The White Male Conundrum

Image representing Larry Page as depicted in C...Image via CrunchBaseWhite Male Conspiracy To Drive Me Homeless
The Proverbial White Male

Most of the people I actively know today are in the NY tech ecosystem. The next thousand people I'd prefer to get on a first name basis with are mostly in the NY tech ecosystem. And there the Fred Wilson name stands out. And Fred is a white male. I don't think I have ever made Fred feel like, oh no Fred, you are a white male and you are worth millions and I feel queasy about it. Quite the opposite. I have had and I have expressed genuine, deep, heartfelt appreciation for his life's work. (A Surprising Blog Post From Fred Wilson) The guy is officially the top VC in the world. And I admire him for that. Excellence gets me. It makes me happy to watch excellence. On the other hand I note the guy walked into this town I believe in the 1980s with an empty pocket and a very loving wife. (Larry Ellison) I admire his success even more because of that. I find it very inspiring that he started where he started. (At MIT, So I Did It)

And I have had my disagreements with Fred, all very well documented at this blog. And I have talked of John Doerr's Larry Page mistake, and Fred Wilson's Jack Dorsey mistake. But then I am hugely biased in favor of the founding CEO type.

My point being my admiration for Fred has not been sycophancy, that is not my style. And my admiration for Fred has not been some kind of a subservience to the white male, something I have seen too many people of my background go for. Just ask Tim Berners-Lee, a guy who has a much more secure place in the history of tech than does Fred. (Tim Berners-Lee: The Internet Is Not A Country)

Dennis Crowley is the most visible tech entrepreneur in the city, and I admire him much, all well documented at this blog, although I am not going to hide the fact that I'd like that crown for myself. The first time Dennis met me he was trying to recruit me: "But we are only three engineers!" (Craig Newmark, Dennis Crowley, Jennifer 8 Lee: Koreatown)

I appreciate democracy more than most practicing politicians in this country. By extension I also appreciate capitalism. Because I know all too well what happens when the two are missing or merely lurching along. I appreciate education, although I must admit I am a huge fan of the college dropouts who went on to build major companies. I appreciate the Internet, first and foremost. God so appreciated free speech, She gave us the Internet.

When you so appreciate democracy, capitalism, education, the Internet, it is not possible you get queasy when you see people rise to the pinnacles up those ropes. I don't.

I don't have issues with The White Male. I don't have anything guttural against The White Male. I don't give out knee jerk negative vibes when I am around white males.

I read up on colonialism early. You can't grow up where I grew up and skip on Gandhi. It just is not an option. Gandhi stays in the air. I read up on slavery and segregation early.

But I thought all that was in the past. People alive in my time are different. And then they hit me with racism at high school and practically derailed me. I picked up the pieces and headed over to America. And they hit me again and derailed me. They tried to derail me in New York City.

I felt sorry for the college president dude in Kentucky. Why would anyone in his right mind volunteer to take responsibility for colonialism, slavery, for segregation? Of course I was angry about those things. Gandhi dedicating his life to India's independence was a waste of his talents. He should never have had to do that. Like I said to a white guy in Kentucky, if you are going to act racist, I am going to make you want to organize a civil rights movement for you! When the guy engaged in racist demonization he practically became a white male suicide bomber. He did me damage, but he is going to die knowing he has no legacy. He is going to implode many times over.

Third World Guy

I don't defend sexist Indians, just because they are Indian. Why would a Fred Wilson or a Dennis Crowley defend racist, sexist white males? Why would white women act protective of racist, sexist white males?

Racist, sexist comments are free speech. All hate speech is free speech. And I am a free speech bigot. But there have to be social counter actions. Hate speech has to be legally allowed, but it does not have to be tolerated.

Racist, sexist comments and attitudes are not a big problem. The iceberg is structural racism and sexism. But racist, sexist comments and attitudes are the tip of the iceberg. If you can't even get bothered by that tip, chances are you think of structural racism and sexism as simply landscape. You think of structural racism and sexism as the Rockies. It was always there, it will always be there. And so live with it. That thought process is a problem.

Kristina Hoke
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Comments

Tutorials said…
I really appreciate the idea of Google on the top.

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