This clip is amazing. It gave me chills.
I’ve been subscribed to the University Web Developers (UwebD) listserv for quite a while. It’s an interesting mix of design/code tips, recent data, job postings, etc. I wanted to post a brief exchange that occurred a little while ago on the list.
Chris posted this:
We’re looking for a motivated web developer who loves what he does. ‘We’ being the guys at Arc90, based in NYC…
I take it female web developers need not apply? Thanks for the heads up. Most of the time we don’t even know we’re not being considered due to our gender.
The illustration is from the cover of Redmond Magazine, the “independent voice of the Microsoft IT community.” At some point in my techie journey I was placed on the Redmond Magazine subscription list. I usually skim through the magazine and analyze the content from the social justice techie perspective. The magazine primarily features white men in various information technology roles. The latest edition features the heading “Secrets of the Windows Gurus.” The illustration consists of 12 men in wizard robes. Apparently there are no feature-worthy windows gurus who are women. So either there are no women who are windows gurus or there are women who could have been featured but were not.
Roger Williams University has apparently been planning to include people of color on its board of trustees since the early 1900’s (note the sarcasm). Unfortunately, the plan had never been implemented. I guess it takes a lot of “planning” for an all white board to include people of color. Perhaps the implementation was delayed due to the overt racism of the board?
Update: NASPA seems to have received the message from its members that a partnership with Abercrombie & Fitch was a bad idea.
After the announcement last week about a partnership with Abercrombie & Fitch, we heard from a number of members who objected to NASPA partnering with this particular corporation. It’s important to know and to inform your constituencies that your voices have been heard. NASPA will not be going forward with the partnership. No agreements have been signed and no funds have been received. While the original decision to enter into the partnership was based on numerous conversations with the management of A&F and with many NASPA members and
leaders, based on additional information we received in regard to the business practices of A&F and the reaction of several members, I felt that it was in the best interest of NASPA not to move forward with an agreement. But most importantly, in walking away from the potential partnership, I respect the KC chairs and other leaders who, while perhaps uncomfortable with the partnership, wanted to support their professional association. I regret that they and other leaders received the brunt of some of the more vocal objections from some of our members.
Before the potential for this partnership was realized, the NASPA Board, at its July meeting, established a task force to review sponsorships for the associations. Any guidelines developed by this task force will be shared broadly with the NASPA membership.
We, in the NASPA office, want to note that in order to keep costs down for our members, we will need to continue to look for corporate sponsorships. However, we will work within guidelines established by a committee of the Board that will help us avoid situations such as we encountered with the potential A & F partnership.
NASPA remains committed to the values of diversity and inclusion. We continue to hear and respond to the concerns of our members. NASPA _is_its members and we thank you all for your support.
Apparently NASPA is for sale to the highest bidder. NASPA is one of two higher education associations for Student Affairs professionals. It was recently announced that NASPA was partnering with Abercrombie & Fitch. Specifically, A&F would be providing monetary support for the NASPA Multicultural Institute (a conference on social justice issues for student affairs practitioners.). I am stupefied by NASPA’s decision to take money from Abercrombie & Fitch. The Diversity link at the bottom of the A&F homepage focuses on the diversity (in this case, race and ethnicity) of A&F’s employees. My question to NASPA and A&F is what about the marketing of A&F products. The only people of color on the A&F site (that I see while currently browsing their site) are on the Diversity page!
A&F’s advertising (via the web and in store) is about as diverse as a klan newsletter. It appears to me that NASPA (and several other well-known and respected associations) are for sale to the highest bidder. I think that the A&F PR machine is donating large amounts of money in an effort to deflect criticism of their sales and marketing scheme. Increasing the number of employees of color from zero to more than zero does increase the diversity (see the percentage in the press release below) of the A&F workforce, but it does little to eliminate an institutionalized discriminatory corporate culture that utilizes white supremacy and sexual objectification to sell a product.
The official release from NASPA is after the jump.
For the record, I believe that writing about white privilege and patriarchy is a positive thing to do. I feel very positive when I write about these particular barriers to social justice.
I feel that working towards the elimination of racism and sexism is a positive thing. It’s not an easy thing to do. It often hurts. There are comments that make my heart pound as I attempt to digest scattered remnants of thoughts that have been buried beneath piles of words. Sometimes it keeps me awake at night as I try to negotiate how to respond. It hurts to see comments from friends who say that I only talk about negatives. It is challenging.
TOWARD A PEDAGOGY OF THE OPPRESSOR
by Michael Kimmel
THIS BREEZE AT MY BACK
To run or walk into a strong headwind is to understand the power of nature. You set your jaw in a squared grimace, your eyes are slits against the wind, and you breathe with a fierce determination. And still you make so little progress.
To walk or run with that same wind at your back is to float, to sail effortlessly, expending virtually no energy. You do not feel the wind; it feels you. You do not feel how it pushes you along; you feel only the effortlessness of your movements. You feel like you could go on forever. It is only when you turn around and face that wind that you realize its strength.
Being white, or male, or heterosexual in this culture is like running with the wind at your back. It feels like just plain running, and we rarely if ever get a chance to see how we are sustained, supported, and even propelled by that wind.
It is time to make that wind visible.
I’ve been mulling over a few subjects that have been making appearances on my site as of late. The subjects are white privilege and the meritocracy myth a.k.a. “pull yourself up by the bootstraps and inequality vanishes as soon as the laces are tied.”
I’d like to thank Dennis at Rhetorical Wasteland for spurring me on to continue to post about the same thing…over and over again.
In addition to D’s encouragement, I received this comment/email today (which actually encouraged me to create this post):
…yes, I am white, and no nothing was given to me. The scholarships I had in college – academic (i.e., merit-based) based, not because they were promised to white people. The grades I earned – because of hard work, not because the professor favored white people. The job I hold now, I earned because of my experience and background, not because I am white.
…And if you do not believe in pulling oneself up by the bootstraps, then perhaps you should more attention to the people who have achieved success in this country by their own hard work.
In response to that sentiment, I present the following comic, excerpts and links regarding the meritocracy myth…
My current plate of consulting activities is currently full of heaping portions of projects. Thus the rationale for my recent spurt of blog posts. If I can get a lot of posts up in a short period of time then I may have more time to be productive. I could always go on another blogging hiatus but I’d rather not…
One of the aspects of blogging that seems to derail my productivity is the never ending buffet of comments from heterosexual white guys (hwg’s). My skin is fairly thick but my inner monologue always buzzes at me to address comments from hwg’s. In case you are wondering, I’m a card carrying member of the hwg club. I think that sometimes my identity is difficult to swallow for a lot of the hwg’s who wander to my site. It does not surprise me…if I had met me about 3 or 4 years ago I would have probably had difficulty digesting the social justice banquet that is set on the table of this blog. Here’s to life-long learning, good friends, and listening.