Furious Friday

Typically on fridays, we do something light and easy to get the conversation flowing here at AVC. Fridays are less about me writing and more about us talking.

But I’m not feeling very light and easy today. It’s been a bad week here in the US. It started with yet another fatal shooting of a black person by law enforcement and ended with snipers killing officers in Dallas last night.

We have a problem in the US with gun violence and race relations. And our law enforcement professionals are at the epicenter of these issues.

It is all so tragic and ghastly and awful.

#Current Affairs

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    w/o a doubt of course i agree.but as disheartening as these horrid tragedies are is the factionalism about how to address.and I amongst others, feel like I”m walking around in a circle without an idea of how to break the cycle.

  2. BillMcNeely

    That was insanity last night in Big D.the suspects were fairly well trained.There was no excuse for targeting officers but I was not surprised given the activity earlier in the week.We need to figure this because what we are doing isn’t working.

    1. William Mougayar

      “what we are doing isn’t working” you are right there. doing or not doing- the way things are at present is not working well for the future.

    2. Ryan Frew

      “I was not surprised”This is one of the worst realities of the entire situation. Beyond that, it’s my understanding that Dallas PD was doing an excellent job allowing folks to demonstrate and is generally a poster child for how we would like police departments to operate with integrity and transparency. But a few were murdered last night because of the wrongdoings of other officers elsewhere. The killings on both sides are non-sensical, at best, and yet no one is surprised.

      1. BillMcNeely

        Yes DPD generally does not have an issue with bad shootings and sometimes go overboard in punishing officers http://crimeblog.dallasnews

  3. creative group

    Contributors:Taking the liberty to say on behalf of the entire blog, Everyone extends our condolences to the slain officers, victims and families in the Dallas slayings.

  4. pointsnfigures

    In the US, we have become highly cynical. Peggy Noonan writes, “Cynicism doesn’t just make everything worse; it creates a new kind of bad. It kills, for instance, the idea of merit. You don’t rise through talent and effort; you rise through lies, connections, silence, the rules of the gang. That gives the young an unearned bitterness. That is a terrible thing for adults to do, to deprive the young of the idealism that helps them rise cleanly and with point”

    1. creative group

      pointsnfigures:What day did Margaret Ellen write it in the WSJ? We missed it.

    2. Rob Underwood

      I generally disagree with Peggy Noonan on everything, and this is no different. The definition of cynicism is “an inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest”. I think young people are making an accurate assessment of how much of the world works.

  5. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    From an outside perspective:- I feel sympathy for those effected.- Anger at those who profit from the arms trade (internationally)- Frustration for voices that are unheard- Amazement at the unlimited tolerance towards weapon-bearing “rights” proponents- Sickened to know that very little will likely change without a mind-boggling experience – considering this from wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wi…1 In the United Kingdom, access by the general public to firearms is tightly controlled by law,2 The country has one of the lowest rates of gun homicides in the world.3 handguns were effectively banned after the Dunblane school massacre in 1996.4 **** Dunblane was the UK’s FIRST and ONLY school shooting.In the UK that was not to be tolerated ….So WHY is it tolerated in the US ? If you arm the public you must arm the police and that will results in horrific incidents whether racially religiously motivated or driven by some other sickness or bigotry

    1. jason wright

      the US was founded on war and violence and has been perpetuated by war and violence.

        1. jason wright

          fine words signed by an association of 56 white men (i assume)?

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Are closer to the truth if just say slave labor instead of “war and violence”. But slavery created horrible violence in the US, the civil war.E.g., to search line> civil war deathsGoogle returnsRoughly 1,264,000 American soldiers have died in the nation’s wars–620,000 in the Civil War and 644,000 in all other conflicts. It was only as recently as the Vietnam War that the amount of American deaths in foreign wars eclipsed the number who died in the Civil War.Net, for a society, for the US, slavery is expensive and violent.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            Slaves, as a source of cheap labor, are, for the society as a whole, just too darned expensive.E.g., my parents had a maid come one day a week. The maid had a daughter 13 who got pregnant. So, for that woman who worked as a maid five days a week, our society now has to support essentially out of tax money also the daughter and her baby. If the baby is a female, then it may have more kids to be so supported. If the baby is male, then too likely we’re looking at jail time more expensive per year than Harvard.My family got a maid once a week for not much money, but our society got an expensive social problem that will last for generations.Net, slavery is just too darned expensive.E.g., now Houston decided that police will patrol in pairs and they will take no action before backup arrives. Raises the costs.And, there are problems beyond just such economic costs.Yup, apparently Becker wrote in detail about what was totally obvious when my parents had a maid one day a week.What the US did with slavery all the way back before 1776 is bad enough. And we have paid one heck of a huge price. But, worse now, we are deliberately continuing the same thing — importing an identifiable, exploited lower class, slaves.

      2. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        jason – can you name a country with a documented history that wasn’t founded on war and violence – perhaps Botswana and some of the unwinding of the British commonwealth – but otherwise most nations are birthed in violence and stabilise through subsequent sanity.

        1. jason wright

          then perhaps we can conclude that the US hasn’t stabilised.

          1. pointsnfigures

            Despite our problems and warts, there isn’t a better country in the world to be a citizen in-and there isn’t one that gives you more opportunity and freedom.

          2. James Ferguson @kWIQly

            Asserting something will never make it so.As your view is subjective – I can legitimately say – Wrong – because not generally true

          3. Salt Shaker

            Don’t disagree, but we’ve kind of hid behind that veil for far too long, no? “Our warts and problems” can’t be adequately addressed when our political system is so beholden to outside influences. With respect to guns, legit change has to start there.

          4. James Ferguson @kWIQly

            You might – I merely note starting in violence is common and moving away from it is beneficial -I believe it requires something like the following to hold sway !”We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”But they get alienated under the current US regime all to commonly IMO

      3. Vendita Auto

        Show me a tribe that wasn’t

    2. cfrerebeau

      I would add that most policemen do not have firearm in the UK. Such a different culture.The fact that the black man killed in Minnesota had a right to carry a gun and that was probably the cause of his killing as the policeman seemed to not know the right procedure to manage the situation shows out of hands the whole situation is.

    3. sigmaalgebra

      > 2 The country has one of the lowest rates of gun homicides in the world.They are now rapidly creating an identifiable lower class of slave labor. That creates massive, very long lasting, very expensive, and often violent social problems. England’s days of so little violence, from guns or not, are rapidly on the way to gone with the wind.

      1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        I have to agree – I think the whole right nationalist swing seen (both in US and europe is a tangible and predictable repsonse to wild trends in gini statisticshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wi…

    4. Vendita Auto

      I remember the conservative house of commons gun club fighting to allow members to keep guns in the home. Arming all police officers and the general public is The Lord Of Flies.

  6. LIAD

    to stop a fire you remove the fuel.sometimes you cross a chasm you can’t return from. planned executions of multiple police officers is one of them.the days of faith building initiatives are gone. we’re at peak mistrust, fear, anger. ‘both sides’ very valid concerns.Right to bear arms has become a cancer on the US.To Stop The Fire. Remove The Fuel.

    1. awaldstein

      I’m with you all the way on this.

      1. cfrerebeau

        Really? I thought you were not for removing or limiting the right to bear firearm Arnold. Did I misunderstand you or did you change your mind?

        1. awaldstein

          misunderstood me in this case. my opinion has not changed on this.

          1. cfrerebeau

            too bad 🙂

    2. Tom Labus

      Your assault weapon will mean zip if the government wants to zap you. You wake up to no SS#, no bank account, no CCs, no healthcare, zip. You don’t exist. You won’t exist.

      1. andyswan

        Why would I want to be unarmed in such a scenario?

        1. Tom Labus

          What are you going to do? Shoot your phone!! Come on, there are no redcoats coming for you. You don’t need a musket but some other approach.

          1. andyswan

            I would shoot my food if the ability to trade for it was removed. I would also defend my family, which I assume the government that “zapped” me out of existence would no longer be helping with._____________________________

        2. SubstrateUndertow

          Maybe because if they are intent on get you that gun is just one more justification for taking you out ?

    3. MC210

      I can’t understand how my friends (29 y/o here) can keep fighting against tighter gun regulation. I’ve been traditionally pro-2A, have my Concealed Handgun License, own an “AR-style” rifle and all that.That being said, the fact that, in 2016, people in the US feel so threatened that they do not want to give their guns up/get on board with tighter gun control to me shows a lack of facing reality.Whenever I ask why is it that our gun violence rates are so much higher than other comparable developed nations that have tight gun laws, the conversation devolves from fact-based to name-calling and conjecture. The fact of the matter is, countries with strict gun laws simply don’t have people turning their cars into VBIEDs, making homemade bombs, etc with the ridiculous frequency we see shootings here in the US.At this point, the looseness of gun rights here in the US seems beyond archaic to me. Ultimately (in my opinion) this comes down to a mental health issue. But until we can effectively identify attributes ahead of time that lead to these kinds of terrible incidents, the next best thing is to “Remove The Fuel.” as you.The events in Dallas reek of a crime of opportunity; I can’t sit here and buy into the notion that, should the suspect not have had easy access to a firearm(s), he would have furiously been in his basement making bombs in the last 24-48 hours to carry out an attack.Apologies for rambling, but I’m becoming more and more disenchanted with America every week it seems like. I know I don’t have all the answers (I think getting a LOT of the current guns off the street wouldn’t help to start), but how the hell can we keep doing what we’ve always done and expect different results?

    4. Inna Raykhman

      its not enough. education has to get so much better and so much freer. the best schools should be in the worst areas of the country. give people a choice.

    5. William Mougayar

      But guns aren’t the only fuel.Black people have been disenfranchised for years, and that needs fixing too.

      1. LIAD

        Sure. But guns are what morphs inequality, poverty, injustice, into death and murder.There are lots of disenfranchised people around the globe. Many with just reasons. Throwing firearms into the mix ups the ante and makes things exponentially more difficult to resolve and dangerous.

  7. creative group

    Contributors:Two things after we post the following statistics is a need to visit the way semi automatic weapons are sold. (Not advocating banning just better vetting).And the way citizens in the United States hold accountable killings on its citizens by those entrusted to protect them no matter the ethnicity. The following statistics really have the wrong ethnic group protesting. White lives matter if you view the statistics.————According to The Guardian, police have shot 531 people in the U.S. so far this year, of which 256 were white, 130 black and 82 Hispanic. Some 27 police officers have been shot in the line of duty in that time, according to the website The Guardian.http://www.theguardian.com/…————-When a law enforcement officer is found guilty of murdering a citizen there is dead silence from the people who supported that officer (Police Unions and the white community) up to his conviction and prison sentence. The same when the so called victim/suspect/assailant of a Police shooting death is found to be responsible and shooting and death justified the silence from the community activists (And Black community). Both sides show their biases based upon color versus what is right.A problem that will not be solved in our lifetime.When the majority becomes the minority their empathy, acknowledgement and views on fairness will change.

    1. Ryan Frew

      Questioning Time on your second point, only because ODMP.com does not appear to be a website at all.

      1. creative group

        Ryan Frew:We will retrieve direct post from Flipboard.If you reread the our original post it cited The Guardian.

        1. Ryan Frew

          Thanks for digging in and grabbing the link. I was glad to see The Guardian citing the more important statistic than the actual total # of people killed by race – they also provide how many have been killed per million in 2016. 3.23 black people per million. 1.41 white people per million. That is a terrifying reality.

  8. Adam Bogard

    We have to collectively do better at listening to our creed as Americans– that we are all equal. At the and of the day, the unity we need to show each other is LOVE. This violence is sickening.

  9. Susan Rubinsky

    The gun lobby is getting exactly what it asked for: citizen policing. I’m saddened but not surprised.

    1. pointsnfigures

      How are the events in Dallas “citizen policing”?

    2. Lawrence Brass

      No one needs an AR 15 rifle for nothing else than the madness we have seen recently.

