Eirikur has an interesting post above. How to interpret these words. I'll add a couple of thoughts.
I view this as judging someone without a rational basis for doing so. This might be based on a stereotype, a past impression of a different person/group, or just learned behavior from your past where you think that a generality applies to the specific. Is someone wearing a suit and vest haughty and pretentious? Are they successful and wealthy/rich? Are they worthy of respect?
I use those examples as I last saw Eirikur in a suit at a SQL Saturday. I knew him from here, but there are many impressions I could have drawn from his image, both positive and negative. Those are pre-judgments I might make, or anyone might make.
To be clear, I enjoyed my time with Eirikur and hope we can do it again somewhere.
Choosing to treat someone or something different than another. My wife prefers mountain grass hay to alfalfa most of the time. She discriminates in her purchases. This could also be that I give more treats to one dog than another. Maybe I like one better, or maybe one is overweight and should get less. Or has a weak stomach and I don't like mopping and cleaning floors.
This could be a positive or negative.
Black in Tech Conference
Is holding a conference focused on black/Latin groups discriminatory? I suppose it could be seen that way if it only allowed black or Latin attendees/speakers/etc. In the description of the event, I find no mention of this. In fact, the only place I see this as being discriminatory is "We are also creating a special stage at the Conference this year dedicated to founders/Entrepreneurs of color. " I assume this means no white, and perhaps not Asian, people are on the special stage.
My view is that pointing out that you couldn't have a "White in Tech Conference" is both true and also naive of the state of the world. The white, predominantly male, people dominate and overwhelm the world in many ways. They also have explicitly, or implicitly, denied and prevented plenty of non white male people from being a part of events in different ways. Not always, and not in every event, but it has happened. There is plenty of evidence of how white male individuals and groups have not allowed the same opportunities at scale as those for other white males.
That doesn't mean I think the black technology pros, or the Latin ones, or women, or any minority group in technology should be allowed to prevent white males from being a part of events. It does mean they can create events that help them bond and find ways to create their own success in the world.
I feel that implying this furthers discrimination ignores the fact that plenty of discrimination exists today, there has been plenty of time for all of us to treat all others equally, and that hasn't solved much. There are still plenty less opportunities, and indeed, less comfort for women and other minorities to participate in these events.
It's very easy to view the world from your own window and think that others have the same view. It's a very human thing to expect that we often share experiences. It's how we connect and bond. It's why I enjoy the company of many of you when I have the chance to sit and chat.
However, it's also not really the same for all of us. While you might try to treat everyone the same, many others do not. The world is full of people that don't want to treat others the same. Whether because of accent, height, weight, attractiveness, the technology they use, their accent, or anything else. Certainly, skin color is a way people treat each other differently.
Pointing out the conference sounds discriminatory isn't necessarily a personal attack on me as a person of color. Pointing out the reasons this exists isn't an attack on any white male.
If I've learned anything in life, it's that the world is incredibly bigger than I can imagine, and it's way more complex than I'd like it to be. This is especially true of societal interactions.
We have had poor behavior towards groups by other groups throughout human history. That will continue. Trying to reduce the impact and growth of this, and move towards treating everyone equally is where most of us want to go. It's easy to point out that anything other than just doing that today is wrong; it just doesn't help us move in that direction.