 'white' culture in America.
In the US, there IS only one mainstream culture and it places whiteness above other races. When I say white culture, I do not strictly mean the various cultures and histories of lightly skinned people. Rather, I'm talking about mainstream American culture: white, hetero-normative, imperialist, capitalist, and patriarchal enterprise.
> My best friend growing up was victimized (physically attacked) by 'Abandoned' kids because he did well in school and 'acted white.'(there words, not mine) Nice to see this type of thinking isn't limited to just them. /s
I'm sorry that this happened to your friend, but if you are insinuating that calling point problematic statements is the same as physically beating someone, you are saying that problematic shit is above criticism.
This vaguely sounds like affirmative action in the US.
Wait! You're saying that the process of undoing centuries of systemic unfairness might not be perfectly fair itself? And that groups who were historically privileged are now sometimes experiencing a small fraction of what their ancestors dished out? The horror!
That's not to say that we shouldn't work toward a world which is perfectly fair. But I'm ok with the unfairness getting sloshed around a little as we reduce it. As a white USian, it kills me to see people who suddenly discover their sense of fairness only when they might be on the receiving end of a little inequality. Or, often, just getting demoted to mere equality.
exclusion != racism ≡ you're a minority
With white people in specific there is a bit of eyebrow-raising, because "white" is a bit broad, a historically dominant group (in the U.S.), and has some history of "white organizations" being intended mainly for exclusionary purposes. Despite being white myself, I would probably be skeptical of the intentions of someone who asked me to join an organization with "white" in the name. More specific organizations targeting subsets of white people are common, though. For example, there are scholarship programs for Americans of Greek ancestry. There are also a number of initiatives targeting "Rural Appalachians", which is not definitionally white, but is almost exclusively an identity held by white people.
Lots this non-Anglos weren't considered white back in the day. JFK was asked if his being Catholic would hinder him.
It's also sexist.
Would you be so positive if it was some program that excluded any applicant that wasn't a white male?
To claim "white males" are a majority is just an arbitrary distinction you're making. Everyone is a majority or minority depending on your criteria.
You don't fix racism/sexist/etc with more racism/sexism/etc. You fix it by being inclusive, and judging people on their merits.
If you believe in free speech, you have to accept people saying things you don't like.
If you believe in freedom to set criteria on who you accept for something, you should also accept "white men only private clubs" etc.
When it comes to taste, however, I'll absolutely have it both ways. Some racial preferences are noble. Some are repugnant.
I'm not sure what you're arguing against. Nobody said they're excluding non-blacks or non-girls. Maybe they would, and I would definitely disagree with that. What they are doing is focusing their attention on black girls. Other children are not being disadvantaged in the process just because there isn't a group that caters specifically to their demographic.
Correct. But not all minorities have the same amount of power/wealth/prestigate/social stigma/advantages. "Minority" was originally a term to refer to some people. Don't take it too literally. It's not "minorities" per se that's bad, it's when one "minority" has much less power and advantages than the people who aren't in that minority.
> Everyone can be a minority if they decide to, depending on how you cut the population.
No, not if they "decide to". I think you mean that every person on the planet has minority status within any number of categorizations, but we're talking about categorizations that actually matter in terms of discrimination.
Or do you mean to argue that U.S. soccer fans, marathon runners, and male nurses (all minorities) have similar life experiences as racial minorities?
> To claim "white males" are a majority is just an arbitrary distinction you're making.
It's not arbitrary if it's a salient factor in determining a person's social and economic outcome.
> You fix it by being inclusive, and judging people on their merits.
Indeed. Interesting, though, that you're more concerned about how this group is acting in regard than how society at large is...
In other news: down is up, black is white, and true is false, depending on your criteria.
There are actual facts in the world and you don't get to change them to suit your side of the argument.
"Help Kids learn to code"
or, maybe that is agist
"Help People learn to code"
I won't be pedantic and claim maybe you won't like the emphasis on "people," I'll stop there. The problem is that I think you could demonstrate that such a broad/general program would not be as effective as one focused on this particular or similar groups ("bald hispanic men under 40" as someone else so eloquently put is not a serious group).
There is something qualitative about the world and social interactions that is completely missed by this simplistic mentality; this sort of thing is always couched in logic but it is argument free of any necessary context.