  10. Brandon Burns

    You know what you can do to help? Hire more black people. Make your portfolio companies hire more black people. Fund more black people.Corporate America is where most people learn about diversity. It’s where they see the differences between the limited view of their personal lives and the broader spectrum that is the rest of the world. Equality in the workplace leads to equality in the streets.Every VC that has a lily white portfolio of founders — like USV — always has their reasons. Every cop that shoots a black person has their reasons. The reasons differ, and can always be argued as “valid,” but in the end they all amount to one thing: bias.Wieden+Kennedy, my former employer, got a ton of kudos in advertising industry press yesterday for posting a #blacklivesmatter message on the company website. Meanwhile, 28 of the 30 Creative Directors who lead the agency are white males. The in-house recruiters actively source qualified candidates of all races and genders, yet for some reason the Creative Directors have hired a staff that is 80% white male. They always have their reasons for why they didn’t hire the black person, just as VCs always have their reasons for why they didn’t fund the black person, just as the cop always has his reasons for why he shot another black person.Conversely, those same Creative Directors always have a reason for why they took a chance on the “talented” yet unproven white candidate. The VC always has a reason for why he took a chance on the “mission driven” yet unproven white founder. The cop always has a reason why the white guy “just made a mistake” and gets off without an arrest, or bullet in his chest.It’s all hypocrisy.Acknowledging that there’s a problem is not enough. You cannot just write a blog post, and then go to bed at night feeling good about “doing something,” and then wake up the next morning and go to work in an environment that continues to support the discrimination that you just condemned. Especially when it’s an environment that you’re in direct control of changing.On a person-to-person level, I feel bad delivering harsh words to someone who I know to be a genuinely decent person, who has been generous to me with his time and advice giving. But as a black man under attack in this country, I have to call this out.

    1. leapy

      I have come round to your way of thinking. I am white, 50’s, male and in the UK and I have *always* argued against positive discimination but you’re right. People that work together engage – albeit initially in a limited manner – and from there leads to understanding – in the workplace and thence in the streets.In the US, it *cannot* be right how many people from minorities end up in prison or on the street and the only lasting solution is economic. Change the environment and that starts with employment.

      1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        Agree you have to change the system massively – but enforced diversity creates injustices and suffering down the line and making the achievable good a casualty of the unattainable perfect

        1. Brandon Burns

          Sometimes the medicine doesn’t taste good going down, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t do it’s job in making things better.Your argument was the same one used against Affirmative Action legislation. And the argument is partially correct; forced desegregation bubbled over into the Civil Rights Movement violence of the 60s. But Affirmative Action also led to the equal access to education that we have today, and no one is in an uproar about it.The historical proof shows that “forced” diversity is net positive.When people won’t do the right thing, sometimes those who are in charge have to “force” them. Parents with their kids, bosses with their employees — that’s just life.

          1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

            I respect the balanced response and cant really comment on the US case.

          2. Twain Twain

            See Google Adsense example below. Then read:* https://www.propublica.org/…As I commented above, this isn’t a white vs black people issue.It’s a philosophical framework (Descartes) and maths tool (Bayes) problem that we’ve been limited by for 450+ years and by which all of us are wrongly measured and modeled and biased against.@le_on_avc:disqus — You’re both right and it’s a deeper problem than any surface measures or lip service can solve. Data systems invention needs to happen.

        2. SubstrateUndertow

          Newton’s first law of motion !An attitude/behaviour either remains at rest or continues unchanged unless acted upon by a net external force.Some turbulence/discomfort will necessarily result from applying external forces but those forces alway result in a new equilibrium between the achievable and the unattainably perfect.(2nd Law)

          1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

            think you may conflating physics and sociology – simple error but no point reflecting on our own experience because by this argument we cannot learn from it

          2. SubstrateUndertow

            It was meant as a mild counterpoint comment should have ended it with :-)But I do thing the analogous concept of inertia applies across most disciplines ? Genetic inertia anyone ?

          3. James Ferguson @kWIQly

            No worries about the 🙂 or lack thereof – I was just being smart.Inertia / Momentum do happen everywhere in the physical world (as far as we know) – but the idea we cannot change from within is pretty horrid – it smacks of the Nuremburg defense – as in “I was only doing my duty” – (I am wholly subject to external forces and thus not to blame)this denies moral position and all notion of self or responsibilitySometimes we really do need to initiate change from within and ignore all externalities. For example taking gun laws you could argue that the right to bear arms was intended in a militia context or you could say – “hey its wrong” – if it results in children and innocents dying for the sake of an outmoded notion.the reason for amendments is that sometimes amends must be made.One is that people who want might kill innocent people should not be allowed guns – end of discussion – It trumps the relative impoverished arguement by virtue of a pre-existing constitutional view every time.

          4. SubstrateUndertow

            Agree with the sentiment on change from within. At least I want to believe in that possibility setting aside any epistemological metaphysics arguments !Even if “change from within” were proven impossible best to carry on as if that were not as any alternative behaviours are a societal black hole.

    2. fredwilson

      I agree about hiring and also giving young people the skills to be able to get good jobs. I think education is a prerequisite for jobs

      1. Brandon Burns

        Why does your agreement stop there? Why doesn’t it carry over to funding a more diverse group of founders?I believe it was Brewster that had the founder who had zero relevant experience, and pitched you with an Excel spreadsheet as a prototype, and you praised his mission driven-ness and gumption, and funded the company. And he is not the only one — you have a reputation for backing non-traditional contrarians. You have a reputation for breaking the mold. Why has that mold only been broken for white males?And when you’re thinking of the reasons why you chose the white guy, remember each and every cop that gave his reasons for why he decided to pull out his gun and shoot a black man. Remember that you will always be able to rationalize your decisions. And then re-filter those thoughts and see if you get to the same conclusion.You’re obviously dong great things with education, which I commend. And to your wife’s credit, and thus yours by extension, she has really put her money where her mouth is when it comes to diversity. She talks about it extensively, and her diverse portfolio of founders proves that she practices what she preaches.And the success of that portfolio also proves that continuing to find reasons to back the white guy is not the only way to get a return on on your investment.

        1. Twain Twain

          @fredwilson:disqus shared a video of USV’s analysts over the last decade and it’s clear they are trying to diversify their intake.In March, I was lucky enough to be at Startup Grind where I experienced two great talks:(1.) Marlon Nichols of Cross Culture Ventures on “Culture as an arbitrage opportunity” and how “CULTURE MOVES US TO ACTION”* https://www.youtube.com/wat…(2.) Clay ChristiansenIn tech, as in everything, I want and NEED to be inspired as a fellow human being.In AI, I’m more than aware that the lack of diversity is why AI can’t make the breakthroughs it should and doesn’t reflect the whole of Humankind.HumanKIND is an important definition because, frankly, we all need to be kinder to each other. Kinder => No killings.Cultural consideration and understanding our language and values are the two most critical things needed for better AI. Both language and values are cultural by nature — and whilst SV is great at the science of engineering, it’s got huge deficits in the art (culture) of language and diversity.* http://www.nytimes.com/2016…The schools of thought in AI are dominated by guys in their 50s and 60s of a certain type who pass on their dogma to 20+30 something PhDs at elite Ivy League institutions.They seem oblivious to the the fact that our generation has inherited a bunch of tools from the Industrial Age that are frankly WRONG (and I commented so on Albert Wenger’s https://worldaftercapital.g….Tools that divide us into binary choices such as:invalid = 0, valid = 1black = 0, white = 1dead = 0, alive = 1female = 0, male = 1and the probability chances between 0 and 1.This awful philosophy from Descartes and probability tools from Bayes prevent us from making machines that understand us (regardless of race, gender, creed, sexual orientation etc).They’re deep-rooted problems; wrong philosophy of binary outcomes and probability tools inherited from 1564 (450+ years).Take heart, though. I have invented a system to free us from Descartes’ wrong mental model of us as purely rational, logical and unemotional (he wrote a book arguing for separation of mind-body-emotions from each other which has affected why today’s AI is autistic); Bayes’ wrong mental model of us as mere probability and behaving like random unbiased dice; and Turing’s model of us as calculating thinking engines rather than as consideration systems (thinking with care).All of us need to think with care about each other and the systems we’re creating … that then reinforce that care.

          1. ShanaC

            Very similar to Simone de Beauvoir

          2. Twain Twain

            Thanks for the comparison.

          3. ShanaC

            Well, she pointed out that binary ranked states for gender are very artificial and fear and power based

          4. Twain Twain


        2. LE

          And when you’re thinking of the reasons why you chose the white guy, remember each and every cop that gave his reasons for why he decided to pull out his gun and shoot a black man. Remember that you will always be able to rationalize your decisions. And then re-filter those thoughts and see if you get to the same conclusion.Geez Brandon you are totally off base here for taking someone who is an investor with goals and limited partners and somehow drawing a comparison to what a police officer might do. What a stretch that is.And the success of that portfolio also proves that continuing to find reasons to back the white guy is not the only way to get a return on on your investment.Well why don’t you do this. Why don’t you make it your goal to identify black people that are investible and package and present them to white investors so they have access to opportunity and a better chance of getting capital? You can use your marketing skills to do that, right? Come up with a business plan for this and then pitch Fred for some seed money so you can attempt to do the idea for a 1 year test period. I’d be glad to take a look at the plan and potentially invest in it as I am sure some others here on AVC would as well. [1]Bottom line: Put some effort in yourself. Effort is not banging on Fred easily done by writing a comment on AVC and trying to guilt him into doing something.[1] Change the game. In this case you will be advantaged because you are black and doing the idea and not white.

          1. Brandon Burns

            My desire to ignore these comments is being overshadowed by the fact that I know that letting them slide is part of the problem.It is not a stretch to relate investment decisions with the action of cops, or any other action that leaves a specific race of people with the short end of the stick. The point is universal: people always think they’re the good guy, and they always justify their actions. It is just as rampant in the VC community, which rationalize its decisions to pass on the woman or the minority, as it is in law enforcement, where cops rationalize why they had to pull out their gun and shoot a black man.Also, you have no clue what I do for my own community, and assuming that you do is both arrogant and ignorant. You have no clue about the people that I’ve personally helped in many ways, from education to employment opportunities. I have started and led numerous diversity initiatives within companies where I’ve worked, I’ve served on the Young Professionals board of the ACLU, I’ve counseled countless family members, coworkers, and strangers. I’ve donated what money I have to numerous charities. And I’ve been vocal when people spew ignorance, like your comments above.

          2. LE

            Also, you have no clue what I do for my own community, and assuming that you do is both arrogant and ignorant.Why is it necessary to use language like this? “arrogant and ignorant”. Why not just highlight what you have done (as you have done) and leave out a personal attack or the put downs?Also I didn’t assume that you didn’t do anything. I can check my comment but I wasn’t directing it at you. But I have always wondered what black people who have made it do for their own community. And yes I think it’s a good idea to talk about that as part of the conversation. But I would have no way to know if you did if you don’t mention that fact in comments like you have done.

          3. JMorphy88

            SJW/black activist types love to call people “ignorant”, it’s how they express displeasure with your argument without actually addressing it in any way.

          4. LE

            When I was growing up my Dad would walk out if I showed anger in trying to convince him of something. He would say something like “argue it like a lawyer or I am not going to even listen to you”.

          5. Jerry Hall

            Such a privilege to have a dad at home…and one who likely had experience with lawyers in land and civil disputes, not criminal justice cases… (where many lawyers tend to not argue too long and hard for their poor and minority clients).(this is not a personal… I’m just pointing out that there are vast differences in our perceptions of each other, and we are in such an opportune time to fuel and ignite changes.)

          6. Mariah Lichtenstern

            Ignorance is ignoring information – and expecting others to take on the burden of educating you. If the shoe fits…

          7. Mariah Lichtenstern

            We’ve had this discussion (see post link). I devoted a lengthy post to it in response. You are ignoring the information. And beyond that, it is irrelevant because what is going on is not a problem that the Black community is singlehandedly responsible for. This is an all hands on deck American problem that is a direct result of the foundation of racism and classism that this country is built on.http://timesnewromanempire….

          8. Jerry Hall

            “I have always wondered what black people who have made it do for their own community.”By ‘own community’ do you mean their largely black neighborhoods because they were systemically redlined out of most other neighborhoods? Or, by ‘own community’ do you mean the black community as a whole?If the latter, do you mean the ones that haven’t been screwed over by being disproportionately (compared to whites) tied up in the criminal justice system, or those working multiple jobs to keep food on their families table, or those praying every night that their kids don’t get shot on the way to school?

          9. sachmo

            >Geez Brandon you are totally off base here for taking someone who is an investor with goals and limited partnersAnd why would those goals and limited partners preclude the investment in diversity? Does the USV portfolio invest proportionally in people of color? Have they released stats on this stuff?Why would it be in the least bit controversial to comment on something like this in light of Fred’s own lament on racial issues in America?

          10. Brandon Burns

            Gah, I wish I could have said it that simply!

          11. cavepainting

            There is a big case to be made for jumpstarting startup and entrepreneurship in communities that are under-represented in tech and startups. Jumpstarting by definition means taking more risk, providing more nurturing and mentoring, and not using only traditional means of judging the investment.When there is significant inequality, we need to do more to address it and use different standards and metrics – at least in the short term.

