Re: [Mtgvenue] Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100

<nalini.elkins@insidethestack.com> Thu, 26 May 2016 17:24 UTC

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Date: Thu, 26 May 2016 17:20:21 +0000 (UTC)
From: <nalini.elkins@insidethestack.com>
To: Melinda Shore <melinda.shore@nomountain.net>, "mtgvenue@ietf.org" <mtgvenue@ietf.org>, ietf <ietf@ietf.org>
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Subject: Re: [Mtgvenue] Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100
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On 5/26/16 8:47 AM, nalini.elkins@insidethestack.com wrote:
>> What questions do you think are better to pose?

>As has been pointed out, the questions around hospital
>visits and so on are not about being arrested, they're
>about recognition of familial rights.

You can see several emails about that on the list.


>> Frankly, I find it rather amusing of you to suggest that a short woman
>> of color in high tech in the United States does not understand bigotry.

>I can only go by what you've written.  I do think how
>these things are implemented aren't knowable until you've
>experienced them first-hand - things like the police
>refusing to come to your assistance during street harassment
>incidents, and so on.  Hospital check-ins turning into
>protracted legal battles over medical power of attorney.
>And so on.

Melinda,  this is not something that I like to talk about.  And, frankly, as a person of color, we all just take it for granted that the color of our skin will be the first thing that people see.

So, do I understand discrimination?

Well, let's see.  Let's start with 4th grade when I was the only child of color in my classroom and no one would sit in a desk next to me.  I did not make a fuss and pretty soon, one girl shyly offered to be my locker mate.   Before long, I was one of the most popular kids in class.  You have to give people some space to get to know you.

Fast forward to when I was looking for venture funding, they fell over their feet asking the tall white guy who worked for me to talk about our company, etc.  He said, very politely, she can tell you.  She owns the company.

I don't see the reasons to go into more experiences of discrimination.  They are beside the point.  And, I don't want to start looking for examples with police, medical system, and the rest of it.  The world is how it is.  You work with it.

What I will tell you is that by and large, the United States and the tech world has treated me fairly.  I have sold products into companies based in the rural South (believe me, I had concerns about going there by myself).  They bought my products vs. those sold by white men and large companies based on the merits of my products and our support.  I have had this experience over and over again.  People have been fair to me.


I have traveled all over the world, sometimes with my family, other times by myself, and to quote Anne Frank "I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart."

Nalini