One response that I always get to posts about diversity like my feature last week on OFAC SDN sanctions unfairly impacting non-Western developers is ‘then why don’t you do something about it yourself?’. It’s a response that baffles me for a variety of reasons – one being that I am trying to do something about it, but the other reason it’s confusing to me is far more fundamental.

The comment often comes combined with the idea that ‘people have to earn things themselves’, suggesting that the worldview of people who invoke such responses is capitalistic and that they believe the world operates as a meritocracy. But given that, wouldn’t someone pointing out an opportunity that nobody has capitalized on be extremely valuable? My article offers an invisible and unmet demand, an opportunity for impact, and -if you want to consider the capitalistic aspect of it- the potential of an enormous marketshare.

I guess it suggests that most people that suggest ‘you have to do something about it yourself’ either don’t have the capacity or mindset to do it themselves, or have no idea how to achieve success in a capitalistic environment.