          12. Jerry Hall

            “Effort is not banging on Fred easily done by writing a comment on AVC and trying to guilt him into doing something.”By all accounts, and all I’ve learned, Fred doesn’t need defending. Oddly you appear to focus on Brandon’s comments as an attack, and suggesting that perhaps it’s a calling for him to carry that banner and pitch that opportunity…Isn’t the greater issue the likelihood that there is systemic lack of funding to our minority entrepreneurs? Fairly assuming that, isn’t the elephant in the room the overwhelming evidence that we are doing a miserable job defending, supporting and enabling the less fortunate (read: anyone other than white American men)? That is, in theory isn’t the guy on top of the hill (white american men) supposed to have a social responsibility to look around and discover ways in which they, using all their power and influence, can reach their hand out and help the less privileged? Much like the bigger, stronger guy catching the hand of the bully hurting the little guy… or, is that just in comic books?Do we really need to hear pitches to understand that the demand is enormous, that the level of desperation is getting extremely heavy? We know many of the symptoms but, isn’t one of the strongest cures to empower through funding, accepting social benefits returned in lieu of some of the expected financial returns?Rather than look to the people who are handcuffed to fix this problem, shouldn’t it be those in the strongest position (mostly white American men) to be a significant part of initiating that effort?We have to stop looking to the African American and other minority populations to own and fix societal problems themselves. And I think we can all agree that government hasn’t done such a great job addressing these issues for at least the last five decades. This is a human problem, and we see humans in distress.I think it’s very fair to say that those that are in the best position to do the greatest good to help alleviate the unbalance, are seemingly too busy helping people who look, behave, work and live in neighborhoods much like their own.

          13. Mariah Lichtenstern

            Well said. Very well said.

          14. Donna Brewington White

            I know. I was reading @JerryMHall:disqus’s comments, thinking “Where have you been all day?”

          15. Jerry Hall

            I wish this could be a longer conversation, and one that didn’t feel like it was just another moment when so many get that aha moment but, then wander back to sleep. Getting and keeping people’s attention is challenging.

          16. ShanaC


          17. LE

            First very well written reply. I would have given the same defense to anyone whether they needed it or not. I disagreed and wrote what I felt (just like you are doing).If I have to clarify I would say that if you want to make change such as you suggest and Brandon wants then you have to go about it by putting in a bit more effort (and honey) than just attempting to shame someone on a blog that actually has done things. Writing a comment here is fine, but it’s probably not your best shot at getting Fred to do anything. Or anyone. Note that I gave Brandon an idea (see one of my other comments) and even said I would consider giving him money to do the idea. Brandon didn’t even reply to that offer (last I checked) and he even has my email (let alone on this blog) and I have helped him in a small way in the past iirc. He didn’t even say thank you or that it was a reasonable idea. He just ignored it. That’s fine and his right. You know that nobody (Fred or otherwise) is going to do what Brandon wants because they are shamed on their blog. There are better ways than that which is at least part of my point. But to repeat again excellent reply I think we just disagree here on how to go about getting more opportunities.

          18. Chike Ukaegbu

            There are many of us doing that already. I launched Startup52 last year as NYCs first diversity focused tech accelerator, even while facing eviction. I am still unfunded, the teams are non-funded. Access to resources and capital for entrepreneurs from untapped communites is an urgent need that has to be met, and we are doing it innovatively and creatively. I’ll be happy to be share my investment thesis deck focused on diversity as an opportunity, which some LPs have told me is not tangible enough to fund and will not work. Most see it as a charitable cause versus a profitable one; or better yet, as tech’s affirmative action, a handout, which it’s not. I have a current class of 18 startups in as diverse verticals as AI, edtech, social impact, discovery, media, fintech etc, ranging from pre-revenue to revenue positive startups. We are currently at LIU downtown brooklyn. Be happy to have you come visit. If you are really interested in investing in diversity, let’s talk. Current class breakdown – 5 countries represented, more than 50% have women cofounders, more than 80% have a person of color as a cofounder, 40% have international/nonUS cofounders. We also have veterans, lgbtq, seniors, etc. and they are all working on exciting stuff. I have also reached out to at least 75 VC firms to bring me on as a diversity focused Venture Partner, none has bitten yet. Some of us have spent the last decade working with entrepreneurs from our comnunities and understand them and the opportunity better than most white investors, nothing wrong with that. An LP told me that investing in diversity is a waste of time and should most likely be tried as a school project rather than real life endeavor. that was one of many responses. We have the knowledge, we know the founders, fully understand the opportunity, we just don’t have the money. Unfortunately those of you who are privileged to have the money don’t see the opportunity or are not bothered. It’s easy to make a statement, much harder to back it up with cash. We don’t need sympathy, we need real action. We are playing our part and doing it very creatively in the absence of cash. If need be, I can be reached at [email protected]. How do I reach you?

          19. Jerry Hall

            Do you pitch your accelerator as a Social Enterprise, illustrating the triple bottom line concepts and returns? Keep pushing those doorbells, funding and resources can only improve from here.

          20. Chike Ukaegbu

            Thank you so much for your kind response. Yes, we have. However, its not sticking with most LPs that I’ve spoken to. Many don’t buy into the ‘diversity as an opportunity’ focused thesis and I think really still think of it in terms of affirmative action or charity.Not relenting though.

          21. LE

            I have also reached out to at least 75 VC firms to bring me on as a diversity focused Venture Partner, none has bitten yet.For that I think you need to earn your way in. What you should try is positioning yourself as a “diversity focused consultant”. Once you work with people and gain their trust there is a greater chance of opportunity following. Package and bring to them opportunities and also offer to consult with the opportunities that they have.You also need some PR for what you are doing. You should contact the mainstream press (TV and WSJ, NYT) and pitch the angle that “they all talk about diversity but in X tries none of them put their money where there mouth is”. The other thing you can do is contact large corporations or funds directly to see if you can get them to invest in you.In any case I will take a look at your site and I may be in touch in the future.

          22. Chike Ukaegbu

            Thanks for your response. So sorry for the late invite, but if you can join us at our event tomorrow, I’ll be happy to provide complimentary tickets.More details about the event here – womencolortech.splashthat.comMy email is [email protected]

          23. Julian Raphael

            Spot on, LE. Change through action > change through pointing fingers and complaining. Those who quietly channel their anger or frustration with a situation towards positive change become the best passionate entrepreneurs.

          24. Jerry Hall

            I think the keyword that hasn’t worked for decades now is for black Americans to do their bidding ‘quietly’. For those same last many decades, that silence has seemed to invite us back to sleep, unaware or unwilling to take the time to consider, that there are many who are not playing the same game, in the same stadium, with the same equipment.Remove that one word and you’re spot on. But, in lieu of all many of us have seen and heard the last couple years, combined with all were were told and ignored for the many, many years before – there is a staggering amount of evidence that ‘quietly’ has become the doormat to our nation’s collective apathy.We should welcome the noise. It’s called disruption.

          25. Donna Brewington White

            Quiet change has its place. But there is a great need right now for awareness. And sometimes that requires some noise.

        3. Jess Bachman

          Thanks Brandon, these are questions that need to be asked and answered (at least internally).There are firms like Kapor Capital who are doing this right. It’s possible.

      2. Noah Steadman

        An increasing number of black people are graduating with sterling educational credentials today, though. Black women are the most educated group in America! Why are you hiring white and Asian MBAs for VP positions in lieu of, e.g., Sandra Bland?

        1. Peter Radizeski

          A lot of hiring is who you know. It is rarely hire the best. In 15 years of telecom, execs bring their yes men with them everywhere they go.

      3. Jim Murray

        Friday is never fun when a black man speaks up either to express agony or to seek attention.

    3. Chimpwithcans

      As a South African, we have gone a step further and diversity in corporations is a legally enforced reality in day-to-day life (https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…. While I appreciate that there is an entrenched culture of favouring whites over blacks in America, I can also say that enforced diversity is not a way to cure this ill (see the inequality charts down the thread – SA is one of the worst despite 20 years of enforced black empowerment). It just results in racism against white people, which is still racist. There are few societies which are not racist in the world. Tribes stick together. But getting school level race mixtures evened out (black/white/brown) would be the place i would start.

      1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        I agree – I have seen education / farming suffer through the appointment of incompetent candidates and imagine this must apply to many other important walks of life.Enforced (rather than blind) diversity is by definition a corruption of objective assessment

        1. Chimpwithcans

          In my opinion the worst side effect is that EVERYTHING becomes about race. Every other variable has the volume turned right down. This tilts everything sideways and makes investment a lop-sided affair. I purposely keep the revenue of my company below a certain figure to avoid popping up on race radars.

      2. Brandon Burns

        “I can also say that enforced diversity is not a way to cure this ill… it just results in racism against white people, which is still racist.”That sounds like privilege and resentment talking.What’s better? The past, an apartheid past? Or the integrated present? The “racism against white” people you speak of is not even close in magnitude to the killing of black people during apartheid. While the present isn’t perfect, it’s not hard to see that it’s magnitudes better than the past.I’m sorry that your black coworkers don’t always have nice things to say about their white peers. But if they could take beatings and killings for centuries, you should be able to let some ignorant comments here and there roll off your back.

        1. Chimpwithcans

          You’re obviously very angry. I’m just relaying my experiences. No, there are no longer mass killings or segregation as there was in apartheid, and OF COURSE its better than it was then. But that isn’t down to the BBBEE Act – a stupid piece of legislation which is warping the country in not a good way. That’s all i am saying. Maybe America is different and there needs to be a firmer approach. I don’t presume to understand your situation that well.

          1. LE

            You’re obviously very angry.Brandon is angry and I’ve always noticed that. And because he is angry if I was an employer he’d be at the bottom of the list of people that I would consider hiring because he has a clear bias that shows that goes above and beyond what is necessary. It’s fine to stand up for your rights. All of that is great. But at a certain point it does cross the line and create a potential problem. (People on both sides of this will read my statement whatever way fits their own bias an attitude!)

          2. JLM

            .I have worked with Brandon. Brandon is not an “angry man.”He is, understandably, using a vocabulary which contains pent up emotion. One of those emotions is anger.Count me amongst those who woke up angry this morning.I am angry at the cops who killed — murdered, it seems to me based on the visual evidence I have seen — two black men. One in Louisiana and the other in Minnesota.This was stupid police work and it was murder.I am equally mad at the assassination of five police officers in Dallas at the hands of a group which planned and executed this ambush. Funny thing is the DPD has a great reputation for its racial makeup and management.The whole country is angry. It is going to be a long, hot summer and it is likely to get worse not better.I do not want to add my voice to those trying to explain this other than to say it is not a gun control issue. It is racial and anger.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. LE

            The whole country is angry. It is going to be a long, hot summer and it is likely to get worse not better.I don’t agree that the entire country is angry. The news is highlighting the anger just like they will tend to focus on anything that has news value. The only thing that has changed is that the media has access to video or pictures which makes for a good story. This always happened it’s just being brought to focus now. If anything the cops are more careful and it is probably happening less than it did in years pre-social media and phone cameras.What has happened is terrible. But it’s not exactly statistically what I would call a big problem. Cops are not out murdering black men in the streets relative to the amount of policing there is. The news will run anything that involves death where there is a picture to show.

          4. JLM

            .I did not intend to suggest that the country is angry solely about this subject. The country is angry about a thousand different things starting with this, terrorism, the economy, the presidential election. No shortage of things to be angry about.My brand new pool cleaner gave out on its first day on duty. OK, so that’s not very important to anyone but me.You are absolutely correct that the media is disseminating the man bites dog stories and the breadth and depth of the media (and social media gets lumped in there also) is broader than it has ever been.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          5. LE

            Well since I am white and privileged I am reminded of how I was whining to my wife 2 days ago that the new car that I just bought isn’t as perfect as I want it to be. And what was ironic was that I noted was that on the TV in the background as I was complaining was literally war torn Syria where people are having all sorts of suffering. I thought of it as a scene in a movie the juxtaposition was nice. I forgot about the suffering the next day and am working on returning the car for another model.

          6. JLM

            .The Russians kept whole blocks of East Berlin unrenovated after WWII because they wanted the Germans to remember what they, the Russians, did to them in WWII and what they, the Germans, deserved for their wickedness.I visited East Berlin in the middle 1970s as part of a contingent of officers going to meet our Soviet counterparts. The Americans were all 6’3″ and veterans. It was a game they were playing.A Russki asked me if all American officers were so tall. I told him yes. We had a good laugh over a couple of vodkas.The destruction served its purpose. I remember those wrecked blocks to this day. I walk through them in my mind. Can you imagine walking past such a thing every day?We are the luckiest country in the world and yet we have an unbelievable challenge to become even better.Days like yesterday inform us of how much further we have to go.Peace be upon us all.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          7. LE

            That’s a great story and I love the psychological manipulation aspects of it.When I was growing up I had this theory that I called “Christian cross theory”. In my community it was frowned upon to date or marry non-jews. However I noted that it was even worse if the non-jew had a cross. The cross was symbolic and (similar to skin color) and it made it much harder to escape the bias because the non-jew had branded themselves in that way. It was right in your face. That was my first thoughts around how you can use symbols to achieve a desired outcome (marketing or otherwise). Stuff that I didn’t have to read in a textbook, but experienced firsthand.

