CNN's Black In America: Is Silicon Valley Racist?
1 year ago
Jack and Jill Politics co-founder and tech expert Cheryl Contee weighs in
(JackandJillPolitics.com) Y’all know I’ve been talking about the mounting crisis of diversity in the tech world for some time here on Jack and Jill Politics. Well, last week, honey, Twitter done blew up when CNN shared the following clip from their new Black in America special called The New Promised Land: Silicon Valley which airs this Sun at 8pm EST. Lots of people weighed in after Michael Arrington said some racist-y sounding things to Soledad O’Brien. When asked on camera if he could name a black Silicon Valley entrepreneur, he drew a blank and said “I don’t know a single black entrepreneur”. But there’s more. From CNN Money:
Blogger-turned-investor Michael Arrington ignited a controversy with his comments about the visibility of minority-led companies. In the documentary, which airs November 13, Arrington talked about his difficulties finding African-American entrepreneurs to launch their ventures at his TechCrunch Disrupt conference — and suggested he would accept almost any black entrepreneur, regardless of merit.
“There’s a guy, actually, his last company just launched at our event, and he’s African-American. When he asked to launch — actually, I think it was the other way around. I think I begged him,” Arrington told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien.
“His startup’s really cool. But he could’ve launched a clown show on stage, and I would’ve put him up there, absolutely,” Arrington said. “I think it’s the first time we’ve had an African-American [be] the sole founder.”
You can imagine the conniptions this has been causing online. Cuz wow, really? Not even Omar Wasow, the creator of Black Planet, which is quietly one of the most popular social networks of our time? Or MC Hammer, Silicon Valley investor and darling? Peeps got the vapors for realz. Now that black folks have taken over Twitter, things got hot for @Arrington and he later posted a defensive blog post (that didn’t allow comments) entitled “Oh Shit, I’m a Racist“. I will summarize for you:
Soledad O’Brien deceived and ambushed me.
CNN selectively edited and twisted my words.
I’m not good at talking to the media.
I love black people. In fact, some of the coolest black people in the world like Will.i.am hang out with me and we are going to make everything awesome for all black people everywhere, especially the geeky ones. Can’t we all just get along?