Not working in tech or living in America, what I say is more coming from personal experience of a completely different culture. So feel free to correct me on anything pertinent to America and the culture there. What I wrote is really me getting my thoughts out of my head.
Casual racism, in modern society is generally frowned upon. By this, I’m ignoring the internet, which people treat as being not part of real life, for whatever reason.
There was a large South East Asian population where I grew up. Asian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and many other origins.
Many people, my own family included would refer to them with a particular racial epithet. These are virulent racists, I’m talking about. They had long since learned about not saying the N word. I was the only mixed race person in the area. I was the blackest person I knew or saw (and I’m not very black) and I only once was called that word. The Asian community was always referred to with this particular epithet however.
That doesn’t happen anymore. This kind of widespread racism, that was considered low level by the people using it, doesn’t happen in the light anymore, in my experience. That doesn’t stop the underlying cultural racism that results in black people being stopped and searched more.
That perception swung and it was no longer acceptable. I am totally aware that many people (hopefully my family not included) still hold preconceptions about the Asian community.
This does not mean we have solved racism but by making it unacceptable in common parlance we have gone someway to making minorities feel more comfortable and pushing horrible ideas to the fringe.
The problem with this is that ideas fester at fringes and the internet allows people with these terrible ideas to collaborate and build a community. So before these people would be isolated on the fringes, now they have somewhere to develop their ridiculous ideas.
So, I wasn’t trying to suggest that there was no misogyny or racism left in society, it is just harder to do in the open. Not impossible and there are still loads of examples of people ignoiring or enabling it but it not thrown around casually as it once was.
In turn the internet has enabled people who are vehemently misogynist or racist to gather and develop conspiracy theories to explain away their hate.
Certainly you are right, I didn’t really consider how even now, there is plenty of barely hidden sexism in many areas, especially tech.
This is kind of the crux of what I was (trying) to say, the world seemed like it had started to move past allowing people to be so blatantly misogynist/ racist etc. This may only be a surface level thing but it is a vital step to show that it isn’t acceptable. It prevents the momentum of hate building, spreading to younger generations.
Unfortunately, and this where my unwieldy pendulum metaphor comes in, making all this unacceptable has made large part of the population feel like they have been disadvantaged. Causing them to fight back and events now feel depressingly familiar to some of the worst moments of the last century.
Trump’s image is built on being no nonsense (read- is happy to insult others, especially minorities) advocate for the common man. This is of course nonsense.
Brexit is the same, “The big evil Europeans are re- directing your money and you get nothing for it”
It is, of course, far more complicated than that but there is certainly an element of “you’re not allowed to say anything anymore” behind this right wing lashing out. So the progress that was made caused a direct response. So by going so far in one direction a force was created that pulled us back towards where we were.
By that, I didn’t mean, starting from scratch. We have been forcibly regressed from where we were. We have to work back to a place that we were previously before we can move on. Absolutely, it requires those of us who can to stop enabling those who would do the worst while claiming non complicity. This whole Harvey Weinstein thing being a prime example.
Momentum is with the racists and misogynists (I’m sticking with this pendulum thing) but it can’t stay that way forever. Trump’s stumbles from one disaster to the next while getting very little he promised actually done will eventually anger his base.
If Brexit happens (I hope it doesn’t) I’m hoping that the British population will eventually realise it was a terrible idea.
It’s a slow war of attrition and it does no one any good but I’m hopeful things wil get better but doubtful it will every be completely “right”.
OK that’s far too much writing but hopefully I’ve explained myself better.