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I haven't just discovered the concept of affirmative action. I don't live in the country in question either FWIW.

I have just discovered the concept of widespread support for racial and sexual segregation in a tech education [charity?] group in the USA. I have just discovered that not only was this link mentioned in the highest voted comment on a HN thread but also my objection to such racism - passed off as you so nicely word it as "affirmative action" - was immediately downplayed.

I do find it a shame - have you seen what they're doing with this group. They're getting kids involved in programming in a way that's exciting to me - indeed one commenter mentioned they've worked with them and wrote (IIRC) betathegame which I'd just been looking at to use with my own kids. They're well resource and completely up-front about what they are "black girls code".

So you believe I'm outstandingly ignorant? About what? I was ignorant of creeping support in the tech community for racism, for segragation in learning, for exclusion based on skin colour.

Division by age; no problem with me. Division by sex; can be argued for (and BGC do). Division by skin colour, in learning to code, how is it in the least bit relevant.

I do sometimes proffer opinions that I do not hold in order to develop better understanding or to develop my rhetoric but this is by no means one of those times.

Rather than questioning my sincerity perhaps you can convince me that skin colour is pertinent when offering access to education in computing? If you don't want to do that then perhaps you can say hat it is that's convinced you that it is acceptable?




Ok, the reason I was questioning your sincerity was not because of the argument presented, as much as that the subject combined with some of the language cues and the context set off some sort of baysian based bullshit detector in my head that was ringing like a big fucking gong. It isn't always perfect, but it is usually good and it was ringing pretty loudly, which is why I stopped beating around the bush. I am not the only person here, looking at the other comments, that strongly suspected you of trolling here. If you are not, then you have my complete apologies.

Now as to why I think that this club is ok, is not because I think that skin colour has any relevance in learning to code. Also, if I thought they were being exclusively for black girls, rather than just targetting them, then I would not give this any time, but that seems to be evidently not the case.

The sad fact is that skin colour has deep relevance in the US because it is still such a deeply divided and institutionally racist country in many ways, especially if you do not have enough money to sugar the pill.

If you are a teenage black girl in poverty in the US you are bombarded with media telling you what defines a teenage black girl in poverty in the US. You are marketed to as a teenage black girl in poverty, you are educated as a teenage black girl in poverty.

And unless you are unusually idiosyncratic, you will already have bought the story you are being sold by the time you are a teenager.

Most people buy the story they are sold by the society around them.

As far as I am concerned, given the society and history of the US, the club BlackGirlsCode is not spreading the message, "coding is a black thing", it is spreading the message "black girls are able and allowed to code", which is a positive thing. It isn't forcing people to think of themselves in a certain way, it is trying to start with how the people they are trying to help are already viewing themselves, it is accepting that the society is really screwed right now and so sod trying to destroy tribalism in one fell swoop, as that is a big job and may take a few more generations, lets try and get people to widen their horizons and do something about the massive technological literacy gap. Clubs called BlackGirlsCode in the US are needed for exactly the same reason that organisations dedicated to literacy for Dalit women in India are neccessary.

Personally I would rather that society drop the whole black/white thing altogether as a description of skin colour, as not only is the binary designation one of the most heinous divide and conquer traps that is going, but I think that the terms are also woefully inaccurate and unfit for purpose as descriptive adjectives. However I rarely get a good response to that, so convincing society in general of that one is really more of a long game.




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