I thought targeting specific issues was part of the point, to have a greater chance at solving at least one problem.
The net effect of this organization's efforts will be to elevate several different demographics by targeting one. White/black/etc women will be able to relate to the black women in this course. Black men and women will be able to relate to the black women in this course. On top of that, since it's kids, their friends who are kids of any race/sex will find it easier to relate to, and eventually study and work in the field.
tl;dr This helps a ton of people by only targeting a few. It's an amazing and effective idea.
The point I am making isn't that this isn't a good thing, because as I said in my original post, helping any disadvantaged group of people is a good thing. I'm simply pointing out the hypocrisy in doing it based on race. Why not make it CityGirlsCode? If the argument for BlackGirlsCode is so logical, why would it be wrong to have an organization called WhiteGirlsCode in the poor areas of Appalachia? It's wrong in both instances, its just that modern political correctness has taught you that it's ok to discriminate based on race as long as it isn't favoring whites.
You know how there's very few women in IT/CS?
You know how there's very few black people in IT/CS?
You know how people have been trying to figure out, 'Hey, how do we get more women and black people into IT/CS?'
This solves both problems.
What you're basically telling me is that trying to take people who generally have to struggle the most in life, and have the hardest time trying to get into technology, that helping them is wrong (morally? ethically?) and should be stopped because we should ignore the fact that they have a harder time than most because you don't like the idea of talking about race, or sex, or anything in specifics.
Wake up, pal. This is the real world. In the real world, people don't get treated fairly, and they don't get to live exactly the same lives. We should strive to help people that need it the most, yes, and sometimes this means working with one of those groups.
One of the reasons we do this is because there are special considerations when dealing with a specific group. Women, for example. They don't want arrogant objectifying men to intimidate them as they try to learn a new, difficult, intimidating subject. So there are organizations that try to help just women, to get around these problems.
Black people have their own problems to deal with. Sometimes, it affects those who live in economically-depressed clusters of an area. Most of the time, this is an overwhelmingly large number of the population of that area. As a result, it becomes significantly more challenging for a black person in that area to do something like learn to program than a white person in that area, and thus, they need a little more support.
It's not wrong to acknowledge this. It's just a fact of life. And in helping specific people who are having a hard time of things, we help those who are (in some cases) in the most need.
So please, get off your fucking high horse and give these people some credit for actually trying to help people.
People group by like and are often exclusionary. Look at Gnome and Google's summer of code. They have started doing specifically female targeted ones because they females are there but aren't applying to the normal ones for a myrid of reasons plenty of which are mighty valid.
I'm sorry but targeted helping is needed and is a good thing. Stop over reacting because for the first time you almost nearly kind of feel the sting of discrimination. All is not even close to equal.
This a million times over. White men have certain inherent advantages over other demographic makeups in the Western world that it's laughable a white guy would feel offended by this small little group that's marginalized. It's like a rich person being offended that a non-for-profit just exists for poor people.
So I shouldn't be allowed to volunteer with the American Hellenic Progressive Association, a group dedicated towards looking at problems and interests specific to Greek-Americans? Why not? Not every group can target every community's problems, so it sometimes makes sense to target subgroups imo.
Even though slavery and "separate but equal" are gone, and finally women have the right to vote, the effects of all that oppression is still being felt because of inertia (i.e. they are trapped in a cycle of poverty). The healing from all that oppression is happening slowly and some people are just trying to speed it up.
At least I think that is what is happening here.
I disagree. In an ideal world, yes you're right. But that's not reality. In this world, it's OK. It's good and moral to try to eliminate the inherent disadvantages that some groups have. It's better in the long term. This is the right thing to do.
it's ok to discriminate based on race as long as it isn't favoring whites.
Pretty much yes. Non-whites have much less power, ergo they need it.
That's because white men have less barriers to... well everything.
First, let me ask you a question. What's the poorest country in the western hemisphere? Haiti. What makes it "special"? Now, what's the poorest most impoverished continent in the world? Africa. What makes it "special"? I think you get the picture.
I'm going to tell you a little secret. Black people statistically speaking are intellectually inferior. You don't have to like it, I don't have to like it, the Hacker News zeitgeist doesn't have to like it but it's true.