          8. Brandon Burns

            A lot of people are angry, myself included. But as most who’ve interacted with me on AVC know, I don’t let anger cloud my sense of a fair and rational argument or critique. This time is no different. I invite anyone to discredit my argument, but labeling black people (or really anyone they disagree with) as angry is an old trick that far, far too many people have used to try to weasel out of having a finger pointed at them, and I’m not taking that bait.

          9. Tom Labus

            and economics

          10. JLM

            .One could argue that economics and the economy are at the core of much of what is wrong w/ America right now. Good catch.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          11. ShanaC

            It feels very 68 in the level of anger. That worries me. It is like we haven’t made any progress at all since thrn

          12. Jerry Hall

            Amen. And it has become clear that LE is here for entertainment, not any sense of constructive dialog. (now it’s personal)

          13. rick gregory

            As Brandon notes, you will always find a reason. And use it as a shield.

          14. Brandon Burns

            Agree to disagree if you want, but do not play the angry black man card. I’m pointing out facts, in disagreement with your argument. It’s that simple.

          15. Chimpwithcans

            You assume too much. And I never mentioned your race once, just that you are sounding angry.

          16. Brandon Burns

            I’m not assuming anything. You referred to me as angry, and used it as a way to diminish what I said. This is something that many white people do very often, a tactic used to systemically oppress a voice or opinion. It is referred to as playing the angry black man card. You weren’t aware that you played it, and probably don’t want to be associated with it, so you’re brushing it off. I’m simply making you aware.

          17. LE

            Well I don’t know Brandon. If you are trying to sell someone on something did you ever see that successfully done by being perceived as being “angry”. If you want to get your ideas across, you perhaps could do better by not appearing to be making demands (and “angry”).

          18. Chimpwithcans

            You give me too much credit. I really just thought you sounded angry. To quote JLM, you are using a vocabulary which contains pent up emotion. If you are ever in SA please come stay with me. It would be good to get your perspective on my reality. I feel like I didn’t get my point across. I think SA is a useful case study which may give pause to any enforced integration ideas. Nerd to make integration more holistic and less open to manipulation in my opinion.

        2. LE

          But if they could take beatings and killings for centuries, you should be able to let some ignorant comments here and there roll off your back.What is this shit? Centuries? Ok so I will have a bias against Germans because my Dad was in a concentration camp and his mother, father, and sisters and brothers (really) died at the hands of Germans. (2 survived the rest of his family all died). But that is not the case. I am interested in what exists today and not what happened back in 1940 let alone hundreds of years ago.Fwiw when my Dad came to this country he had nothing and as a jew with an accent both he and his peers were pretty much treated like shit. It wasn’t as if the red carpet was rolled out for them with opportunity, other than opportunities that they earned or had from within their own community. [1] Working hard, going to night school all of those things of the american dream. Would it have been harder if he was black? Probably but so what.[1] Jews who were here and were doing well enough put up immigrants in their own house and gave them housing assistance. And I don’t mean wealthy ones either the family that housed my dad lived in a row home neighborhood.

          1. Brandon Burns

            “I am interested in what exists today and not what happened back in 1940 let alone hundreds of years ago.”Of course you’re not interested in taking a good look at the despicable behavior that other white people like you took part in. But news flash: it’s the root cause of the discrimination that we have today.Ignoring that, from your position of privilege, makes you part of the problem.

          2. LE

            despicable behavior that other white people like you took part inNice! So now I am bad just because my skin color was white even though I wasn’t around when any of this happened.

          3. Info Sample

            I’ve seen similar logic many times on this blog when the topic is race. When you say how hard you and your family worked, it seems like this is somehow unique. As if black people don’t work hard, go to night school, and pursue the American Dream.I wish very badly we could get past the work harder and get an education argument.

          4. LE

            No my point with that is that he wasn’t born into it that’s all. I know it’s harder for someone who is black given the same set of circumstances.

        3. cv harquail

          “Racism against White people” is the perfect example of a concept that — once you commit to learning about racism — demonstrates someone’s ignorance.

          1. Chimpwithcans

            I admit, my remarks are not based on intellectual learning of a topic, but of day to day experiences. Maybe enforced integration is the best route to race nirvana – but it should also be acknowledged that it can and does have unanticipated consequences.

          2. Kirsten Lambertsen

            “once you commit to learning about racism” — I’d love to see all the white people here do just that.

          3. cv harquail

            Maybe AVC/USV or even the NYTechMeetup could sponsor a field trip to this conference in October: Exploring White Privilege in New England! https://www.regonline.com/w… #wps-ne | Looking at the registration materials, and last year’s agenda, is an education in itself.

          4. Jason Harris

            Are you saying it’s not possible to be racist against white people?

          5. cv harquail

            You won’t even have to google the whole question– it will autocomplete for you. But, to help you out, here’s the top result:http://www.huffingtonpost.c

          6. Jason Harris

            1. You can’t use Huffington Post as a source2. Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior to another, therefore, the arguement in the Huffington Post article is definitionally incorrect3. It is possible to be racist against any race, regardless of who the recipient isThat being said, I completely sympathize with what Brandon is saying. Our world is far from perfect today.

    4. LE

      Wieden+Kennedy, my former employer, got a ton of kudos in advertising industry press yesterday for posting a #blacklivesmatter message on the company website. Meanwhile, 28 of the 30 Creative Directors who lead the agency are white males. The in-house recruiters actively source qualified candidates of all races and genders, yet for some reason the Creative Directors have hired a staff that is 80% white male.Yet they hired you and then you left the company. Why was that?

      1. Jess Bachman

        Meanwhile, 28 of the 30 Creative Directors who lead theagency are white males.

        1. LE

          My question was why did he leave the company.

          1. ShanaC

            to do a startup 🙂

    5. Erin

      I didn’t have my aha moment about black people until I started dating one, the aha moment being that as a white person, I can feel comfortable around them and not have that awkward white guilt/fascination separate us. But because we can’t all start dating black people, I do have a suggestion, but it’s more like a micro-suggestion: mindfulness. As a meditator (and an office manager), I’d notice a very slight uptick in my heart rate when a person of any color walked into the office, this being associated with a tiny surge in a stress hormone called cortisol. Barely perceptible – and I’d say not perceptible when I was a non-meditator- but it was there – a compendium of guilt, reactions and counter-reactions to stereotypes, and a whole mess of other emotions that rise to the surface in a fraction of an instant- and if I didn’t notice it, it affected how I treated them (I’d impose on them the official rules that I usually let slide for people I “trusted”, or I’d say no more easily, etc). If I was present, though, and I did notice it, I was able to see through that heightened cortisol level and make a better judgement on other behavioral cues, not one based on the color of their skin. White people don’t have to think about any of this kind of stuff because we’re not on the receiving end of it, and if we are, it’s because of our personality or appearance -something we can alter- and not based on something as permanent as our skin tone. But we can be aware of our unconscious internal reactions that throw an invisible veil over our relations with people of color, and I think that’s a moral imperative. From my experience, mindfulness is the most important and powerful first step in learning to see past race.

      1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        Weird -Although I felt the same about death in someones family. As in when you have experienced it personally the taboo / discomfort evaporates about discussing with others.The first girl I dated as a teenager was Jamaican so I guess no aha moment ever occurred to me – colour had just never mattered. – I still listen to some ska now and then.Funny – I haven’t thought of her in decades – hope she is doing OK

        1. Susan Rubinsky

          That may be because of the demographics of where you grew up?

          1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

            I think more that my family were fundamentally culturally open. Father had early years in Belgium, Germany Italy before returning to England, Grandfather lectured economics in Italy Germany during great inflation. They had seen racial hatred and xenophobia at its worst and were fundamentally loving people.So I guess I got a few knocks standing up for “them” instead of “us ” from ignorant peers – but was taught that’s how people learn to know better. – by seeing others walk the talk.Explains why I am so horribly disappointed with what the UK has done / is doing to the Eurpoean project.Its 1930’s all over again if we really care to re-visit. I vote for unity and respect for difference rather than blind hatred – but there you go.

    6. LE

      Acknowledging that there’s a problem is not enough. You cannot just write a blog post, and then go to bed at night feeling good about “doing something,” and then wake up the next morning and go to work in an environment that continues to support the discrimination that you just condemned. Especially when it’s an environment that you’re in direct control of changing.I disagree with you Brandon.First you assume that Fred hiring or investing in a “black advantageous way” is going to “solve the problem”. It’s not. The problem is deeper than that. And you know it. That happens to be just how you see the problem from your perspective. As a person who ironically is doing fine opportunity wise because you are talented and have a good education and provide a valuable product.Second to attempt to put a guilt trip on someone who is really just a regular business person who has achieved visible success, and who actually has helped minorities in other ways ( see http://www.afsenyc.org/ ) is a typical attitude taken by minorities that “it’s never enough you need to do more”. And Fred is not a hypocrite. Why? This blog post is about gun violence and race relations. It’s not about affirmative action or hiring more African Americans. You have drawn the conclusion that the way to solve the problem is to give jobs or opportunities that have typically gone to whites to blacks. Not everybody agrees with you on that. (Plus in theory if you are right that would simply create the same problems in white communities so it’s a bit of musical chairs in my mind).Let me ask you this. Do blacks who are successful stay and live in those shitty areas or do they move to safe areas? And what do blacks that are successful do for those people who have no opportunity? I would like to know the answer, statistically to that question…

      1. Brandon Burns

        There’s so much blind, ignorant privilege in this comment, I almost don’t even know where to start.First of all, let’s address this: “Typical attitude taken by minorities that ‘it’s never enough you need to do more.'”In the end, blog posts like this one Fred posted today are net-negative. When people post things like this, the following sense of “I’ve done something” is becomes a shield and excuse to continue poor behavior. It is the classic, “But I have black friends, so how could I be discriminatory?” argument; it becomes the “proof” you use to safe face every time someone points out you did something discriminatory. So, yes, more should be done, because the post — while I know it comes from a good place — has unintended, yet still seriously negative consequences.I’m not trying to guilt trip Fred, and you have some balls to detract from an important message on diversity by reducing it to a guilt trip. There is nothing emotional or personal about what was said, just a mere statement of facts, delivered from my perspective. Feel free to disagree with me on the merits of different hiring or funding strategies, but do that classic privileged white person thing of calling “woe is me” when you’ve been called out.And now let’s get to this: “And what do blacks that are successful do for those people who have no opportunity?”You should be ashamed of yourself for letting those words enter your brain, let alone type them out. First of all, we exist; we show the up-and-coming generations that there is a path that can lead to something better. We teach. We send money home. We protest. We march. We do what we can with what we have, which statistically is a mere fraction of the assets and tools that you as a white person has. And how dare you assume otherwise.

        1. LE

          I’m not trying to guilt trip Fred, and you have some balls to detract from an important message on diversity by reducing it to a guilt tripOh boy there you go. We are commenting on AVC and I have to be politically correct and conform to what you think is right. Not the way I see it.but do that classic privileged white person thing of calling “woe is me” when you’ve been called out.What exactly makes me a “privileged white person”? My family didn’t come over on the Mayflower or anything like that.You should be ashamed of yourself for letting those words enter your brainSee that’s the problem Brandon. We can’t even have a conversation about this without you trying to go all parental with me. That’s the same way many white immigrants parents raise their kids by the way. Shame and putdown for any idea that enters their brain that differs from what the elders think they should be thinking or saying. It was a question. If you have evidence to offer, give the evidence. You don’t have to attack the mere act of questioning.

          1. Brandon Burns

            You’re right on that last point. Shame is a terrible thing, and it doesn’t help to make people feel like they shouldn’t be in a conversation.As far as the rest, I’ve already given my argument for why you’re wrong. Disagree if you want, but keep it on the facts, instead of trying to reframe something as a personal attack. Or agree to disagree.

          2. Jerry Hall

            “What exactly makes me a “privileged white person”? “The answer to that is the fact that you asked the question.

      2. Kirsten Lambertsen

        For once, you need to just listen. Please try it. You aren’t black so you don’t know the first thing about what it’s like to be black. If you care at all about making things better, it’s time to put aside your defensiveness and attitudes and just LISTEN to black people. Period.

        1. LE

          Actually I have my opinions and will express it even on AVC with it’s liberal bias. If you would like to address what I said and reply in details I am all ears. Simply saying “listen up you don’t know what it’s like to be Black” and calling me defensive is not going to enlighten me much. I already know I don’t know what it’s like to be black.

