Techie engineers have informed me no less than three times in the last week that the tech community is progressive and open and just generally has no issues with race/class/gender etc.
The Bay Area in the last decade has become the economic engine of our country, and there are people throwing rocks at Google buses much to the confusion of the “progressive” people on those buses, so since I speak both, I thought I’d take this opportunity to explain why people are so angry.
The Bay Area, like most of the rest of this country IS NOT progressive. I’ve personally witnessed several instances of discrimination, if not, downright hatred of a large number of the general public. It is frustrating and sometimes it has made ME want to throw some rocks, but I think that a lot of people in the Bay Area are confused and I’d like to help with that.
So, I will allow you to call yourselves “progressive” when you accomplish the following:
1) When you no longer have the worst public transportation I’ve ever been on. Seriously, for a bunch of environmentalists, our public transportation is embarrassing. I’m doing serious, permanent damage everyday to my neck because of Caltrain and the VTA buses are worse than the buses that we had in the ghetto in Sacramento. It is indefensible and embarrassing and the only reason it happens is because Silicon Valley is one of the most classist places on the planet.
2) When you stop one-way busing, stop sending your kids to private schools, stop drawing district lines so that poor kids don’t go to school with your kids and when you fund schools properly. Seriously, if you are so progressive and you value education so much, why are all of these things happening? Why don’t you want your children to go to school with poor and non-white children?
3) When start-ups have more than 8 percent female representation of founders, when internet forums are safe spaces for women and when girls are no longer talked out of engineering and science because they don’t want to hang out with people who demean them.
4) When you actually do something about the fact that you’ve made it completely impossible, not just for the poor, but also for the middle classes, LIKE TEACHERS, to live in this area. By the way, who is going to feed you when we all are gone?
5) When you treat soldiers with the respect they deserve. Stanford, Berkeley and the Internet didn’t happen without defense funding. You are all so excited to meet Condi but you’d spit on my brother if I would allow you to do so.
6) When I no longer have to ask able-bodied men to get up from disabled seating.
7) When you start treating the people who serve you, feed you, clothe you, and otherwise care for you, with some semblance of dignity.
8) When I see inter-racial dating beyond the White Guy/Asian Girl trope, and you when you stop acting surprised by relationships that deviate from that norm
9) When you make apps that actually benefit someone other than lazy, socially awkward rich people.
10) When you vote to raise your taxes to pay for all of the social benefits I just listed.
Until you do these things, you can shut up and go to work like the rest of us in the Bay Area. People who were here before you, tirelessly working to make this area so incredibly wonderful, who get up everyday to serve your children and you and do it in silence while you act like entitled, spoiled brats. That would be progressive, what you do currently hardly makes you any better than the Republicans who are at least honest about their prejudices and hatred. The reason people are throwing rocks is because you walk around talking about how wonderfully progressive you are while being blissfully unaware of all of the problems other people are facing. Its infuriating and while I don’t condone the rock throwing, and I don’t think it is effective, I do understand the anger and I also understand that the people in question were left with few options because you choose not to listen to anyone but yourselves. So, I hope, that you will finally listen to someone who speaks in your own tongue. Please for the love of god, get over yourselves, shut up, and get to work before I start encouraging people to get the pitchforks and the guillotines.