The question is, what do you do about that. Do you pretend everybody is the same and give everybody equal opportunity sink or swim? That sounds good in the libertarian utopia but the fact is we live in the real world and if you do that you are going to have a class of people that will never reach parity no matter what happens. Left to their own devices, black people are incapable as a group to ever reach the cultural and social level of white and Asian people.
That being the case, you can either live with that which is a non-starter unless you want downtown SF look like downtown Johannesburg. So the only realistic option is to "stack the deck". Everyone that has ever thought about it for more than 5 minutes realizes that this has to happen in order for our mixed society to remain sane. The ivory tower "liberals" understand this far more than you realize and despite the public rhetoric of equality, behind the scenes, the dials are turned to make sure that despite the fact that blacks could never compete on merit, there is just enough stacked in their favor and just subtly enough that they have at least some chance. Thus programs like BlackGirlsCode.
And that's it. I don't like it. I wish blacks were on par intellectually but that just isn't the case and won't be anytime soon so I buy in to this "fix". Give it some thought and you might too.
BTW, before you get too far off on your own superiority remember that Ashkenazi jews (Einstein, etc.) are statistically a fifth to a full standard deviation above the average in mathematical and verbal IQ tests. Ever wonder why something like 50 percent of the nobel prizes go to them? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashkenazi_Jewish_intelligence
Bye bye Karma.
Let me translate: we have a socially responsible conclusion now let's design a study that produces it.
"This isn't reddit, so nobody can downvote you."
When you get karma over 150, you will see a little arrow pointing down next to each comment.
"You know what you said was offensive, but you probably don't know that what you said is completely, absolutely scientifically inaccurate."
Have fun deluding yourself.
"I could answer this with data, but instead I'll be anecdotal."
Of course you'll be anecdotal. I would expect no less.
"My best friend"
This is a key point. You are completely dismissing environmental factors. So therefore, under your ridiculous argument we should see no significant difference between the supposed "intellectual inferiority" of black people between those two groups. How could there be? You have stated that would be done clearly because it is genetic. However, your case now fails completely.
You're just a racist and you want to proffer your position in a way that tries to make fun of those that agree with your racism as either being naive or "liberal fools" or whatever. But it is you that are deceived.
This is a key point. You are completely dismissing environmental factors.
You're just a racist"
I'm going to stop quoting right there because you are mistaken. Only in your own absurd caricature of me that you've created do I completely discount environmental factors. Of course children of any race, all things being equal, will statistically thrive better in a stable environment. That doesn't discount hereditary factors though which are also very important. There are lots of rigorous scientific studies that support the existence of hereditary intelligence and that it is typically lower in blacks. I realize there is a certain amount of "controversy" among psychometrists in the area of white vs black intellect but a great deal of it is political and manufactured. People like you that scream "racist blah blah" are the ones that stunt science and progress but go on and make me out to be your boogeyman and twist my words how you want so that you don't have to consider what I'm saying. Whatever makes you feel better, buddy.
Also, it's obvious why Jews get more nobel prizes. Since they control the media and the banks, they get better education and better publication of their work. Duh! Don't believe me? Type in "jews control " in Google and check out the auto-complete results. Proof.
I am merely pointing out that you 1) offer no info, 2) clearly are racist, and 3) believe yourself that you have a superior point of view on this story. What you have said is contradictory and it is essential that this is pointed out so that others see why you are so very wrong.
I didn't "assert" anything. I pointed out that statistically speaking blacks are intellectually inferior. Sans statistics, yes, that would be an assertion but the statistics exist and are voluminous. Do your own research though as I'm not your professor.
"clearly are racist"
I'm not sure where you got that from. Maybe my use of the word "inferior". I'm sorry that word has a negative connotation as I meant it as prosaically as possible. Of course, when you can't argue marginalize, right?
At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite I've had more intelligent discussion with my 2 year old nephew.
I see you're an arrogant prick in addition to the mental midgetry. Don't forget to keep those defenses up in the future. Don't argue intelligently. Seek to marginalize your opponent. That'll make you feel better. :)
What's the poorest country in the western hemisphere? Haiti. What makes it "special"? Now, what's the poorest most impoverished continent in the world? Africa. What makes it "special"? I think you get the picture.
You implied "poverty, ergo stupidity"
Another approach to having a useful discussion is "What would the world look like if 'black people are stupider on average' was true, and if it was false?"
