The story, at nearly 5,000 words and spanning several years, is, as workplace interactions so often are, complicated. At one point, after months of frustration and feelings of unfairness, Lamont’s boss commented explicitly on the darkness of her skin in front of a meeting of staff members.
The racism I experienced at Squarespace was overt and documented. There’s no way to sugarcoat, “you’re so black, you blend into the chair.” I even tried to redeem the situation by giving the VP of Customer Care a chance to backpedal. She chose not to.
The story hit a nerve and reactions online came fast and furious.
If you haven’t noticed yet from my series of tweets from @amelielamont’s story – Squarespace is a hell hole.
— Jacky Alciné (@jackyalcine) March 15, 2016
We legit call it "murderspace" in conversations. https://t.co/Xz95l9npcW
— Catt ☞ GDC ☜ (@cattsmall) March 15, 2016
I want all y'all to read @amelielamont's story and then never ask me again why black women keep receipts of what goes on in the workplace.
— EricaJoy (@EricaJoy) March 15, 2016
?This is important. If you're in a position of privilege in tech and wan to help, start by reading and sharing @amelielamont's story.
— brenna (@brnnbrn) March 14, 2016
tech, you don't deserve more marginalized people until you can value and respect them and their work
— sailor mercury (@sailorhg) March 15, 2016
— Caroline Sinders (@carolinesinders) March 15, 2016
Lamont’s full story is worth a read. There’s a meeting she walked out of, an office romance, a drunken slap at a company event, a lawsuit and some icy details all around.
What isn’t complicated is that other people of color and women have felt the same way Lamont has in their jobs hard enough and long enough to have the kind of reaction we see above. The discussion about fairness in the tech world and the power balance is a long one, and this seems like a worthy addition to it.
Critics of Lamont will no doubt find cause for rebuttals to her claims within the story. But from a larger scope, it’s yet another story in the myriad, told and untold, of feeling ostracized for being different, for being darker, for being whatever that is unlike the power structures that be. And in tech, as much as in many other sectors of the economy, the power structures that be are very white and very male. Company culture can be painfully caustic when “being a good fit” means “being like the people that already work there.”-30-