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I have a dream

August 28, 2013

It seems fitting with the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech that I would write about discrimination this week in my piece “Stunned”. There’s a long discussion over at SQLServerCentral, and along with a phone call with a friend, I thought a bit about what I wrote.

I wasn’t present for the quote. I don’t know if there was nuance, or intent to joke, intent to annoy the listener, or something else. The written word doesn’t convey everything, and I decided not to dig deeper, identify the speaker, or take any actions as it’s all hearsay to me.

However, I do think something along the lines of what you read, was said. I think there are still people that think this way, just as there are people that think various minorities are not competent, trustworthy, or something else.

I have a dream that we will get beyond this as anything other than a rare occurrence. I don’t believe we will ever eliminate racism, or sexism, or really any type of discrimination. But perhaps we can reduce it to a very, very tiny level, get more people to think about there inherent prejudices and work to overcome them.

I’m prejudiced in some ways. I recognize that and try to not let it affect my actions. I try to treat people fairly, and professionally. I try to treat them as I’d expect they will treat me. I want to accept them as they are, work with them with their strengths and weaknesses, and try to ensure I make an effort to increase diversity in my life.

My intent today was to raise awareness. I wanted people to think about the actions, to talk about issues, and recognize that there are still problems in the world, including our tiny SQL Server, data professional world, that we should deal with.

My hope is that we work to ensure this type of attitude is not tolerated. I hope for a frank discussion at user groups that note discrimination is not a part of the group. I hope that both minority groups (females, races, etc) and event/group leaders make efforts to include more disparate people. I hope more women and others make an effort to join in the community and share their knowledge. I hope more leaders choose to include more diverse speakers. If you have two people that are qualified, make the choice for diversity some of the time, rather than perhaps the more well known or safe choice.

I hope we grow closer, not further apart, as a community.

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