Re: Concerns about Singapore

<nalini.elkins@insidethestack.com> Sun, 10 April 2016 13:12 UTC

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Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2016 13:08:37 +0000 (UTC)
From: <nalini.elkins@insidethestack.com>
To: Andrew Allen <aallen@blackberry.com>, Yoav Nir <ynir.ietf@gmail.com>
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Subject: Re: Concerns about Singapore
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>>Having been to Singapore once before I am certain there are no room police patrolling the hotel corridors trying to ascertain what activities the guests are up to in their own rooms. There were also >>no personal questions asked at hotel registration as far as I recall ( I am sure I would have remembered that) so I don't see it as an especially hostile environment.‎ I think the IETF should confirm >>with the meeting hotels that there will be no issues in that regard and also a check with the Singapore authorities that there will be no threat to IETF participants because of their orientation or >>marital status would be a sensible measure.


>I’m sure they didn’t ask *you* any questions. But you might have gotten some response if you tried to check in with another man into a room that had just one bed.  I’m not saying that you would. I >don’t know, having never been in Singapore, but I can understand that it would be a concern. 
 
Guys, believe me, I am not for discrimination in any form whatsoever and of course, it is wonderful if IETFers want to bring their family with them to locations but isn't it more important for the IETFer themselves to attend and to not be harassed?   Does IETF need to plan for not just attendees but attendee's families?


A lot of us have never said anything but people might want to read the section that is in Wikipedia on "White Privilege". 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_privilege

This might help put a different perspective on this discussion.

I know at least one participant at IETF95 who was searched multiple times at the same airport because his skin was brown and we suspect that he was profiled.  You may look at compilations which have rank countries by racist attitudes and in some, the United States comes in first.

But, you do not hear us talking about this or even complaining or suggesting that we are getting an unfair deal.  We just work harder and try to support each other.

And, this kind of thing - getting hassled, ignored in restaurants, possibly physically assaulted if we are in the wrong area, etc.etc. is for IETF participants.  Not, IETFer's bringing their families - which I will add is not an option for many in the developing world because it is far too expensive.  It is hard enough for the IETFer himself / herself to attend - much less bring their family.

Don't get me wrong, I am definitely not saying that discrimination against our LGBT brothers & sisters is to be discounted.  There is a young gay man who grew up with my daughter who is like a son to me & even in the very liberal environment of Berkeley, California, there are issues with him being openly gay.  Just as there are issues with me being a woman of color.

No one has an exclusive on being treated badly.  Unfortunately.

Let's try to work with each other and support each other to bring the collaborative attitudes and openness that underlie the Internet and the openness of the IETF to the developing world.  I think that we are agents of change just as the Internet is an agent of change.  Unfortunately, sometimes, there are costs to be borne for this.  We need to look at the greater good.

Just my 2 cents.

Thanks,
Nalini