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•Re: Re: Stereotypes about perl

by merlyn (Sage)
on Feb 24, 2004 at 17:07 UTC ( #331435=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: Stereotypes about perl
in thread Stereotypes about perl

The other side of it is, it's a harsh world. i've been given lower grades due to my ethnicity, when I've done better than my fellow students on exams, participated a lot and what not, and get full letter grades. Sometimes, you just have to live with the ignorance.
Sorry, I just can't let this stand.

Either you have a provable case on this, with objective facts, that can help get that professor fired, or what you're doing is walking around with a chip on your shoulder.

Did you take these ethnic discriminations to a review board? Or did you just whine about them to your fellow students?

I could run around all day and say "I'm not getting business because I don't have a college degree, and that's unfair because I have the work experience instead!" And guess what? It'd be pretty much unprovable, and therefore actually pretty much irrelevant. Instead, I just do my best, and hope that my clients line up outside my door. That's life. Take responsibility for the entire experience. Don't demean others for your actions or attributes.

-- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

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Re: •Re: Re: Stereotypes about perl
by exussum0 (Vicar) on Feb 24, 2004 at 17:24 UTC
    Did you take these ethnic discriminations to a review board? Or did you just whine about them to your fellow students?
    Yes, I did take this to the department who refused to hear the case directly, and I did file a complaint which I couldn't always follow up and take time off just so I can take care of this. I basically suffered the "you need to take a lot of time out of your life to get this taken care of" which I couldn't. I worked 40 hours a week and took 16 credits (5 of your UK modules out there). I lived on my own and brought myself up from my own damned boot straps. I missed at most 1 class, I averaged 90's, did all my HW and participated in class. And I got a C+ from a professor (who hasn't even finished their master's yet) for the programming course while others who didn't do much better or worse than me got B+'s.
    That's life. Take responsibility for the entire experience. Don't demean others for your actions.
    Excuse you, but I have taken responsibility for my actions. I lived out the stupid .com boom, going to college and living on my own with very little help thank you very much. I did have the objective facts. I went out of my way to do the best so I could stay out of achedemic probation. I've been yelled at, beat up and repressed for things I didn't even do! Just because I'm half black, or get mistaken for middle eastern (9/11), or am to white of a black person.

    You don't know me and what I had to go through to get where I am. So you can keep your judgements of me and take that chip of your shoulder before you make your judgements on me. Your idealistic little world does NOT exist.

    -not sorry this is a flame,
    your friendly monk.

Re: •Re: Re: Stereotypes
by Sandy (Curate) on Apr 07, 2004 at 22:46 UTC
    Never thought that I'd get into this here, but here are my very little 2 cents worth.

    Only this: I have had instances in my life where the truth of the situation was hard for other people to swallow (people could not believe that one person could treat another so badly). Because of this they tended to negate my experience (oh you're exagerating, it wasn't really that, it was something else). This caused me no end of pain.

    From this I learned a very important lesson. If someone tells me something about their own self, where I know nothing about the situation, I never assume that they are exagerating. (it doesn't mean i'll run out and buy a car because the salesman says he needs the money).

    It is important to be believed, unless the unbeliever knows for certain (or at least reasonably certain) that there is cause for disbelief.

    This isn't about the big issue of how often or how prevalent discrimination is, it's about simply accepting, at face value, a statement someone has made about their life.

      Sandy, thanks for a thoughtful and heartfelt response and for calling my attention to this thread. And Sporty, thanks for mentioning the original incident.

      I think it's really important that there be space in this monastary for each of us to describe how the sofware profession treats us as individuals. What's it like to be a foo Perl progrmmer where foo is a different ethnicity, gender, age, whatever, than I am? I would hope that PM would be one of the places I could start to learn about that.

      And the other thing is that we *are* the software profession. If we don't listen when someone says "this is how the profession is treating me", who is going to listen?

      That's what flame wars and endless debates are all about. That's what stereotypes are all about. You have a tool you can use, you have a beacon of truth and light, you have wisdom and compassion for your fellow human, that's nice ... but dont bother me while I'm eating.

