Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tech industry silence is deafening on #BlackInAmerica


Last sunday night Black In America 4, the documentary that chronicled the summer that I and seven other black entrepreneurs spent in Silicon Valley, aired. (note it will re air Sat Nov 19th at 8pm) The aftermath has been, in some parts exciting. I have been incredibly busy doing panels and interviews. #BlackInAmerica was even a trending topic on Twitter on Sunday evening. In some sense it felt like lots of people were paying attention.

This is important to me not because I am in the documentary but because the lack of significant African-American presence in the tech economy is, I believe, critically important. In fact, If we don’t fix it, its going to accelerate an already dangerous level of wealth inequality in the country.

As I said in the documentary, not fixing this problem ultimately leads to a permanent underclass. And if you think Occupy Wall Street is a troubling signal regarding dissatisfaction around wealth distribution, you ain’t seen nothing yet. I fear the growing wealth disparity, particularly along racial and ethnic lines, will be catalyst for significant civil unrest.

If we are going to change course, in my view, the most valuable potential outcome of the documentary would be a willingness to more openly discuss the issue of race in technology. And since Twitter is a great proxy for engagement on any issue, that’s where I looked. I was hoping that given the heavy discussion in the tech blogosphere and press that the issue had finally broken into the mainstream.

But the Twitter stream said something else. Initially my sense was purely anecdotal, but I saw none of the tech industry “players” participating in the conversation.

So at my company, Kloudco, we decided to do some quick analytics. We pulled down all 150,000 #BlackInAmerica tweets between 9am est, the morning of the Black In America 4 airing, and 9am the next day. Then we cross referenced that list with industry mega-pundit Robert Scoble’s important tech people lists. These include his Twitter lists for press, VCs, and others.

Unfortunately, the results were just as I feared.

Across all of Scoble’s lists, there were only three participants in the discussion: @lekanB, @rachelsklar, and @venturebeat. The tech industry either wasn’t watching, was totally unengaged or worse, uninterested.

For whatever the reasons the tech industry is silent.

57 comments:

  1. I would add the general lack of black voices in general spaces, particularly those who speak in ways and on subjects that make the "mainstream" uncomfortable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  2. Why this racist focus on the color of the skin of people in Silicon Valley? What does it matter?

    And if there are "too many" jews or high-caste south indians, etc., so much the better for all the rest of us: we can benefit from the innovations they create that we are unable to.

    What next? Not enough women in prison?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grab a dictionary and search for a definition of racism?
      Funny, as a little posing fascist you should have known.

      Delete
  3. You are right on point and I totally agree. The overall tech industry was indeed silent. The mindset is to let us say what we have to say, get a little attention and they will eventually fade away. That is my fear as an IT professional.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder why The tech industry should care?
      The healthCare brouhaha isn´t a hint?

      Parents are responsible for their children, that is where the resources should be redirected.
      Liberty is something you can only conquer.

      Delete
  4. From a non-cynical, thinking about the simplest reason standpoint, after things blew up with Arrington, the people you cross-referenced may had already voiced their opinion if they were interested in giving one. They may have tuned out thinking there was nothing to be learned from watching it and the news cycle moves fast. Secondly, how many of the people analyzed watch CNN, let alone tv on Sunday night? I watched it by accident, I had forgotten it was going to be on, but my wife turned on the tv right before I headed out of the room, but otherwise would have missed it.

    From a cynical standpoint, I'd guess that if they did watch it, they probably felt there was more to lose by commenting than not. It's a sensitive topic obviously. They could have been uncomfortable as @sondjata said.

    Personally, I think awareness was raised from both the documentary and the controversy earlier, but that's probably a less than ideal outcome?