Of course his post wasn't careful enough since you still misinterpreted it, it's even possible I misinterpreted as well, but even if I'm wrong I consider my reading more charitable and if you seek a discussion it's better to pick the more charitable one given alternatives.
Of course, you could just flame him as others are doing. Might be better to just downvote and ignore (as many are as well).
There used to be a lot of discrimination against people based on religious groups within christianity. But now catholics are considered white.
Yep, in the absence of actual argument just marginalize. I'm sure you feel much better now.
What utter racist drivel is this? In a later comment you get upset by someone equating your position with thinking intelligence with economic status but you are clearly making such a claim here. Well, by and large Asia is a pretty dirt poor continent as well, what do you have to say about that? Do you think Africa just popped into existence recently? There is a whole historical force at work. OK, clearly Africa as continent (I guess we have to ignore Egypt under your view) has done a pretty bad job developing large civilizations/militaries and eventually becoming a world Imperial power. The connection between Haiti and Africa as two "separate" examples is pretty ignorant, do you know how Haiti become populated with all those people? Are familiar with this idea called the slave trade?
>I'm going to tell you a little secret. Black people statistically speaking are intellectually inferior. You don't have to like it, I don't have to like it, the Hacker News zeitgeist doesn't have to like it but it's true.
Prove it. That's a bold claim and linking to a bunch of white supremacist web sites or links to Wikipedia that admit not credibility won't help you prove your argument Herr Doktor. It is not "Hacker News zeitgeist" to say that you are proffering a pretty controversial statement with no evidence in fact is very incidiary. I agree that if there was actual, we should admit, but there is no truth to this notion Herr Doctor.
>The question is, what do you do about that. Do you pretend everybody is the same and give everybody equal opportunity sink or swim? That sounds good in the libertarian utopia but the fact is we live in the real world and if you do that you are going to have a class of people that will never reach parity no matter what happens.
>Left to their own devices, black people are incapable as a group to ever reach the cultural and social level of white and Asian people.
That's just ridiculous. I'm still waiting for the proof.
>That being the case, you can either live with that which is a non-starter unless you want downtown SF look like downtown Johannesburg.
Do you think such phenomena does not exist in white or Asian cultures? If that is the case you are either very naive, ignorant, or have never traveled anywhere but the last is no excuse because apparently you do have the Internet. What you allude to exists in droves among white populations, without question.
>So the only realistic option is to "stack the deck". Everyone that has ever thought about it for more than 5 minutes realizes that this has to happen in order for our mixed society to remain sane. The ivory tower "liberals" understand this far more than you realize and despite the public rhetoric of equality, behind the scenes, the dials are turned to make sure that despite the fact that blacks could never compete on merit, there is just enough stacked in their favor and just subtly enough that they have at least some chance. Thus programs like BlackGirlsCode.
>And that's it. I don't like it. I wish blacks were on par intellectually but that just isn't the case and won't be anytime soon so I buy in to this "fix". Give it some thought and you might too.
This is just trash and so are you. Where is the evidence. There is quite the evidence to the contrary. If this was the case why are there so many black PhDs, scientists, etc. Sure, there is not as many for various non-genetic reasons but under your view they shouldn't even exist. How could do they? I mean under your view, perhpas there could be ONE because I guess you'd argue that person would be like strange anomaly but there are clearly more than that. It's ridiculous. In fact, we don't even need to point to PhDs and other scientists, because you are arguing blacks are intellectually inferior. Have you ever met a black a person other than when you might be running scared from crackheads in downtown San Francisco? There are white crackheads to you know.
>BTW, before you get too far off on your own superiority remember that Ashkenazi jews (Einstein, etc.) are statistically a fifth to a full standard deviation above the average in mathematical and verbal IQ tests. Ever wonder why something like 50 percent of the nobel prizes go to them? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashkenazi_Jewish_intelligence
You make a bad argument for intelligence when you seem to be unable to read and comprehend your own Wikipedia links. Ever read your own Wikipedia links? There is nothing contained that article that amounts to anything scientific other than some vague references to a cultural tradition of close study and scholarship as well as increased economic position.
Do you think a complete lack of anything resembling science does not matter as long as your point is a racist one?
>Bye bye Karma.
Yes, I'm expecting some real intelligent debate outta this one.
