Raised by refugees

My parents and grandparents were all refugees. When I think about their stories, and then hear my ideas are not important because of who I am, I am reminded that I've been hearing this pretty much my whole life. I haven't complained about it, and I'm not complaining now. Just know that no one has it easy. There are reasons to hate everyone. And if you want to do something with your life, you have to overcome those people and their "reasons."

I am a programmer. I think I'm one of the best out there, and I don't qualify that by saying "of my generation." It's true I didn't start until I was 18, and some of the younger folk started when they were very small. But there are advantages to my perspective. I understand, in a personal way, how much of what we use today came to be. And I know that some ideas we've left behind still have value. And of course I have all the experience, which the young people discount, of course, because they don't have it.

I was very lucky to be born in the United States. That I will cop to. I was lucky that my parents and grandparents fought to give me and my brother a better life than they had. But after that, everything I've accomplished was because I fought hard against people who wanted to keep that success from me.

I read this story by a young Princeton undergrad. I can tell we don't share a lot of the same politics, but I am in total agreement with what he wrote, and appalled that there are teachers at Princeton that use the unfair "check your privilege" idea in argument with people whose minds and confidence aren't yet fully developed. I'm delighted to see that this young dude isn't having any of it, and has chosen to write publicly about it, and in doing so has set a great example.

We'll get so much further with love and acceptance than we will by trying to invalidate ideas because you don't like where they came from. I'll work with anyone, no matter what their gender or background, if they think well, and work hard. If you can get behind that idea, there's nothing we can't do.

Last built: Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 11:23 AM

By Dave Winer, Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 9:59 AM. Don't slam the door on the way out.