    You mention the most valuable outcome is to open discussion. I'm not in SV, but an active tech community enthusiast developer/entrepreneur and would love to be an investor someday. What would the discussion look like? Is it about getting more investment opportunities? Is it about attracting more black entrepreneurs to SV?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bạn là người đang muốn xương chắc khỏe , hãy sử dụng thuốc move free của mỹ sẽ giúp bạn bổ xương và chắc khỏe hơn. Hiện nay có nhiều phương pháp tang vong 3 một cách nhanh chóng . Hiện nay thâm quầng mắt là trường hợp rất thường xảy ra do thiêu ngủ,.. đứng lo với kem tri tham quang mat sẽ giúp bạn xóa nhanh vết thâm và lấy bạn đôi mắt đẹp. Collagen hiện nay được nhiều dùng do tác dụng chống lão hóa da và làm đẹp da và collagen c là một sản phẩm như thế. Có nhiều cách giúp bạn tăng cường trí nhớ hiệu quả như ăn thức ăn tăng trí nhớ hoặc dùng các loại sản phẩm tăng trí nhớ. Bạn muốn làm trắng da chỉ cần dùng thuoc lam trang da sẽ có hiệu quả rất tốt.

      Delete
  5. And if there are too many jews, why is it a "the jews are stealing the show" vs "non-jews are not doing their share of the work"? It goes both ways.

    Or maybe it so happens that computer science requires a certain kind of intelligence that is more prevalent amongst jews, japanese, certain south-asian tribes, etc., than in the general population. Ever consulted IQ studies?

    Once again, who cares? You should judge an individual for his own achievements and/or potential, not for the color of his skin, whether in {pro,anti}-{black,white,yellow,jew,blond,fat,hairy,ugly,tall,blood type B positive}. Do you have any example of people who are underestimated because of their color of skin? They would make a great investment. I'm hiring!

    If the industry is wrong, stop your stupid, EVIL whining. Make money, Moneyball-style.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree. I made 5 respectful but decidedly anti-racist comments on Ries's post. They have since been censored by Techcrunch. I'm so disgusted with the lack of social intelligence from so many bright people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kênh thông tin mua bán nhà đất tại Việt Nam , nếu bạn muốn mua hay bán nhà đất thì chỉ cần vào đây , chúng tôi sẽ cho mọi người biết về tin của bạn,rao vặt nhà đất miễn phí nhà đất tphcm, bán nhà quận gò vấp, bán nhà quận thủ đức, bán nhà quận tân phú, bán nhà quận 9, nhà đất bình tân . Còn chần chờ gì nữa , hãy đăng tin mua bán nhà đất nhanh nhanh . Bạn đang phân vân không biết phải chúc đám cưới bạn mình như thế nào thì bạn có thể tham khảo chuc dam cuoi, in thiệp cưới rẻ, loi chuc dam cuoi hay va rat y nghia .

      Delete
  7. This blog used to have good technical posts on a regular basis. I understand that the black community has been victimized, even in recent decades, to some degree. While there are many factors behind the current situation, it seems like a stretch to suggest that Silicon Valley racism is _responsible_ for the statistical failure that you refer to... however, the attitude that external victimization is the primary cause of these problems may well be.. one of the primary causes of these problems. In any case, addressing these issues requires a lot of deep context... your delivery comes across as whining with the expectation that your readers will come along despite the lack of argument. Ditto what Francois-Rene said... if the simplistic world view you apparently take is correct, go make a bazillion dollars with arbitrage.

    Unsubscribing now... no hard feelings, this blog is simply no longer what I'm looking for in my feed reader. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. ^^^
    (Double post)

    People who say, "Why are you whining so hard, what's the big deal, etc." tend to be those who refuse to think that we *don't* live in a post-racial paradise.

    To some extent, yes it is true that individual merit matters. Skin color, ethnic background, or gender should not interfere. Unfortunately it still does. (For example: What do you say to people who think that outsourcing to India only results in headaches and bad software?)