"In a later comment you get upset by someone equating your position with thinking intelligence with economic status but you are clearly making such a claim here."
I see just like the other guy reading comprehension isn't your strong point.
"do you know how Haiti become populated with all those people? Are familiar with this idea called the slave trade?"
Slavery and colonialism ended in Haiti a long time ago but lets keep making excuses. Have you considered the possibility that using historical happenings as a crutch might be part of the reason real progress isn't being made in Haiti? What if the Asians who suffered on the railroads in 19th century US made the same types of excuses? What about Indians that suffered under British rule? Kurds in Iraq? And on and on.
I'm sorry, I'm done with debating you idiots for one day. This has become a time sink into collective delusion and willful ignorance. Buh bye.
Because if the answer is nothing, then I don't think you have much standing to talk. Shouting "U R DOIN IT RONG" while standing on the sidelines just reduces the the speed at which the world gets better, so I don't have a lot of time for it.
Anyhow, I gave 'em a hundred bucks. I give money to other people, too.
Any targeting based on the color of skin is wrong. Two wrongs don't make a right. Charity should be called something that does that imply racial discrimination.
This would mean a black person in USA would not in general be able to be racist against a white person.
1. Children are starving in Africa. Send money.
2. This particular child [picture] in Sudan will probably die in the next 7 days. Send money.
Specialization is good.
I imagine that if a hispanic girl were to ask to join this program, she would not be told no. It'd be an interesting experiment. On the other hand this looks like a privately-funded venture so they are free to do what they wish.
I have a dog in this fight because I give away copies of my book to clubs like this. I have noticed that the girls clubs are a lot more organized and get press, which worries me a bit. But helping someone is better than helping no one.
Have you a suggestion for how I can reach out to more kinds of people?
One could also say "Dallas Girls Code", a program for girls in the dallas area. It's perfectly okay.
Shorter JPKab: poor white men, when will they ever catch a break in this country.
It works by asking two simple questions:
1) If I marketed to a less restrictive subset, would I capture a smaller percentage of my target audience (in proportion to the population)? For example, if I said, "GirlsCode" -- would I still get ~10% black females attending? I suspect you'd get the expected percentage of white females attending, so if white girls were my target audience, I needn't restrict the audience any further. But for black females I would.
2) If I market to this restricted subset will I likely increase the total number of my target audience in attendance. For example, if I said, "WhiteMenCode" do I expect more white men to attend than if I said "MenCode"? I suspect probably not (at least not people serious about coding, versus just trying to prove a point about race). But BlackGirlsCode probably will increase the total number of black females who are serious about learning to code.
I think BlackGirlsCode passes the LRST.
If the parents don't have enough money to feed the kids, the first thing on the mind would not be the next programming language to learn, it would be about the meal for the next afternoon. Compare that kid to someone whose parents are able to afford the education of kids at the top, most expensive business school or law school of the country. They are not competing at an equal level. Unfortunately the average black happens to be much poorer than the average white (although there are more poor whites than the total number of poor blacks but that's because the blacks are about 13% of total, whites are about 72% of the total). [edited]
I don't think anyone in Brazil would have an event "Latina hackathon" but a "Latina hackathon" in US would be understandable.
Study finds median wealth for single black women at $5
Among the most startling revelations in the wealth data is that while single white women in the prime of their working years (ages 36 to 49) have a median wealth of $42,600 (still only 61 percent of their single white male counterparts), the median wealth for single black women is only $5.
And only straight boys! No gays allowed there (in general).
Relatability is the key thing. You're spot on here.
Things like this are springing up all over. For example, here in the UK, Code Club has been founded by two women to create and support after-school programming clubs: http://codeclub.org.uk/
"According to research gathered by BlackGirlsCode, African American women make up 4.8 percent of graduate enrollment in computer science programs, while only 0.03 percent of female Hispanic freshmen intended to major in computer science in 2006."
To start with, the line implies that these two statistic are related, but they are about different ethnicities, at different education levels comparing completely separate metrics!
Secondly, the 4.8 percent statistic seems to imply that this is under-representation, but being that African Americans make up ~12.6% of the population and women are very roughly half of that, 4.8 percent seems really close to demographic representation.
