Preventing the plague

A notorious SJW explains why he won’t be attending a technology conference.

I’m not going to get into the specific policies carried out by the prevailing administration in the United States, including their targeting of transgender people, queer people, people of color, and health and reproductive rights. You can google that.

But the inclusion of this language, making political affiliation a protected class, leads me to believe that alt-right technologists would be as welcome at the conference as I would be. Including alt-right technologists who display on their clothing, for example, neo-Nazi insignia. Or t-shirts printed with anti-trans or anti-Black slogans. These could easily be interpreted as protected political speech.

To be clear, the code of conduct as it was written in 2016 already prohibited harassment of all kinds, including harassment of a political nature. But the 2017 language makes political affiliation a protected class, which means by my reading (and the Wikipedia definition) that people of specific political affiliations qualify for special protection by the authorities in charge of the event. This is a subtle but important distinction. This is an elevation of political affiliation– an actively chosen belief system– to the same level as race or gender or sexual orientation, which are not chosen traits.

You can’t make marginalized people– who are enumerated as a protected class– feel safe, and simultaneously make members of political groups who stand violently opposed to us feel welcome. And it doesn’t matter if these people act nicely in public. The very act of placing these two groups on equal footing puts marginalized people directly in harm’s way. And how would conflicts between these protected groups be handled?

See, his rights have to be protected, because if you have rights, that would harm him. And if he can’t get special treatment, he’s staying home. Which is not a bad thing, considering that he was Patient Zero for the Code of Conduct infestation in open source.

Take note, conference organizers. This is how you get rid of them without a fuss. All you have to do is make political affiliation a protected class.