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            It’s up to you to seek enlightenment. It’s not my job or Brandon’s to enlighten you. I’m suggesting that enlightenment could come from just listening to black people today and doing everything you can to open your mind, drop your preconceived notions, and ask yourself if you have biases that are contributing to the problem.I’m suggesting you’re not in any position to tell Brandon anything about being black.And I’m not going to stand by today and leave all this heavy lifting to Brandon. He’s doing you a favor by engaging you at all.

          2. cv harquail

            This kind of response reminds me of the Dunning-Kreuger effect, wherein people who don’t know much about something are unable to see how really wrong they are, because they lack the meta-knowledge to see the place of their ideas/skills in the big picture. “Unskilled and Unaware” is the title of the original research, and that dynamic is happening here.Speaking as a white professor, (hence the science connection) many White people keep repeating comments that they think are ‘opinions’, and they make requests of others that they think are appropriate (e.g., enlighten me) because they don’t. even. know. enough about how racism works — and how *their* racism works, to see it in action in their own behavior.But it’s easy enough to fix. Go google “what White people should know about racism” and “how White people can learn about racism”.

          3. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Watching and learning from you today 🙂

          4. ShanaC

            what do you teach (mostly curious)

          5. cv harquail

            my degree is in Leadership and Organizational Change, and I teach Entrepreneurship/Lean Startup approaches Its really fun and interesting. you might like one of my recent prototypes– a Feminist Lean Project Canvas, for making your projects at work more likely to change the system…. It’s open for comments on google drive: https://docs.google.com/doc

          6. ShanaC

            very cool. and thank you!

          7. Donna Brewington White

            I tried this on Google. Enlightening.

          8. ShanaC


          9. Donna Brewington White

            I already know I don’t know what it’s like to be black.Oh but I wish you could. Just for one day.And I say this as someone who is fond of you — or at least as fond of someone as you can be without ever having actually met them.

          10. LE

            People like me are not “the problem” though. I don’t interface in any way that is meaningful and when I do I am always nice like I am with anybody. Actually I think I am nicer because I am conscious about it.

      3. Susan Rubinsky

        So, when a white guy like you calls Fred out on something, it’s a dialogue but when a black guy calls Fred out on something it’s a guilt trip?

        1. LE

          I have taken on people who call Fred out who are both black and white. And actually with few exceptions I don’t even know their skin color or nationality. And I also disagree with Fred. The difference is when I disagree with someone (Fred or otherwise) I try to be respectful in the way that I do it (as a general rule at least).Noting as an example that this way that Kirsten disagreed with me is not respectful:Please just get out of the way so that the rest of us can get something done.I will also note that there is a clear difference on this blog when people disagree with Fred and when they disagree with someone else. Although there are people that are disrespectful to Fred for sure, most people who disagree with him tend to be respectful or add human or caveats to the way they discuss things with him. JLM tends to go in the direction of disrespectful (with his language) and Arnold tends to go in the direction of respectful as two examples.

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            People are trying to tell you that, whether you realize it or not, you are being incredibly disrespectful to Brandon and all black people. And in this instance, that disrespect does real harm in the world, as part of a larger attitude held by many white people.

          2. LE

            And in this instance, that disrespect does real harm in the world1) Explain how having a dissenting point of view on a blog post “does real harm in the world”.2) As far as disrespect to Brandon disagreeing with Brandon is not disrespectful. And example of that would be if Brandon’s family member was the person who was killed in which case I would simply have offered my sympathy to him.People are trying to tell you thatWell not everyone acts in a way that is in accordance with what the majority or even a minority of opinions are about something. Especially noting what I am guessing, and I hate to use this word, liberal bias is here on AVC. Especially in startup world that should be a pretty well known concept.

          3. Kirsten Lambertsen

            It is my belief that the attitudes you harbor do real harm in the real world.

          4. sachmo

            When you say things like ‘all minorities claim it’s never enough, you need to do more’ that’s extremely offensive, and beyond just political correctness, it’s stupid and wrong.If you were a member of an easily identifiable group that:a) were profiled, arrested, and killed at a much higher percentage than other groups (accounting for population and crime rates) by policeb) were sentenced to much harsher punishments for the same crimes by our justice systemc) were paid less on average for the same quality of workd) the list goes on…you would be outraged. You might just have the attitude of ‘it’s never enough’ if in a plethora of aspects in life you experienced this constant rejection of your group. Seriously, go take a look at that comment again.Brandon is right by the way, USV can at the very least post stats on race and gender of ppl they fund if they wanted to be leaders of change in their industry. Fred puts himself out there by blogging, and by mining our collective thoughts every day. It’s ok for him to take some criticism from time to time.

      4. sachmo

        >a typical attitude taken by minorities that “it’s never enough you need to do more”Um… what? Do you realize what a broad brush you are painting other people with, people who you have no idea what their experience is like in life?Have you ever had a charged encounter with a law enforcement official, despite the fact that you were not doing anything unlawful at all? Do you have any direct experience with this?If you did, you might also have a sense of outrage. Comments like this are extremely offensive.

        1. LE

          Have you ever had a charged encounter with a law enforcement official, despite the fact that you were not doing anything unlawful at all?I actually did about 12 years ago. I was heading home late at night from NYC and was stopped for speeding (ok that is doing something wrong I guess) by a state trooper. He was extremely rude and he and seemed amped up …. like his eyes were bulging. Afaik that was the only time that happened to to me. And when it happened I actually did think what it must be like to be constantly stopped like that. So yes I can imagine what someone feels like if that happens to them frequently.Return the offensive comment with commentary and/or facts or your opinion. (Which you are doing in part). Don’t try to censure me or someone by telling them they are being offensive by expressing what things seem like to them, and just expect them to understand. Engage in a discussion if you want (or not) simply trying to shut someone up doesn’t solve anything.

          1. sachmo

            You were speeding… The officer pulled you over for a discernable reasonHave you ever been stopped for doing nothing at all? Such as walking through a wealthy neighborhood wearing a hoodie?I have been stopped by police for no reason other than walking through my neighborhood wearing a hoodie. I’m the president of a condo association. The officer even felt bad about it, when he started talking to me. I’m not black, but brown skinned. I have been stopped on 3 independent occasions in my neighborhood for literally no reason.I don’t think you understand the difference.By the way your original comment – that all minorities think “it’s never enough you need to do more” – is a textbook generalization of entire group…It implies that all minorities want hand outs undeservedly, and that there are no real systemic injustices. It’s a complete BS comment on so many levels – it deserves to be pointed out.

          2. LE

            I said:is a typical attitude taken by minorities that “it’s never enough you need to do more”And importantly the context was comparing what Brandon wanted Fred or think he should do vs. what I have seen Fred do with AFSE as only one example. In other words Brandon seems imply that he gets to decide what is enough for someone like Fred to do and anything Fred does “is not going to seem like enough” was what I was saying.That is quite different (in context) to you putting words in my mouth such that I say as a blanket statement “it’s never enough”.Of course it’s unfortunate that you were stopped when you were wearing a hoodie and doing nothing wrong.

          3. Ryan Frew

            I, also, have had a charged encounter with a law enforcement official, and it was one of the most enlightening moments of white privilege I’ve ever had. Maybe this will add some perspective to the conversation. I don’t know…I was a white, 17 year old male wearing a school uniform. I was on my way home from my private high school, driving through the wealthy suburb that I lived in, with a “Walsh Jesuit” sticker on the back of my white Lexus, when a cop pulled me over for speeding. At some point in the stop, I reached for my license or moved my hands in a way that made the officer so uncomfortable that he pulled his weapon on me. My first instinct was literally to laugh at the cop (typical white teenage invincibility and naivety) and tell him that he wasn’t going to shoot me. I then told the cop that if he wrote me a ticket, I’m sure that it would come up that he drew his gun on me also, and he let me go. I wasn’t scared for a moment. Now imagine what it would have felt like, alternatively, if I was black, had grown up surround by these news stories and a mother who felt this way: https://www.youtube.com/wat

          4. Jerry Hall

            …imagine that same stop, and you were called out of your car at gunpoint in a felony stop, walking backwards, kneeling, laying on the ground on your face… all because ‘someone that fit your description’ just robbed a house nearby… Then having to be taken downtown for questioning, having your car towed, having to somehow get back home to get sleep, get to the tow yard in the morning, having to deal with an attorney, court, fines… and all the related loss of income, time… all because of your skin color. This happens to black Americans every day… and now we’re finally seeing it includes being shot dead in case after case… and nothing more productive comes to mind than arguing based on your perception?

          5. LE

            This happens to black Americans every dayWhat is the probability of all of that happening to black persons everyday? And what % of those blacks are actually criminals with a rap sheet? You wouldn’t doubt that it happens to whites as well, right? I think any discussion of this with generalities is problematic. I don’t doubt that it happens but question the degree. That is how you describe vs. just a rude cop. (Once again neither of us has any statistics on this).

      5. Quantella Owens

        Dear LE,I may be able to give you insight, personally, and NOT on this blog. Would you allow me to contact you offsite? And if so, where? I don’t do social media or any of that crap. And I no longer comment generally on AVC.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          And I no longer comment generally on AVC.Quantella, if I contributed to this decision, I am sorry.

    7. Twain Twain

      I’m not black. I’m not white. I’m not yellow either. I am the spectrum of my startup icon. That’s how I see other people too and it informs the systems I make, and am bringing to market.I see us all heading towards the future and doing what’s right, guided by the lights of sense and inclusion.We change things that are wrong by designing and building better systems and letting the wisdom of crowds tell us what’s right/wrong and WHY.

    8. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Thank you SO much for sharing your thoughts. Every time a black person says anything to try and help white people understand their lives, we should be extremely grateful.I hope I’m right here, but it feels like this was the week that white people finally got woke. I, personally, have committed to stopping and videoing any time I see a person of color being stopped by the police, and I have volunteered my time and skills to BLM. I encourage every white person here to do the same.White people need to realize that we’re uniquely positioned to leverage our privilege to help change things.

      1. Noah Steadman

        leverage is really more of a (((white))) game in my experience

      2. Donna Brewington White

        Brandon has given us a rare gift.Ever had one of those dreams where you are screaming at the top of your lungs and no sound is coming out?I think worse than that is pouring out your heart and the words coming out are completely different than what you are actually saying.Same result when people refuse to listen or filter what is being said through their own biases and agenda.I grew up thinking that “shut up” was a swear word and yet I want to say “SHUT UP and listen” as I read through the comments.Thanks for being you, Kristen.

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          Solidarity, my friend. Thank *you* for showing up even on days like this. It’s thanks to fiercely strong people like you (mostly on Twitter!) that I learned so much this last year about being black in the U.S. I know I have much more to learn and am incredibly lucky to have friends like you :-)We *really* need to do that meet-in-person-and-drink-wine thing!

          1. Donna Brewington White

            Wish I could have been more present in the comments. It’s been a very full day onsite with a client in a coworking space.I could so use a glass of wine right now.Soon, my friend. Soon.

      3. ShanaC


      4. Erin

        “Stopping and videotaping when I see a person of color being stopped by the police”. Nice. I like that. I’ll do that too. I kind of did a version of this going through security at the airport the other day- there was an old indian couple going through security amongst a bunch of white people, and their bags were the only ones that got riffled through. I kind of stood off to the side to make sure they got through ok….

        1. Mariah Lichtenstern

          When non-blacks routinely do this in solidarity, it will send a powerful message to officers, passersby, victims, and the community at large that you actually care about what is happening to your fellow citizens of another hue.

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I hope so, so much. Thanks, Mariah.

    9. Lorraine Bessix

      How difficult will it be to disrupt the medical/pharmaceutical technology and invent a pill that would turn all blacks to white. I mean, the world is all white bereft of any racism. That would solve most of the problem.Now come the real question .. Who would fund the project ? Black or White ?

      1. SubstrateUndertow

        How difficult will it be to disrupt the medical/pharmaceutical technology and invent a pill that would turn all whites to black.I’m old I remember the 60’sBlack is beautiful

        1. Lorraine Bessix

          Whites to blacks ?? Not fair :-)Because you know whites just don’t like to take pills for an unworthy cause

        2. Lawrence Brass

          Our hearts are all red, so our blood.Less hate, more devotion…https://www.youtube.com/wat…”Thru devotion, blessed are the childrenPraise the teacher, that brings true love to manyyour devotion, opens all life’s treasuresand deliverance, from the fruits of evil.So our mission, to bring a melody,ringin’ voices sing sweet harmony””For you here’s a song, to make your day brighter.One that will last, you long thru troubled days.Giving your heart the light to brighten.All of the dark that falls in your wayYou need devotion. bless the childrendeliverance from the fruits of evil””In everyone’s life, there’s a need to be happy.Let the sun shine, a smile your way.Open your heart, feel a touch of devotion.Maybe this song, will help uplift your day.””Make a better wayYou need devotion”Earth, Wind and Fire.