However as often happens, people are now complaining that they shouldn't have a programme just for black girls since it's racist/sexist. It's not. People/groups who need help and are disadvantaged, should be helped. If 2 babies are born, and one is very healthy and one is very sick, we should give the sick one more medical attention than the healthy one. We should not give everyone the same amount of help, we should try to ensure that everyone has the same chance. That means giving one group more help than another. 'Everyone having the same chance' is what happens when we get rid of racism/sexism (we're not there yet).
Indeed. Someone wrote a post about how being born white and male in America is like starting a character in an RPG with boosted stats.
It does have a hint of truth to it. There is literally nothing a white man can't do in America whereas other races have significantly less chance of achieving the same success, especially Asian Americans.
Just because a chunk of a certain demographic is comparatively "privileged", we should gloss over all those who struggle to make a living simply because they were born a white male? If anything, being born poor and white can be more difficult because people bitch about your "privilege" each time you ask for the slightest degree of help.
If you're poor and white, you're pretty much screwed when it comes to being able to afford colleges. Most scholarships serve people that belong to a certain (non-white) race, religious, or military background. You don't get access to any tutoring and you're usually working after school to help support your family, so it's borderline impossible to get a 4.0 GPA and even begin qualifying for non-racial scholarships.
Outside of racial profiling within America's law enforcement (which is a huge, huge, huge problem that desperately needs to be fixed), there's really no "white privilege" in America. It's "high-income privilege." Anybody born of a wealthy family has a chance, and anybody who isn't suffers. The problem is that we're still looking at race when determining how much support to offer instead of looking at how much a person needs it.
Spoken like a white person. As a fellow white person, let me tell you: you're wrong.
Some years back I shaved my head for a year or so. The difference was astounding. People treated me very differently. Suddenly they were scared of me. I mentioned to some friends that people were now crossing the street to avoid me. One of them, a tall black male, said, "Well now you know." And he's right. I look for it now and I see white people doing stuff like this all the time. I'm sure I miss a lot of it, too.
Anecdotes aside, a study shows that people with white-sounding names get 50% more job callbacks than people with black-sounding names: http://www.nber.org/digest/sep03/w9873.html
I agree that there's substantial class discrimination, and further that being poor in the US is a bucket of shit. But although white privilege may have lessened in the last 50 years, it is still alive and well.
For an example of benefits of being white in USA, have a look at this: http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html#daily
Is there anyone here who is NOT a white male and would care to comment?
Just because somebody is a white male does not devalue their point. Moreover, you should really never judge an argument based on the person making it.
I am absolutely less qualified to comment on racism. Because I very rarely experience it, and often don't notice it when it happens.
Similarly, I also believe that one should be suspicious of non-technical managers who have opinions on how to code.
The people least affected by racism, both personally and systemically, absolutely have almost no value to their comments. How can they? In the US, white-ness is the norm. If you aren't white, you get treated differently automatically and people don't hesitate to call you racist when you try to do something to help people just like yourself.
> Moreover, you should really never judge an argument based on the person making it.
This is true, but when someone claims to have knowledge about a thing they cannot by definition experience, they should absolutely be called out on it. Also, talking over actual people of color to give a white opinion is erasing and serves to make those people, already hard to find in tech circles, even more invisible.
It just seems to me that we all have lots of ideas about stuff most of us have never been through, and it might be nice to hear from people who've actually been through them.
It's not only for black girls.
I suspect it's for all but white though so they still exclude based on color. And of course age and gender.
I really wish people would stop reinforcing racial discrimination of all sorts. Even the age discrimination is a bit offensive. I understand it may be easier to get funding when you can present a narrow group.
I don't see this as a zero-sum war against white people and I hope you don't either.
Taken to the extreme, it becomes downright immature and pathetic. Do we really need a group specifically for blacks, and one for asians, and one for mixed black asians, and one for mexicans, and one for indians... etc? Give me a break. I wish we could all just collectively grow up.
Actually that's not quite right. Young children don't tend to segregate like that. They have us beat in that area. It's only once they learn our ways that they start to do it. Again, because it is continually reinforced as a part of society.
Ever heard of black girls rock? This is a meme but most people have no clue.
> It's encouraging race discrimination either way
WHO is encouraged to discriminate racially by this? You? Not me.
If you are concerned with racial discrimination, please go visit your public schools across whatever U.S. state you live in and try to explain why there is such racial segregation even in the absence of school names such as Black Boys Academy. Hint, it ain't in the name.