    I'm the sort of person who thinks affirmative action and diversity quotas are insulting. Why? Because I think we, as a society should be at the point where we shouldn't have to have those things. It's supposed to be about merit and merit alone, yeah? I would like to believe I got myself to where I was without any sort of bias, but sometimes I really have to wonder about that.

    I'm a young black woman working in the tech industry, and I personally hate how obvious racial issues in general are overlooked and then tossed aside by people who can't get out of their Just World mentality. Anyone who speaks out against any sort of bias, racial or not, is brave enough as it is (especially if they don't withhold their concerns).

    (As an aside, more people should know about this program. I plan on going to a meeting on Dec 15th, and I'm eager to see what comes. http://www.newmeaccelerator.com/)

    ReplyDelete
  10. It’s true about wealth inequality in the country due to the thinking of African-American presence in the tech economy. It should be avoid in documentary.


    Motherboard Repair

    ReplyDelete
  11. Tech Industry is always silent towards their work. It shows immediate result towards technology.
    http://mydiscoutlet.com/

    ReplyDelete
  12. I don't understand why you separate yourself. You are black and it makes you sound racists yourself. If you desire to have more of the black community within tech then in a nutshell you have to make it cool. I've known many friends from all ethnic backgrounds in tech. It really is a personal choice, like any career, going into this field. It isn't very cool. It has to be something you really enjoy doing and most people don't. It is a lot of math. Don't blame tech blame how we treat social welfare and the public school system. It needs to start there to encourage all students to pursue what they want to do not just what the social norm expects them to do.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't understand why you separate yourself. You are black and it makes you sound racists yourself. If you desire to have more of the black community within tech then in a nutshell you have to make it cool. I've known many friends from all ethnic backgrounds in tech. It really is a personal choice, like any career, going into this field. It isn't very cool. It has to be something you really enjoy doing and most people don't. It is a lot of math. Don't blame tech blame how we treat social welfare and the public school system. It needs to start there to encourage all students to pursue what they want to do not just what the social norm expects them to do.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow, nice post,there are many person searching about that now they will find enough resources by your post.Thank you for sharing to us.Please one more post about that..generic viagra reviews

    ReplyDelete
  15. Excellent site, keep up the good work my colleagues would love this. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanksdating sites

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great post, thanks for sharing such nice info that is really very beneficial, thanks again.online research paper

    ReplyDelete
  17. I like this post,And I guess that they having fun to read this post,they shall take a good site to make a information,thanks for sharing it to me Passbeemedia

    ReplyDelete
  18. I stopped using dryer sheets years ago, and didn't replace them with anything. We wear mostly cotton clothes, and I find the static comes from polyester materials. Eliminate the polyester, and you won't need dryer sheets or dryer balls www.100couponcode.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is a very useful article and i was wondering to find that one.overstock coupon code

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is a fantastic movie and I viewed it with my buddies and we all like it so much. Thanks multivitamin präparate nahrungsergänzungsmittel

    ReplyDelete
  21. I simply get a crucial information right here and additionally this is often really Maine I trying. because of your current posting best armor for preppers

    ReplyDelete
  22. This article is very very encouraging to the Christian who is really willing to follow Christ at all costs.Cheap Hologram projection online All people who consider themselves Christians should read this article! halong bay cruise

    ReplyDelete
  23. Locksmith Edmonton deal in variant kinds
    of services which include residential,
    commercial and auto locksmith services.
    If you have got locked out of your car
    and you need emergency services, then
    you can avail our efficient services.

    http://yorklocksmith.com
    http://localedmontonlocksmith.ca

    ReplyDelete
  24. נערות ליווי
    שירותי ליווי
    תסתכל דרך הגלריה של נערות ליווי מלווים שלנו ותראה שזה ארוז מלא של בנות
    מכל רחבי מזרח אירופה. יש לי ליווי ההנאה כדי לקדם מאות מלווים במזרח אירופה באתר שלנו
    ו, של ודאות דבר אחד, אם הם מבולגריה או פולין, לטביה, ליטא ורוסיה, כל מה שהם צריכים
    שהיכולת לרצות את אדם בכל מיני דרכים אישיות ואינטימיות. בין אם אתה מחפש בלונדיני