      2. Donna Brewington White

        Take away race and I am confident that another -ism could be found.We would find something other than race. Remember how the Irish immigrants were treated? The Italians? By other whites.There would never be enough pills to solve the problem.

        1. Lorraine Bessix

          Well said, Donna. This thought did not occur to me for whatever reason

          1. Donna Brewington White

            How did I miss this! Ha!

    10. Ana Milicevic

      Brandon – sending you love and good vibes today and every day. You’re spot on, as usual.

      1. Jim Murray

        Not sure why you support Brandon. I only see that this is an ostensible display of Brandon’s affinity towards his race than a true feeling and empathy towards blacks.I doubt if Brandon were to start a company or to attend a physician he would prefer to meet with a black race first than a talented non-blank

        1. Ryan Frew

          Since when are talent and black mutually exclusive?

          1. Jim Murray

            for ages now. it is an open secret you probably know too 🙂

          2. Ryan Frew

            Talent and black are not mutually exclusive. But “open” and “secret” certainly are.*contains offensive language out of respect for Fred and the mods and moves on….

          3. Jim Murray

            I am speaking for Fred, yo

          4. ShanaC

            …fred almost always speaks for himself. On the rare occasions he doesn’t, it is usually a family member, like Joanna, who acts as proxy. You seem to be neither him nor family. So I doubt that you speak for him

          5. Donna Brewington White

            Trolls will troll.

          6. Jim Murray

            I beg you to differ. Trolls sometimes are the ones you know already but won’t identify themselves as the urge is always to have their alter ego speak up when it matters most…

          7. stevec77

            I have to say that what Jim Murray has added to the discussion required courage. For those above who immediately called him out as a troll, you are precisely the people Brandon and Jim are both calling out. Race relations in this country are festering, in part because we can’t handle the truth. It takes courage to speak truth to power, to LISTEN when that truth is being spoken and to consider it and discuss it. Until YOU can appreciate what Brandon and Jim are saying, nothing is going to improve.

          8. Jim Murray

            Thanks Steve. You got it right.I am sure most people agree with you as they would with me .

    11. ShanaC


    12. Dave Pinsen

      Brandon,You’re a smart and talented guy, and I generally enjoy your comments. I actually enjoy this one, on a superficial level, as it’s always fun to see white liberals get trolled. But this is self-serving and false, on multiple levels.1) The number of blacks employed by your former employer or by tech companies has zero to do with the cops who shot the black men in Minnesota and Louisiana (let’s note that the cop in MN wasn’t white, btw).2) The reason why more blacks aren’t hired or funded in tech has little if anything to do with racism. It has to do with a paucity of qualified blacks. Other fields have similar challenges finding qualified blacks.3) Cops are less likely to shoot blacks than whites. Adjusted for homicide rates, whites are 1.7x more likely to be shot by cops (see tweet below). You don’t hear much about whites shot by cops, because it doesn’t advance the media / Democrats’ preferred narrative, of minorities as victims and white men as oppressors (which helps unite the Democrats’ fractious coalition in election years), and because President Obama, apparently, doesn’t care enough to give a speech when a white person gets shot by a cop.4) Cops are too quick to shoot suspects, regardless of their race. If this were acknowledged, there might have been a chance at a constructive solution. Black Lives Matter has been divisive and counterproductive, and by stoking racial resentment among young black men, it has likely contributed to more people being killed.https://twitter.com/noomise

      1. cavepainting

        Hi, this is a false argument. White Adult population is 70+% of the total, while Black is around 13%. If you normalize for the 5.5x more adult population and arguably higher crime rate in the black community, you still end up with > 3x higher death of blacks vs. whites relative to their population and crime rates.

        1. Dave Pinsen

          The black homicide rate is 7x the white rate.

          1. cavepainting

            Hi, i think the only fair comparison is to look at the data related to a) how many black people are stopped by cops vs. whites, and b) what percentage of these lead to shootings when the individual is not seeking a violent confrontation. I do not know if we can ever get objective data on this, but that would throw more light than any other type of analysis.

      2. Brandon Burns

        I disagree. My perspective on discrimination, and how it manifests itself in corporate America, is different from yours. We live in a world where shooting an unarmed black person becomes the definition of a racist act, and thus makes people think that’s where the bar is. But the bar is lower. Discrimination manifests itself in quiet ways in white collar America. In sneaky ways. And most times, in ways that the perpetrators themselves don’t even know that they’re doing.I once was promoted, along with 3 other white colleagues. They all got a 20% raise. I got 7%. My boss has his “reasons.” Literally could not see how weak those reasons were in the face of giving three white people 3x more money than me. Not until I went to HR, and they stepped in, told him how stupid he was being, and then made him rectify the error.Racism is hard to root out when it’s buried in subjectivity. But here are some objective facts:1) It is proven that integration in schools and in the work place leads to better race relations. Social science has proven that many times over.2) There is not a paucity of qualified blacks. Black women are now statistically the most educated demographic cohort in the U.S., yet are also statistically the most marginalized. Anecdotes lead to myths, data leads to truth. The truth is that there are plenty of qualified blacks.3) Cops are 3x more likely to shoot and kill a black person who’s been stopped than a white person. Again, fact, with the data to prove it below.4) I won’t argue with you there.At the end of the day, people can only make judgement calls using the filters that they have, the filters that their culture has shaped. You, yourself, have probably done something racist and didn’t even know it. I lived in China, so I’ve been there; I know what it’s like to have a different cultural language, and end up stepping on someone’s toes and not even know it. I, on multiple occasions, gave preferential treatment to the native English speakers on my team; I spent more time with them, naturally, and would turn to them first for all kinds of things. But that was wrong — human nature, and easy to do without noticing, but still wrong — and I made efforts to catch myself and rectify it.The difference is that I was aware of my place in that role, which is easier when you’re in a foreign country and it’s more obvious. But white people in the U.S. are not aware. They think that their filters are everyone’s filters, so sometimes they completely miss it when they’ve done something wrong. I’ve seen it happen time and time again.You haven’t seen it. But, trust me, if a tree falls in the woods, it made a sound whether you were there to see it or not. This stuff is happening.

        1. Dave Pinsen

          I can’t argue with your experience in the workplace. It may well have been racism that caused them to offer you less of a raise, and good for you in confronting them about that. But with respect to your numbered points:1) I’m somewhat skeptical. The best companies tend to have senior leadership that’s fairly homogenous, from what I’ve seen. Robert Putnam famously found that diversity in neighborhoods increases social isolation, decreases social trust, volunteerism, etc. It could be the negatives are ameliorated in workplaces when diverse individuals are from the same social class though. Ross Douthat’s recent column sort of touched on this, and the liberal elites’ hypocrisy about broader diversity: https://twitter.com/dpinsen…2) The average IQ of African Americans is significantly lower than that of white Americans (who, in turn, have lower average IQs than Asian Americans). This says nothing about any individual African American’s intelligence — there are, of course, black geniuses — but it does mean, given the way intelligence is distributed within human populations, that there are going to be disproportionately fewer African Americans at the right end of the bell curve where the tech companies recruit and venture capitalists fund (see image below; “NLSY” stands for “National Longitudinal Survey of Youth”, the US government program that collected the data). For more on the general topic of race & IQ, see this FAQ by an African American blogger on the topic, which links to primary sources: https://jaymans.wordpress.c…3) This is another way of slicing the data, one which ignores the difference in crime rates. The data I included in my previous comment showed that, when adjusted for homicide rates, whites are 1.7x more likely to be killed by cops. The black homicide rate is about 7x the white rate. So blacks that are stopped by police are more likely to be wanted for serious crimes such as homicide than whites.4) We’ll always have #4. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

          1. Brandon Burns

            1) That’s the “discredit the medicine because it doesn’t taste good” argument. The negative emotions that come after integration pale in comparison to the negative side-effects of discrimination. Would you rather disgruntled neighbors, or dead ones?2) Science has shown that IQ is more closely linked to socio-economic environment. Yes, black people as a cohort have a lower IQ — that cohort also is statistically in poverty. Black people with means have the same IQ level as white people with means, as the very article you linked to points out extensively (claim #5).3) You can slice data however you want. Hopefully I’ve given you enough evidence already to show you that you’re viewing things from a filter that is white, and that is neither 100% accurate nor 100% universal.You can keep listing “reasons” for why you don’t think there is a problem, or why you think the problem is justified, or why you think there’s nothing that can be done — or you can find reasons to give credence to the opposing information that I’m giving you. You can choose your bias, but there always is one.

          2. Dave Pinsen

            1) On the contrary, Putnam is a liberal, who was sad to find that the “medicine” (increasing diversity) had such negative outcomes. Note, too, that you can have less diversity without racial discrimination. For example, you could limit immigration. Most of our increasing diversity over the last 50 years has come from immigration.Also, note that attempts to increase diversity via affirmative action have had negative consequences — and those negative consequences were even predicted ahead of time, with eery accuracy: http://heterodoxacademy.org…2) I think you may have misread. See his #9 for elaboration. Excerpt:As we can see, on the SAT (which is simply another IQ test), the poorest Whites collectively outscored the wealthiest Blacks.3) I’m not viewing things through a “white” filter, but quoting a noted criminologist’s assessment of the data.You can keep listing “reasons” for why you don’t think there is a problem, or why you think the problem is justified, or why you think there’s nothing that can be done I guess I spoke too soon when I said we’d always have 4). You seem to have already forgotten that I acknowledged there was a problem with cops being too quick to resort to lethal force. And I haven’t said I think there’s nothing that can be done. I just said that Black Lives Matter agitation hasn’t solved it, and neither will Fred Wilson funding more black entrepreneurs.

          3. Amar

            Fyi, I up-voted this 90% because of the civility of the response. The more examples we have of challenging discussions conducted in a civil manner – the better. The remaining 10% is because of the content provided — thank you, lots to read and digest in here.Also, nothing discussed here alters the fact that in 2016, there is no excuse for a man to be shot because of a broken tail light, especially in front of a 4 yr old girl he is raising as a daughter. I have two girls, 3 and 6 and the thought of my 6 year witnessing something like this from the back seat and carrying that memory with her for the rest of her life is devastating. Same goes for the daughter of a cop who sees her dad being shot – live on facebook – while he is serving to protect the rights of the citizens who are fed up and (rightfully) demanding change.

          4. Donna Brewington White

            As we can see, on the SAT (which is simply another IQ test)…It is arguable whether the SAT measures innate intelligence.For example:According to the College Board, the SAT now does not measure any innate ability. Wayne Camara, Director of the Office of research at the College Board told FRONTLINE that the SAT measures “developed reasoning,” which he described as the skills that students develop not only in school but also outside of school. From: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pag… Overall, the factors that influence racism and discrimination are not based on IQ. There are countless people of relatively average intelligence who have achieved success in our society throughout the ages based on the availability of opportunity while others of supreme intelligence have not become successful due to the lack thereof. I know successful people, including CEOs, who would probably never have reached that success based on their own intelligence or abilities, but rather based on who they knew or family connections, or even access to mentors, investors and capital, or even good legal counsel.It was a lot worse when I was in my 20s.* If you find a successful black person over the age of 40 it is very likely that this person has had to work twice as hard and be twice as smart to accomplish half as much.*But we still have far to go.

      3. Jerry Hall

        There’s an enormous amount of literature illustrating discrepancies in how black and white kids are educated and with what resources.A) Bright black students taught by black teachers are more likely to get into gifted-and-talented classroomsThe Hechinger Newsletter – Teachers College at Columbia Universityhttp://hechingerreport.org/…”Even between children with the same math and reading scores, a white student was twice as likely as a black student to get assigned to a gifted-and-talented program.”B) For Low-Income Kids, Access to Devices Could Be the Equalizerhttp://ww2.kqed.org/mindshi…”And when it comes to blocking sites, 49% of teachers of students living in low-income households say their school’s use of Internet filters has a major impact on their teaching, compared with 24% of those who teach better off students who say that. “”A recent study by QualComm showed that low-income students’ test scores increased by 30 percent after they were given smartphones to access more information and instruction and to collaborate with their peers.”I’ve been searching for the study done around 2009 that illustrated that, when all things were equal, black schoolchildren excelled and even scored higher than their white counterparts when given equal teaching and tools, as well as factoring in their living situation. Most white kids like me never feared getting killed on the way to and from school. That simple stress factor alone must have an enormous impact on our kid’s minds.We cannot possibly think that an IQ is the standard with which we can base such important life pathways for so many. That being said, if we were to use IQ as the primary measure, thank goodness for whites that Asians aren’t the dominant culture in America. My bet is all these arguments would change real quickly. ( /snark).