They are, by their own name, discriminating based on race. Even if it is for a positive goal. The problem is that it reinforces race as a significant distinguishing category when it should not be. Many other categories are far more significant. Like income level. In general, a very poor black girl and very poor white girl will have much more in common than a very poor black girl and a very rich black girl.
Finally, when PoorPeopleCode, WhiteBoysCode or Latina Hackathon call upon the Hacker News community for support, for the sake of whatever you believe in, GIVE BACK so that others can do what you do. It is NEVER about exclusion. The _meme_ is about recognizing "I'm blessed with talent, skill and experience so I help to pay it forward".
I just took the highest level of action by sending my gift of support of $100.
Don't just sit there shaking your head; do something!
There are plenty of poor, uneducated white girls and boys who could benefit from programs like this.
Oh, what's that you say? We already have enough people with their skin color in the computer science field? Shame on me! You're right -- ignore the white trash.
The (attractive, affluent, privileged) whites who enjoy ignoring white trash are right -- poor, uneducated whites are unimportant. In fact, poor, uneducated whites (especially the toothless ones) are less important and less worthy of help than attractive, affluent, privileged people with more melanin.
I agree - IF we can also agree that groups for "White Women", "Bald Hispanic Men Under 40", etc... are also allowed.
Society needs to come to a consensus on this. Either there is a useful purpose to segmenting private groups by age, gender, race, income, etc... or there isn't. If there is a valid purpose, then we should all agree that all possible combination of these factors are equally valid.
The end result is that some poor white woman won't be able to attend because of the color of her skin. I'm not sure what happens to her mulatto friend...I guess it depends how black she looks.
There is a real problem that can potentially be solved. You can play this game if you want but there is quite clearly a qualitative difference between groups like "black girls" and "bald hispanic men under 40." It's just ridiculous; it's sophomoric to conflate the two.
As to your last point, so the perfect is the enemy of the good? The end goal is to help real people, not sit in an ivory tower and debate about whether "race even exists" or any of this nonsense. If calling the group "Black Girls Can Code" allows the group to raise more money and help a very specific group of girls, then that is good.
I think there is a good reason to think that if there was a group called "Woman Can Code" that this particular group/demographic would not benefit as much as it might as it is currently labeled (perhaps less participation, perhaps drowned out by the others, etc). We can be pedantic and cry foul that "Wah, there is not a White Women group or a Native American Transgender" group but that doesn't end up helping anyone.
The world is more complex than that. "Bald Hispanic" is not a comparison to "black girls" any serious person would make.
The only point in your reply that I understand is that you believe black women are poor, therefore typical social rules regarding segregation don't apply.
>If calling the group "Black Girls Can Code" allows the group to raise more money...
By this logic you are OK with a group called "White boys can code" IF it helped that group raise money? And why not, these could be boys from Appalachia who have Mountain Dew and Snickers for dinner every night.
I think this is a conversation worth having. At some point we need to go beyond convenient stereo types and get to the root of the problem.
I don't know why you're having trouble understanding this. This stuff is pretty basic to understand. Your view is childish and pedantic. "Wah realizing there are social mores in effect in the real world is just segregation."
> By this logic you are OK with a group called "White boys can code" IF it helped that group raise money? And why not, these could be boys from Appalachia who have Mountain Dew and Snickers for dinner every night.
No, I think there are qualitative social implications that we all recognize when we stop making silly statements like "Why is there not White Entertainment Television." But I do think having groups as you suggested is a good idea but I think the naming of them should pay attention to social realities.
Well then help me...
>Your view is childish and pedantic.
Ad hominem, not helpful.
>No, I think there are qualitative social implications that we all recognize
Emphasis mine. Like what? Black people are poor, so they get a pass? Is that what you mean? Jesus, just say it.
>But I do think having groups as you suggested is a good idea but I think the naming of them should pay attention to social realities.
What are your version of social realities? You say this shit with a wink and a nod...You know blacks are poor, asians are good with numbers, jews are good with money, whites are oppressors, and gays speak with a lisp. Are these the "social realities" you speak of?
For the love of god, stop being so vague and just say what you mean. For instance, the following is my exact feeling on this matter.
There are only two non-bigoted positions to have on this issue. One, it's OK for people to segregate private groups by race, gender, etc... Or, two, its not OK at all. Any position in between can only be justified by relying on stereo types.
