Hackernoon logoSomeone forgot to tell them that diversity is not just a buzzword. by@ohsoordinary

Someone forgot to tell them that diversity is not just a buzzword.

Phoebe Gavin grew up with the idea of diversity and inclusion in the U.S. and the Netherlands. She says the culture of diversity is being challenged by groups of marginalized people and their allies. Gavin: "Diversity is not just a buzzword. Someone forgot to tell them that diversity is not a buzz word" He says the company's COO and Co-Founder, Marten de Jongh, deleted his comment and, subsequently, the entire thread of the thread was deleted.
Phoebe Gavin Hacker Noon profile picture

Phoebe Gavin

Growth Editor

When scrolling Facebook, one is wont to find many things to LOL at.

For example, today’s LOL:

Always the wise sage, Oscar the Grouch

While we’re on the subject of garbage and LOL, here’s some garbage that made me LOL — until it super didn’t.

Much diverse. Wow.

To any lefty American, this is hilarious and we did have a mighty chuckle.

It means everything exactly the same and also next to each other. What do you think it means?
All hair matters.
The more the same it is, the more you notice the differences. Right?

So I thought, “I wonder if they’ll respond to a little prodding.” Then it got interesting.

Will they respond to the @mention?

Two hours after I posted it to my public page, the COO and Co-Founder, Marten de Jongh, responded.


This is when it stopped being funny.

The volume of the American conversation around diversity, representation and inclusion feels unprecedented. Power — its structures and its symbols — is being challenged by organized groups of all kinds of marginalized people and their allies. Change sometimes seems both imminent and unstoppable.

It’s easy to take it for granted.

I should not have been surprised that he could be so oblivious to what was so obvious to me.

Why do I have to explain this to you?

This could have been the end of it, but clearly hipster Jon Snow said something to the v-neck Crows.

How can you fix it right now? Oh, wait…

Everything up until this point, I can mulligan.

Beam Labs is a Dutch company and the Netherlands is literally 90% white. People of color are a rounding error in a country like that. But there is a healthy population of women so “fixing” the lack of diversity in your company is not a matter or deleting a word on your “about page”.

This is why the diversity conversation can’t just be a thing that’s loud in America. Europe may not have as ugly and entrenched a racial history, but inclusion runs across many spectra. Even a company in a country like the Netherlands has a responsibility to diversity. Perfect representation isn’t a reasonable expectation in every circumstance, but awareness is.

I should not have had to say:

Hipster Jon Snow then realized that this was never a joking matter and I was not playing with him or giving him a tip on English usage. I know this, because he deleted his comment and, subsequently, the entire thread.

Luckily, a woman on the internet never leaves her home page without a screencap shortcut and her blog is always right around the corner.

By the way, Beam Labs, this is not better.

But this is acceptable... barely.


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