Disclaimer: Tweets are being deleted, therefore, I have put screenshots. After reading the post, a couple of folks reached out to me privately to understand more. I have honored each and every request, whether they agreed or disagreed. If you wish to understand more, feel free to drop me an email – ab AT amitbansal DOT net.
Racial discrimination is real. And I recently became a victim of it. I share my story.
One of the Azure Data Advisory Board Members (who is also a Data Platform MVP) publicly abused me, (another Data Platform MVP), and the Data Platform MVP lead kept quiet.
https://twitter.com/_randolph_west/status/1404489074488975377Incidentally, just a few minutes before the abusive tweet, the MVP Lead had addressed a different tweet from the same MVP in a response to me (in the same context, on the same episode). I appreciate and respect the intervention.
https://twitter.com/IrishSQL/status/1404463677319827461While the MVP Lead shared her inputs on that post, what stopped her from condemning the abusive tweet hurled by the same MVP just a few mins later at another MVP from another part of the world?
The MVP Lead is known to be quite active within Data MVP conversations, outspoken and righteous in most matters. Surprisingly, in this episode, the courage, sensitivity, care, and equality seem to have taken a backseat over favoritism.
When both the individuals are Data Platform MVPs, the lack of equal treatment by the MVP lead is called discrimination. If the lead decides to participate in an episode, choosing to keep mum (in this specific case) during the outburst of profanity, is a gross error in judgment.
The Azure Data Community Advisory board members watched in silence, too!
Annette Allen, Monica Rathbun, Javier Villegas, Tillmann Eitelberg, Pio Ballistoy, Gaston Cruz, Kevin Kline, Wolfgang Strasser.
Hey Board Members, Do you feel what I feel? Do you feel the outcry?
My questions to the board and the MVP Lead who has formed the board:
Is it OK to be abused as part of #SQLFamily or even as a human being? Do you have a code of conduct on the Board? Any governance? Any action? Do you have the audacity to condemn this?
Or is it OK because the usage of verbal vulgarity was done by a white to a non-white? Keeping mum – If this is not racial discrimination then what is?
PS: I have high regard for the board members in their individual capacity. They are tall leaders in the community. I am questioning the board (as a whole) in their official capacity.
This kind of favoritism is not new or surprising. Here are incidents from the recent past witnessing it.
Incident 1: During the last PASS (now defunct) elections, the MVP lead was advised not to publicly favor candidates as it undermines a fair election process. It was clearly called out by a prominent community leader. https://twitter.com/jenstirrup/status/1326143719318429697
Incident 2: There was another episode where the MVP lead demonstrated favoritism. To respect privacy, I will not name the individuals/organization.
Post the incident, I made a horrendous mistake of letting the MVP lead know that “this was favoritism”. In response, this tweet has put up: https://twitter.com/IrishSQL/status/1344650619307569152
And after that, I was targeted and faced retaliation. I was not even invited to be part of the Azure Data Community Network even after filling the form. A total letdown of my honest intentions.
You the reader, certainly want more shreds of evidence. Please see my response to Steph Locke in the comments section – there are some glaring pieces of evidence. (Thanks to Steph: she questioned by conclusions and that made me give out more details.)
And here comes this episode where the MVP lead fails to condemn verbal violence and fails to uphold the dignity of a community leader from another nation. Very disgraceful.
Is this the community leadership being demonstrated by the Data Platform MVP lead? It is unbecoming of this role, this position – and a true display of preferential treatment. And someone from Microsoft? WOW.
The most pertinent question one asks is: What gives an MVP the power, the courage, and the authority to abuse another MVP? And what sense and sensibilities does the lead have not to say a word about it?
Let me be BRUTALLY HONEST. This is racial discrimination. I feel being discriminated against racially. My skin color is brown. I am from India, a developing third-world nation. The SQL MVP strength here is minimal, just 3. We are in minority.
All this combined, made me an easy target, vulnerable and victimized, and the MVP lead, the board, none cared to bother. No apology. No regret.
Neither did the LEAD publicly condemn this act of verbal violence by another MVP, nor did the LEAD reach out to me privately to offer any kind of support. How conveniently she sidelined herself in this case of abuse? Where is the moral responsibility?
This is called RACIAL INJUSTICE. I totally disapprove of this biased community leadership coming from a Microsoft Full Time employee.
Racial discrimination is felt, not necessarily called out.
To be clear, I am not accusing Randolph of racial abuse or discrimination (it may or may not be that, I am not sure, as this is the first time). I felt racially discriminated by my Data MVP Lead, Rie Irish. She failed to demonstrate equal treatment. This has happened in the past too, on multiple occasions.
In this whole episode, I did not hear a word from #SQLFamily either. Hey #SQLFamily, I DO NOT blame you. If you speak up, you may be targeted, the way I was. In fact, I was intimidated!
And I know that’s why the silence prevailed. The majority of the #SQLFamily is made up of wonderful people but they are handcuffed!!! But remember…
The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of the bad people, but because of the silence of the good people.
The entire incident has been mentally traumatizing. Racial discrimination is real and I have never felt it more strongly. I take the courage to speak up today. I will stand on my dignity to the very end.
Edit: July 11, 2021: I am not asking for any support from anybody. This is my fight and I will fight it alone.
And what about the abuser? Well, the abuser is an abuser. Period. No apology, no regret, no remorse. That is exactly what you expect from an abuser, so not even worth my response. Underserving.
While many incidents made me feel under-represented & ignored, this entire incident has taken the mistreatment to a completely different level. So here I am, the abused #SQLFamily member. Let’s stick it here.
Let it be a reminder to the community & Microsoft that a 15-year MVP awardee, 5-year RD, two decades of community work – was abused publicly by another MVP and NO ONE DID NOTHING ABOUT IT. The inaction and the silence.
A picture speaks a thousand words.
Witness yourself, how some of these folks ganged up in their endeavors to bully around.
Is Microsoft seeing this?