      • bias is everywhere
      • greatness and recognition don't always go together
      • for every pair of eyes, there is a different way of seeing the world
      • sometimes 'the best tool for the job' is whichever one pays their rent
      • sometimes 'the best tool for the job' is whichever one strokes their ego
      • honorary titles are niether necessary nor sufficient for open-mindedness
      • no one is free from being looked down upon by at least *someone*
      • no one is free from being admired or envied by at least *someone*
      • even a flea-bitten dog is better off than a dead lion
      • nothing is as simple as it appears on the outside
      • for proof, look in the mirror
      Well, maybe I'm weird, but I do accept that "absolutely true for them" might not mean "universally true". I've just seen too much stuff to contradict that. So I take experiences as such, and also recognize that a lot of what happens is projection and not real. Hence, my pushback. Does it mean that they don't see the world that way? Absolutely not. Does it mean that maybe it happened partly because they have their hand in the matter whether aware or not? That's when I will say "dunno, but worth looking at".

      Put another way, many of the negative experiences we encounter each day, month, year, are perhaps a self-fulfilling prophecy. Does that make it any less real? No. But to continually be in denial that we might be the proverbial accident-waiting-to-happen, really doesn't do anyone much good. So, I poke a bit. I wanna know. I've discovered a lot of things about myself by such poking, so I also poke others likewise. Natural reaction. {grin}

      -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
      Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

Re: •Re: Re: Stereotypes about perl
by autarch (Hermit) on Feb 25, 2004 at 05:13 UTC

    Either you have a provable case on this, with objective facts, that can help get that professor fired, or what you're doing is walking around with a chip on your shoulder.

    Since when is a provable case with objective facts enough to do anything? Let's see, Rodney King, Amidou Diallo, countless lynched black folks, and so on. Some of those must have had provable cases with objective facts, but that isn't necessarily enough cut through a thick layer of racism.

    Maybe if you're a white guy, you can count on objective facts (or maybe not, if the other person has more money/power/friends/etc). And as a white person, I don't think you're in a good position to be telling someone that they have a chip on their shoulder. Lots of non-white people have damn good reasons for believing that they weren't being treated fairly, and to belittle that as "a chip on their shoulder" is incredibly offensive. But you simply cannot walk a mile in those shoes.

      By your response, I'm guessing you're either not white, or an extreme liberal, or both.

      Would you at least consider that the truth lies somewhere between the two extremes of:

      • Everything is fair for everyone, and the system sorts it out perfectly (what you think my view is, perhaps), and
      • Everything for minorities is sad and bad, and the white folks just don't get it, and will never understand, and therefore every missed opportunity is absolutely about being the minority and not about any possible other axis of discretion (the view I hear from many minority folks).
      I think the truth is in the middle. Yes, there is discrimination. But to blame every crazy decision on discrimination is to ignore other factors at play even when minority status isn't involved!

      In my years on the planet, I can't tell you how many times decisions and conclusions were reached that were not logical or even evident from the facts. And nearly all of those had nothing to do with minorities. It's just crazy people making decisions. Heck, one of those made me a felon. But do I whine about that? No. Get it, move on.

      So, please understand. I do understand. But just as you shouldn't let anyone make a statement of "minority status is irrelevant here", I too will challenge anyone saying "minority status is the only reason this is broken". Because the truth is somewhere in the middle.

      -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
      Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

      A reply falls below the community's threshold of quality. You may see it by logging in.

      No. Really? In this politicaly correct world someone dared to give a poor black student a worse mark? Un-fsking-believable!

      I'm afraid there are many more black students that got better marks or were accepted to a uni with worse marks, just because the profs were afraid they'll be accused of discrimination. Sometimes it pays of to be a minority. Though only the right one. When it comes to being accepted to a uni the worst thing you can do is to be born asian. (Shame I can't find the statistics just now.)

      Don't see how is this related to Perl though.

      Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.
         -- Rick Osborne

      Edit by castaway: Closed small tag in signature

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