      4. Jerry Hall

        i) I do doubt as well that there’s a paucity of black entrepreneurs. Here’s a recent piece on (the lack of statistically significant) black women-founder funding…http://www.wired.com/2016/0…”black women today comprise the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the US, with over 1.5 million businesses—a 322 percent increase since 1997. These businesses generate over $44 billion a year in revenue.”yet, only 24 out of 10,238 venture deals from 2012-2014 were funded for black women founders at an average or $36k per deal (vs. white males average at $1.3m).ii) I would argue there is a paucity of funding for African Americans as relative to 2010 population numbers:White – 75% of population – 87% of fundingAsian – 4% of population – 12% of fundingBlack – 13% of population – <1% of fundingThe funding numbers are from the CBInsights 2010 report on VC funding and the racial composition of their portfolios. https://www.cbinsights.com/…iii) Kathryn Finney of DigitalUndivided.com and ProjectDiane.com has recently begun funding black-women led businesses likely in response to the lack of funding responses from the traditional market. Also, she may partially support the argument about a paucity of women founders as for over a year now she’s been collecting women-led companies and has found to date about 350. Does this mean there’s a genuine lack of interest among black women to strike off on their own and launch their startups? Not a chance. What is likely is that they are one, extremely busy working in a society much like an escalator where they’re required to walk up the down stairs two, a lack of funding and related resources.There’s opportunities to support all entrepreneurs but, it is disingenuous to assume and insist that everyone must follow the same funding-process template… I’ll bet 1,000,000:1 that most black entrepreneurs that have had difficulty in access to funding, need just a little more support until they are up on their feet. This isn’t about charity, it’s about parity… and those in the best position to help are likely who I perceive Brandon’s original post has respectfully called out.

    13. Julian Raphael

      Brandon, darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Don’t accuse. Don’t complain. Suggest a more precise action plan to Fred. I’m sure he’ll have a very close look, especially given your standing in this community.My personal idol as an entrepreneur is a black friend of mine from school, who built one of the most successful startups in my country together with two other non-caucasians. I never heard him complaining even once, be it about every day live or a race related matter. He said complaining usually ends in non-productive ad hominem attacks and he rather just tries to change the situation through quiet actions.A message full of (justified!) frustration will lead to some people comforting you and some people attacking you. A message that lays out a clear, non-polarising plan for how we as a community could help change the situation will always have a net-positive impact.

      1. Jerry Hall

        Funny how we, the white American male, tend to try to sooth our black neighbors temper… as if we’re trying to lull them back to sleep… while we go back on our merry way skipping along the path of white privilege.In reality, many white Americans are scared. We don’t understand. We have seen simmering tempers for years – decades – and when they begin to boil we try to sooth, rub their backs, tell them that everything is going to be OK.The truth is this is a bunch of crap and we all feel it, we see it, we read about it, then we instinctively put it out of our minds.Black men and women have been uniquely singled out, through carefully built structurally racist institutions, laws and policies, dictating their movement in strictly controlled environments and limiting their abilities to achieve the American dream like none other (the closest being our Native American population).How much evidence does one need to see that another is accurately representing their oppression? We’re smart, we have computers, we can read, we can see… we identify patterns, formulate hypotheses and test them in our minds over and over… so how can we be so obliviously blind? Are we just too busy with our privileged success to look around and see significant discrepancies… Didn’t we all read the same constitution, learn the same ethics, learn from the writings outlining our [if applicable] faiths?Black Americans have faced decades upon decades of being treated as if they were invisible, and that their fears and pains must be imaginary. We argue because we, smart as we all are, couldn’t see them… verifying that ‘fact’ through our wit, and our (and our media’s) bobbing-head agreement that ‘they’ must expect something that we should not have to bear any burden or expense to give. We posture that we earned our place by right because of the sweat equity of our forefathers, and by the work of our own [which by the way likely served customers looking just like us and giving us an early economic advantage due to market opportunities others did not enjoy].Meanwhile, we used our collective silence to validate our beliefs, day-after-day endorsing this invisibility and ‘their’ wild imaginations about discrimination, inequality, unfairness and even cruelty.We judge black Americans against a standard we believe all Americans are held to and are equally able to achieve. Yet, in fact most every one of us has not experienced one year of the life of any one of our black friends, acquaintances or neighbors to authenticate that the playing field is indeed identical.As for me and my like, we’re listening, we’re hearing, we’re learning… we’re positioning to how we can help our fellow man best circumvent the structurally racist mechanisms used to perpetuate an unjust oppression. How will you respond? Will you continue the silence or, will you use your position, power and influence to help your fellow man.I champion those who speak up and respectfully disagree with the status quo. I saw Fred’s original post and a welcome message of concern and comfort for all of us but, the shining light of it all was Brandon’s post holding what are good people to what is a good standard – that the big guy needs to step up and reach his hand out to those he sees are being dealt an unfair hand. To set the playing field right. To influence sustainable structures to ensure the pain not continue.And for those of us that just don’t get it? I for one bite my lip more than ever, I’m cautious, I’m skeptical but, when I see time and time again a consistent dunning of another’s life, I too will no longer remain silent. This isn’t about being quiet in a forum of venerated funders – this is about seeing an opportunity for disruption – and the myriad elements behind that opportunity to grow our nation economically but, IMHO more importantly – socially. Our fellow man is in need, what will be our response?

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Jerry, I have felt myself pulled back to the comments for this post throughout the weekend. I have felt a myriad of emotions, responded from time to time, restrained myself at others.The discussion in this thread is an old old scenario for me. But I feel a new momentum building. A new disruption on the horizon. I love disruption which is probably one of the chief reasons I love startups and turnarounds.When you began commenting on Friday evening, I felt a sense of relief.However, this is the first comment that actually caused me to break down just a little. So much truth here.Thank you.

    14. Salt Shaker

      I’ve been drawn back to this thread over and over again this weekend and finally felt compelled to chime in. First, thank you for your comments and enlightenment. This type of dialogue has been constructive for me personally and presumably for others, too. I have no idea what it’s like to live the life of a black man or woman in this country. The first time I truly became consciously aware of that was with the OJ verdict, where race unquestionably played a huge role in the trial’s outcome, despite the preponderance of incriminating evidence. Simply put, racism and prejudice is rampant in our country and has been for centuries. As a Jew I’ve experienced it firsthand both socially and professionally, although I believe my experiences pale in comparison to what a black person likely encounters on a daily basis. I know your intent was not to call out Fred and/or USV in their policies on diversity, but I frankly do feel that’s what transpired. I don’t know the Wilsons personally but from reading their blogs it is quite obvious they are generous with their time and resources in aiding and educating the disadvantaged. I know that you’ve pitched Fred (and probably Joanne) for funding on your start-up and I’m curious, to the extent you care to share, whether consciously or subconsciously, you believe, at some level, race played a role in their decision not to fund your endeavor? It does seem from years and years of racial discrimination, sometimes overt, other times less so, a black person’s opportunities, successes and/or failures justifiably are viewed through a racial prism, a perspective a white person rarely, if ever, encounters or needs to be cognizant of. This is more about how a black person, in this case you, might process information and outcomes (again given years of experiencing racial prejudice) rather than questioning if there truly was any bias on the Wilsons’ part, which I truly doubt. I know this question might be a tad too personal for you, and my apologies for asking if you interpret it that way.I believe there is universal consensus that the recent killings of black individuals by law enforcement is terribly tragic and likely is just a sliver of the mass racial abuse that transpires daily. That said, my fear is there’s an overwhelming move to indict ALL law enforcement, rather than a belief (perhaps wishful thinking on my part) that most law enforcement isn’t wired this way.I recently moved from NYC to Seattle, a city whose police dept. has been hit hard by a DOJ investigation that determined significant racial profiling and abuse. I can tell you from speaking with police officers on the street, many believe the changes mandated by the DOJ have made their lives (and the public’s) more dangerous. Even with probable cause their hands are tied. One police officer told us a story of a robbery of a food store committed by a black man with a knife. When the officer observed a man fitting the description running from the scene into a housing project, they were ordered to stand down rather than explore further, for fear of a potential overreach, even with probable cause.We’re dealing with complex problems that needs to balance public safety and security with civil liberties. Currently, there’s definitely an imbalance. I believe the solution needs to come from both the local and federal level starting with stronger gun legislation and a mandate for greater sensitivity training for all law enforcement. Major support for education is also needed, as you’ve indicated personally the advantages and opportunities you’ve had with better education avails relative to some of your relatives. One of my first observations of Seattle, which I shared with my girlfriend, was “this place is too white” (certainly in the downtown area where we live). I loved getting on the subway in NYC and seeing people of all color and backgrounds. I think part of the problem is too many cities and neighborhoods today don’t have the kind of diversity that brings on tolerance and enlightenment. Exposure begets change.Brandon, thanks for listening and sharing your enlightened dialogue.

  11. creative group

    Contributors:This is a thought out loud post.Are we as a country vetting our Law Enforcement Officers who are returning from war and landing a job straight to the Police agencies of the United States cities and states that may be suffering from PTSD?Ex-Military are given a soft review by other Ex-Military already employed at these Police agencies. The citizens concerns with local Law Enforcement militarizing the department.A majority of Urban communities are not anti Law Enforcement they are anti Police brutality and anti Police corruption. It appears a blind support for bad actors on Police forces until caught red handed and jailed. Complete silence after the convictions. All citizens should be troubled by unarmed and legally armed citizens being killed for no other reason than their ethnicity. Isolated incidents inclined to believe it based upon the statistics of who ethnically is being shoot and killed (More whites have been killed last year Law Enforcement than other groups) But more concerned with the non video taped shootings and the reliance only on the surviving witness account. The shooter.

    1. BillMcNeely

      Actually PTSD has nothing to do with since almost always veterans kill themselves over others. former military are good candidates to be police officers. in the military we have a higher standard for use of force

      1. creative group

        BillMcNeely:You had to misunderstand our post.We had suggested this might be a symptom of the unexplainable and unjustifiable shooting deaths of the majority of law enforcement who are Ex-Military involved in the shootings.

  12. jason wright

    the smartphone society documents itself across the full spectrum of human behaviour.do black cops shoot white people in the US?

  13. William Mougayar

    This just stuns me. I knew there was an income discrepancy, but not that large.”in 2011 the median U.S. white household had $111,146 in wealth holdings, compared to just $7,113 for the median Black household and $8,348 for the median Latino household.”http://www.demos.org/sites/…The inequality starts there. And the rest of what happens is consequential. If the US can’t lift 25% of its population out of poverty, then many of these issues will remain.

    1. awaldstein

      agree. this idea that everyone is born equal is just so much bullshit.

      1. Vendita Auto

        biological or social BS

        1. awaldstein


      2. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        Difference is between how you are born – and then (very soon after) – to whom you are born.In the same way i think how you die is very differentiated but post death we are also of very equal value as lumps of meat (in a physical sense)

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Death is the great equalizer isn’t it?And…”…to whom you are born”I was blessed to be born to a bona-fide crazy person who didn’t have a grasp on reality. Thankfully. Sure it caused some problems but her kids have defied the odds time and again.

          1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

            Bona-fide crazy -http://www.goodreads.com/qu…Great that people can see a way forward through adversityScout (Mockingbird) – fine folks – people who ‘did the best they could with what they had’

          2. Donna Brewington White

            I didn’t communicate that very well. I meant that we defied the odds because of what my mother instilled in us. Because she was not tethered to reality, we felt the freedom to create a different reality than the one being imposed on us by society. At least to some extent.This is probably why I love entrepreneurs. They see a different reality. This somehow feels familiar to me.

          3. James Ferguson @kWIQly

            Donna – thanks for sharing – My mother ( is in her eighties and seems in some respects as nutty as a fruitcake, has genius for seeing what she sees, then makes observations and makes them seem harsh ) – and has perhaps told me I will probably fail a million times . But she was the one when things looked really hard who sent me that poem (in an envelope by post – no comments just a postmark to identify the source) – Dont you quit….When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,When the funds are low and the debts are high,And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,When care is pressing you down a bit-Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.Life is queer with its twists and turns,As every one of us sometimes learns,And many a fellow turns aboutWhen he might have won had he stuck it out.Don’t give up though the pace seems slow -You may succeed with another blow.Often the goal is nearer thanIt seems to a faint and faltering man;Often the struggler has given upWhe he might have captured the victor’s cup;And he learned too late when the night came down,How close he was to the golden crown.Success is failure turned inside out -The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,And you never can tell how close you are,It might be near when it seems afar;So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit -It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

          4. Donna Brewington White

            Thanks for this, James. Yes, my mother is a genius. I grew up thinking my Dad was the genius (he was extremely smart) but the longer I live the more I appreciate my mother’s sheer brilliance — including true street smarts.