    ReplyDelete

  25. with so many tel aviv escort agencies to choose from, each promoting a gorgeous
    array of tel aviv escort girls, are there any benefits of choosing to use one
    particular escort agency on a regular basis?

    http://mysaite.ru

    ReplyDelete
  26. Well… round about every blog posts online don’t have much originality as I found on yours.. Just keep updating much useful information so that reader like me would come back over and over again...
    Obat tbc
    Obat gagal ginjal
    Obat Diabetes Melitus

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hey, thank you a whole lot with regard to declaring that will! It really is so great to listen for that you are savoring nearby can be attractive. spectroscopic reflectometer

    ReplyDelete
  28. This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it calvicie

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thank you for publishing such an excellent article! I discovered your web page ideal for my needs. It contains amazing and beneficial content. Keep up the excellent work! quality portable vaporizer

    ReplyDelete
  30. I need this article to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article. Thanks, great share.GNC

    ReplyDelete
  31. I really thank you for the valuable info on this great subject and look forward to more great posts. Thanks a lot for enjoying this beauty article with me. I am appreciating it very much! Looking forward to another great article. Good luck to the author! All the best! dolor de cabeza

    ReplyDelete
  32. This is a selection of inspirational people – people who have made a lasting contribution towards creating a better world. These people have inspired others by their various achievements but also their attitude and values. Source Ace maxs

    ReplyDelete
  33. What a great web blog . I like this blog because of its design and interface. It is user friendly and it is nice to visit the blog. Pure Safari

    ReplyDelete
  34. The post was professionally written and I feel like the author has extensive knowledge in this subject. Inspiring, as well. Thanks for sharing such inspiring experience with us. Great blog, congrats! body armor for sale

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thank you for publishing such an excellent article! I discovered your web page ideal for my needs. It contains amazing and beneficial content. Keep up the excellent work! dolor de cabeza

    ReplyDelete
  36. While we should never give up our principles, we must also realize that we cannot maintain our principles unless we survive.
    Pengobatan tumor jinak di kepala
    Pengobatan kista indung telur
    Cara menghilangkan benjolan di ketiak

    ReplyDelete
  37. I think its all about seeing them live and in person. you can’t judge the unis properly from sketches – clothing sketches always look a little weird. I think the color scheme will actually work out well. Wayfair coupon

    ReplyDelete
  38. Amedar Consulting Group Wonderful site. Lots of helpful info here. I am sneidng it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks on your sweat! lithium ion battery

    ReplyDelete
  39. Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is magnificent, as well as the content!
    brain cancer prognosis

    ReplyDelete
  40. When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. Cara mengobati miom dan kista tanpa operasi

    ReplyDelete
  41. Never give up, and be confident in what you do. There may be tough times, but the difficulties which you face will make you more determined to achieve your objectives and to win against all the odds. Alys Beach real estate

    ReplyDelete
  42. I will keep smiling, be positive and never give up! I will give 100 percent each time I play. These are always my goals and my attitude.
    obat jantung koroner tradisional

    ReplyDelete
  43. This is an interesting article related to technical industry in which the United Arab Emirates is continuously developing and there are a great number of people who are continuing their studies through online education in UAE to compete in the touch environment.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I came onto your blog while focusing just slightly submits. Nice strategy for next, I will be bookmarking at once seize your complete rises.Limo service atlanta

    ReplyDelete
  45. I will keep smiling, be positive and never give up! I will give 100 percent each time I play. These are always my goals and my attitude. penyakit jantung

    ReplyDelete
  46. Whenever you have taken up work in hand, you must see it to the finish. That is the ultimate secret of success. Never, never, never give up. Obat tradisional untuk menghilangkan benjolan di leher

    ReplyDelete