I got caught up in Soledad Oâ€™Brienâ€™s latest edition to the Black In America canon that aired last night on CNN. This episode was entitled â€œThe Promised Land â€“ Silicon Valleyâ€ and was about Black entreprenuerism in the tech world. It followed a house full of individuals, Black men and women, attempting to demo projects in order to raise money to get their sites and projects off the ground. Really heady stuffâ€¦mostly because despite living a semi-charmed life online, I know pretty much jack sh*t about building a startup tech-centric website.
But one particular scene stood out
from the rest, poison as can be, a high powered chest to me. A professor from Duke University (canâ€™t remember his name to save my life) of Indian descent was talking to the developers about the fact that when he began his venture capital company somebody told him to get a white man to be the face of the company and thatâ€™s how a lot of companies operate. Basically, investors like to see white men because it gives them some sort of comfort in the product. You know, the psychological something or other that exists in nearly every community.
I mean letâ€™s be real, I feel safer (and more inclined to be okay staying there) when I see white people live in a community Iâ€™m interested in. That tells me that thereâ€™s growth and *ding* investment potential. People with money â€“ largely white people â€“ look for other white people in order to feel comfortable handing over the dividends. It just is what it is, to me at least. Hell, in China you can rent white people for that very purpose. Basically everybodyâ€™s racist. Which kind of makes nobody racist. Riddle that sh*t.
This admission seemed to bother a lot of the folks in the house. And while I get it, I kind of donâ€™t. See, Iâ€™m generally more surprised by other peopleâ€™s surprise that the rules havenâ€™t changed yet. I know we all want to believe in the world as it should be. I have a kid. If thereâ€™s one reason to ever hope for the best in people itâ€™s because you donâ€™t want to bring your kids into world thatâ€™s worse off than the one you grew up in. However, you have to acknowledge that people are creatures of habit. Especially in a tech world thatâ€™s all white and Asian.
Aside: thereâ€™s really no way in holy f*ck that Jennifer Lopez would really drive a damn Fiat. Thank you and good night.
One thing that the Indian professor from Duke said was that you have to take that information, as unfair as it sounds, and use it to your advantage. Now, I have no idea how to use it to my advantage, but Iâ€™m sure its possible. I guess. But this does beg the question, a few actually. Do we just assume that white people, and say other minorities, donâ€™t really realize theyâ€™re being racist and therefore to hear them acknowledge it is what pisses us off?
And if they know thatâ€™s the case, that means they can do something about it right? Self-aware people can change f*cked up stuff, right? So if they choose not to, that means that the injustice is not only accepted but condoned. Right? And if they know that we need to use it to our advantage, shouldnâ€™t they just help out in the beginning by not being racist? I realize that last one is asking a lot but I figured Iâ€™d throw that log on the fire.
And I think thatâ€™s what tends to piss me off about these situations – should I find something to be pissed about â€“ its that the folks who are creating the injustices know that theyâ€™re doing it. But nobody wants to rock the boat though for fear of losing, especially in business.
So I bring those questions to you kimosabe (ÃŸ—- thatâ€™s racist), does open acknowledgement of racism make it worse or is racism just racism no matter how you get there?
And more abstractly, does racism still frustrate you or is its mere presence just something you know exists and therefore you keep it moving? Or is it both?
What say you?
Say you, say me.
-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. WHITE FIRMS LOVE ME aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3