Why aren't more non-white writers writing about tech?

In a piece for The Magazine, Jamelle Bouie argues that "an implicit network, not overt racism, keeps tech writing dominated by men." A long read worth reading. Also cross-posted to Bouie's blog.


  1. It seems like its more a financial discrimination rather than a skin color issue.  Being able to immerse yourself in technology (like Gates did many years ago) during the formative years isn’t free.  Those with resources can and do take advantage of it to improve their skills and knowledge.  I’m not so sure this is something that can (or need be) fixed.

    1. ?

      1. Find a PC circa 2005 on the street corner.
      2. Install linux mint or similar lightweight distro.

      Free computer.  You can repeat as many times as you like if you wanted to, say, create a computer lab for children who couldn’t afford their own computers.  Or you could just give them away since, you know, free.

      This is something that can be and should be fixed.  Even if you’re a libertarian you should at least nominally be interested in “equality of opportunity” which is what this sort of effort would be about. I find it bizarre that anyone would take the position, “Well, if they can’t afford to learn the skills they need to get into a higher socioeconomic class than they probably belong where they are.”

      1. It’s a nice idea in theory, but there’s a reason why every year since 1995 or so has been declared “the year of the Linux Desktop”, where Linux is going to go mainstream and be a real competitor to Windows and yet it just never happens. It requires too much technical knowledge for even the middle-class non-geeky computer users to use it let alone lower-class people who have never used a computer at all. See also the failure of the Linux based OLPC, although there were also other issues there (such as never getting as cheap as they planned). 

        1. I see your point about commercial adoption of Linux (although I disagree) but the point here is that it’s a FABULOUS educational platform.  You can bootstrap yourself up from found hardware and junk to a decent usable system with a gui and just about any programming environment you can name.

          It’s not pretty and it won’t impress the neighbors but it’s a great way to learn.How do I know?  because that’s what I did.  ( Plus, the tech junk people throw out these days is an order of magnitude better than what I had. )

    1. It’s true. But we have done pretty well with our gender balance; of that I’m very proud. 

      We are a very small operation, and I think we do a decent job of highlighting strong work from diverse voices elsewhere. 

      1. I think your contributors are a reflection of you readers too, but I guess there’s no real way to tell.

  2. The headline talks about how non-white writers don’t cover tech, but the contents talk about how tech writing is dominated by men.

    Why didn’t the headline simply reference white men directly if that was the intent of the criticism?

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