You said all the racist stuff not me. I didn't say that blacks are poor so the get a pass. I said they are social realities that reasonable people, i.e. non-childlike pedants, that understand. :)
There are people still alive that lived under Jim Crow. It is only very recently that public bigotry against black people has been considered taboo. People always trot out "slavery's been over for 150 years" bit but the problems begot by slavery didn't go away over night. In fact, we have some moron on this thread spouting off about how whites are intellectually superior to blacks and the best response most on HN have to that is "Well, we should really consider charitably the intellectual possibility the blacks are 'stupider' than whites."
You've offered nothing more than a false dichotomy in your last statement. Black people have been inundated with the statements both direct and indirect of inferiority. As well, whether you believe it or not, many places even in our current situation are made to feel as the other. Being "black girls" is part of the identify of many "girls that happen to be black (if I'm going to play this pedantic game with you)." Therefore, what exactly with promoting a notion that something fundamental to their identity is good, i.e. "Black Girls Can Code?"
Maybe your jibber jabber would make sense if we were robots or Vulcans, but I mean, that's just no reality. I'm sorry, I can't change that for you. The world is more complicated than you think it is, welcome to Earth.
Do you really want me to explain all of the culture of the Western world to you? I mean it may seem that I'm shirking from a responsibility by not offering you one but it just seems ridiculous that you would need one.
Oh, you said my view...If that's not ad hominem, then I should tell you that I think your view is idiotic and short sighted...I was holding back on that one before.
>but I mean, that's just no [sic] reality
Ok, I get it. The world is the way it is and we should not endeavor to change it. We should treat some people as special and others as not special. Score one more point for moral relativism.
With logic like that, I guess I should hope I'm not in a group that falls out of favor.
>Do you really want me to explain all of the culture of the Western world to you?
In all seriousness, I would be incredibly grateful to hear your version.
So yes, a programme that targets helping black people in tech is not racist, but helping white people in tech is racist.
If you believe so, you're a bigot.
Also, are poor, uneducated whites less worthy of help than poor, uneducated blacks?
Let's think about some poor, uneducated white kids living in a trailer park without an internet connection. What should they feel when they hear of programs like this? "I'm not important enough to help, because people who look like me already have good jobs?" How should they feel about the myriad of programs and scholarships which explicitly exclude them?
At this point, being black isn't a disadvantage in-and-of-itself. Being poor is a disadvantage, and blacks are more likely to be born poor due in no small part to slavery. But all things being equal, being a poor white person is more difficult than being a poor black person.
And they shouldn't be excluded.
Evidence? I'd especially like to see a video of you visiting the trailer parks and public housing projects of America and asking people if they agree with that. I'm not sure which group would take more exception to it.
Regardless, as a former poor white person, I think it's bullshit.
There are numerous advantaged and disadvantaged groups. Some people are in 1 or 2 or lots. We should try to end all disadvantagness. I don't see a contradiction.
Of course not, but in most cases poor uneducated white people are not poor and uneducated because of the racial dynamics. In a lot of cases, the poor black women are poor because of the racial and gender dynamics.
I don't see society coming to consensus on this any time soon - but a lack of consensus doesn't and shouldn't stop private meetings that don't clearly cause or promote or contribute to harm to others
So a group for helping women is considered cricket, but one focused on white women probably wouldn't be, because white people are already privileged enough.
To an extent, I think that black people, and black girls specifically, not going into CS is really a symptom of a bigger problem. I went to a high school with a lot of black guys and girls and, at least for my graduating class, it really didn't seem like many went to college. Although, Black Girls Code could help get people interested in going to college to further study CS or anything else really. Either way, it'll be really interesting to see how it goes.
You seem to be saying "don't make any of them because it is unfair." I am saying "make any or all of them so that more smart and motivated people can get a hand up and make cool things so the future is great."
If I would get paid and have adequate organizational support I would be all about targeting education at Native Americans on the reservation. Can't you see how petty it would be to say that nobody should try to help Native Americans because it seems somehow "racist" to white males?
If these hacker groups are white only, then we need to break down the barriers that are keeping minorities and women out rather than starting new groups and self-segregating.
Surely the demographics of other fields need to be shaken up as well as tech. Nursing comes to mind.