    2. pointsnfigures

      Gary Becker found that kids born out of wedlock do worse. Kids without fathers do worse. Kids that don’t graduate from high school do worse. In areas of the US I go where the white population has a high degree of children born out of wedlock with low graduation rates, income levels are low. His Nobel speech is genius: http://www.nobelprize.org/n…We have spent trillions in the “war on poverty” in the US.

      1. William Mougayar

        Maybe it wasn’t done right.But you can’t compare an overwhelming majority stat to an edge case. The majority stat I gave is a reality.

    3. James Ferguson @kWIQly

      William as mentioned above the key is the gini statistic – take a look at this shocking explanationhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wi…https://upload.wikimedia.or…In my view this shows exactly where to expect violence !

      1. Matt Kruza

        Have to challlenge.. gini is low in iraq, pakistan, afghanistan, sudan, egypt.. alll pretty (actually most violent in the world). So is income part of it, yeah, but at the minimum you have to make the argument : developed world and gini inequality. Maybe I ended up strengthening your argument, which I can see some validity. But needed disclaimers i gave are essential to any credibility

        1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

          No the problem is that gini is subject to official statistics – the true gini numbers in countries run by drug warlords / armed militia / extreme political factions is always a) massively understated (these people do not file tax returns)b) outdated.Unrest is generally under-reported/suppressed under the same conditionsConsider a gini of 1 represents perfect inequality and requires exactly one individual to have all assets – and pretty soon it becomes obvious.It requires power/force to maintain gini inequality

        2. Richard

          Yep, gini index is of course dependent to the population to which it is applied.

    4. Dan Epstein

      Richard Rothstein has done some interesting writing/research on this. The wealth gap is decades in the making. I hope it can be fixed faster.Short:http://www.npr.org/2015/05/…Long:http://www.epi.org/publicat…Exceprt:Many of these explicitly segregationist governmental actions ended in the late 20th century but continue to determine today’s racial segregation patterns. In St. Louis these governmental policies included zoning rules that classified white neighborhoods as residential and black neighborhoods as commercial or industrial; segregated public housing projects that replaced integrated low-income areas; federal subsidies for suburban development conditioned on African American exclusion; federal and local requirements for, and enforcement of, property deeds and neighborhood agreements that prohibited resale of white-owned property to, or occupancy by, African Americans; tax favoritism for private institutions that practiced segregation; municipal boundary lines designed to separate black neighborhoods from white ones and to deny necessary services to the former; real estate, insurance, and banking regulators who tolerated and sometimes required racial segregation; and urban renewal plans whose purpose was to shift black populations from central cities like St. Louis to inner-ring suburbs like Ferguson.

      1. William Mougayar

        I’ve driven in parts of Baltimore or Miami where I wasn’t sure it looked like I was in the US.

    5. kevando

      So you’re saying “help” is the answer?

      1. William Mougayar

        The solution for progress is not trivial. But it must be addressed.

  14. Vitor Conceicao

    Intolerance and radical behavior is growing all around the world. Not sure what is causing this but lately I feel the world is on the verge of either launching into a huge wave of prosperity an integration led by technology or falling back into feuds led by radical intolerants.

  15. sigmaalgebra

    As I have posted here at AVC too often for too long, I don’t like slavery.Put water in a pot, seal up the pot, put it on a fire, and wait. Yup, with a strong fire, soon the lid blows off the pot. When the pot blows, we’re really surprised? Along with saddened, upset, outraged, …? Are we, really? All that time we were heating that sealed pot, we were expecting something else?At one time in the US, we very, very, very much wanted an identifiable slave labor lower class; we worked at it; and, presto, bingo, we got one. We made a lot of money selling cotton and tobacco to England.We still have that problem of what we wanted so much, an identifiable slave labor lower class. We’re not the first: Last I heard, India has such. Some of the Islamic countries do. IIRC ISIS sells girls as young as 7 and young women as sex slaves for as little as $10 each. Apparently it is fairly common for poor families in poor countries to sell their daughters into sex slavery.But, here in the US, we have deliberately taken our immigration laws and processes, discarded them, gone for open borders, and, thus, are busy, eagerly, and rapidly, creating another identifiable laboring lower class to be taken advantage of, that is, more slavery.We used to keep some slaves in chains, made of iron. Now we have fully effective chains but without iron: We have education levels, skills with English, skin color, employment history, income, credit scores, birth certificates, neighborhoods, the social graph, etc. — no iron and quite effective.I don’t like slavery: I don’t want to be a slave, take advantage of a slave, compete in the job market with a slave, or have slaves in the US. Did I mention, I’m against slavery?We don’t see much slavery in NYS, but I spent too many years in Memphis where slavery was alive and well. I was eager to get the heck out of Memphis and did. Although I haven’t been back to Memphis for a long time, and certainly don’t want to go back, there are some strong symptoms that slavery is still there.Well, nearly none of the nice people want their daughter to date a slave or bring a slave home for dinner. More generally, the nice people have bitter contempt for the slaves.We do need a police force, a very good police force, but too soon the nice people understand that much of the job of the police is to keep down the slaves. So, they abuse the slaves: One is walking down the street, and the police might just abuse them. Sadistic, bully behavior. Nazi SA brown shirt behavior. Constitutional rights, human decency don’t count.If the slave is a young man, then teach him to behave, that is, be totally deferential, subordinate, subservient, obsequious, intimidated, obedient, etc. If such a young man too slowly drops his eyes, stands aside, and displays submissive body language, then give him some training: Have several police officers gang up on him, hurt him, have him drop to the ground in agony, hurt him some more, say, with boots and clubs, bind his hands and feet, throw him in the back of a paddy wagon, and give him a ride where stop, start, and turn the paddy wagon violently so that the young slave keeps crashing into the metal walls of the vehicle. Have fun giving that insufficiently subordinate young slave his education for maybe half an hour. Then lock him up. Yes, sometimes when open the back of the paddy wagon, the young slave is dead, and the police regard that as okay, too, since it sends a message to all the other insufficiently subordinate, young, slave men. Besides, to the police, as for much of the slave masters, slaves lives don’t much matter. Then, sure, now it can be difficult for the police to cover up the death of the young slave from the paddy wagon ride. So, the rest of the local law enforcement, investigations, prosecutors, grand juries, courts, and judges pursue the case and, sure, presto, bingo, all agree that the police did nothing wrong — certainly are not guilty of first degree murder that otherwise is obvious.Apparently more generally, if the police find someone, especially a slave, with a gun, where their having the gun is legal, and the gun is even in a glove compartment, then the police can just shoot the person and kill them, claim that they (the police) felt “threatened” by the slave with the gun, and have the rest of the justice system let the police go free. Likely much the same for a knife. Gee, the slaves, trying to set up a little food business at a fair, better be careful if they go shopping at a restaurant supply store and are driving back with some big pots, pans, bowls, spoons, wire whips, cutting boards, and kitchen knives. Those kitchen knives are dangerous, are for the police a license to shoot to kill for no additional reason and no consequences.Well, with this slavery stuff, slowly we are heating a pot that will eventually blow off its top. We are expecting something else? We’ve been heating that sealed pot: What the heck else do we expect?Now, some wealthy, powerful people, definitely nice people, want open borders for more slaves for their modern versions of plantations. So, these wealthy, powerful people bribe powerful politicians, ones who count dollars instead of ballots.Some more powerful people want enough slaves to be able to vote and vote for the political party of those powerful people.As that pot is first put on the fire, all looks okay, say, just as in the first scenes in Gone with the Wind. But, still that pot, that ugly pot, is sitting there building pressure.We’re building up conflict; really, from this slavery thing, we have a lot of conflict but are building more. We will have conflict between the people who want slaves to work but not vote, people who want slaves to vote but not work, the people who don’t want slaves, the law enforcement system hired to use boots, clubs, and guns and general abuse to hold down the slaves, and the slaves themselves. Conflict. Demonstrations. Then violent conflict.In particular, we have too many police who really, really, really hate the slaves, want nothing to do with the slaves, want to let the slaves go without police protection and kill each other off, really are afraid of the slaves, and, whenever they feel threatened or just get fed up with the slaves, pull out a gun and start shooting — they are shooting at just some one slave but, really, would like to line up all the slaves and shoot all of them. Since some of those police really, really, really HATE the slaves, it wouldn’t take much of a change in the state of politics in the US for many of those police to be a new version and close copy of Einsatzgruppen complete with jack boots, black uniforms, and SS insignia. Net, I don’t believe that the US can become Nazi Germany, but we can become too close. Too often we are too close now.But there no excuse and no surprise: Too many in the US want slaves, usually to make money from cheap labor and to leave the resulting problems to society at large and, in particular, to the police to beat down with boots, clubs, and guns and gross violations of the US Constitution. E.g., take some guy, maybe selling cigarettes one at a time, slam him to the ground, choke him to death, and get away with murder, in broad daylight, in public, with cell phone video.Well, that conflict promises violence.It’s tough to respond: Having more slavery is heavily favored by nearly all of the traditional leaders of each of the two main political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans. People who want more slavery include Obama, Bill and Hillary, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and more — they are all just adding numbers to the conflict, putting more fire under that pot about to blow apart.Folks, it’s totally obvious: The conflict can get a lot more violent than now.Sure, some people want to ditch the Second Amendment. But, do they also want to outlaw 100 pound bags of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, fuel oil, and old cars? Heck, do they want to outlaw chemistry? Rocks, clubs, fire?Here’s a novel idea: Outlaw slavery. Solve the slavery problems we have now. Tell the police that it’s not open season on slaves. Stop creating more slavery problems. E.g., enforce our immigration laws. Get our economy going.

  16. Bruce Sunderland

    We all need to contribute to solve the cause of these incidents. It is not just the availability of guns and hair triggers.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Outlaw guns and get old cars with a few hundred pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and some fuel oil. Lots of motivated people can make meth and get it into the US. The chemistry for a lot of explosives is a lot easier than making meth. Can’t outlaw chemistry. The problem isn’t guns.The problem is, a lot of people in the US want slavery. But slavery creates horrible, and horribly expensive, and often violent social problems.The problem is that most of the leaders of both US political parties, that is, both the Democrats and the Republicans, are solidly behind more slavery in the US.Slavery? Yes, an easily identifiable and easily exploited underclass.

  17. Ryan Frew

    https://www.youtube.com/wat…Painful to watch, but this woman, who is black, a parent, and a police officer, has the most raw and powerful reaction to the recent deaths that I’ve seen. It’s worth a watch for the impression that it leaves, and, as an American white male, the glimpse into the reality that a huge number of fellow Americans deal with. This was posted prior to the riots in Dallas, which really doesn’t change anything about the video…

    1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

      Not enjoyable – but should be compulsory viewing.I was in Berlin recently looking at racist vs pro asylum conflicts heavily policed (necessarily) – My feelings are for the disadvantaged but also for those police who by and large showed enormous integrity in tough situations.

  18. Dave W Baldwin

    Horrific night. Then I see this http://www.breitbart.com/te…I don’t post on Twitter because its platform doesn’t work for me. So this is probably my last tweet- “Upon reading this (above link) I’m giving until 1300 hours today for Twitter to remove this hate, or I will deactivate account permanently.”

    1. Dave W Baldwin

      Thankfully they pulled down some of that. I’m worried for the young/impressionable being led by those after fame/fortune.

  19. aseoconnor

    The NYPD is currently collecting public comments and data on bodycameras. This seems like a great opportunity to voice support and help bring more transparency to policing.https://nyu.qualtrics.com/j

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Apparently the cameras are carefully designed to fall off and quit recording at the first sign of police activity!

    2. Jerry Hall

      Seems the NYPD through it’s union ought to be using it’s might to drive the city to speed up it’s adjudication processes. Making suspects sit in Rikers for two years waiting for a trial is not one iota less than cruel and unusual. https://www.google.com/sear

  20. Salt Shaker

    The NFL recently posted a picture of 40 interns they hired for the summer. Although the league is 68% black, only 2 of the 40 hires were black. Crazy. It starts w/ high profile companies taking the right steps w/ diversity, not the bandaid you often see to basically cover their asses. Unlike your advertising experience (@brandonburns), when I worked at BBDO/NY it was a total joke. Literally there was one black guy in the executive ranks, and none in the creative dept., although, in fairness, I believe the company has made strides since.Guns and race relations are two separate issues, but they often do intersect.Countries like Iraq may be divided by religion but our country in many ways is equally divided; though too many voices are either suppressed or not truly heard. Only when there’s bloodshed are people outraged, but it’s never enough to truly do something.

    1. LE

      Although the league is 68% blackBut on the other hand there is an enterprise that is handing out money and opportunity to black people “68%” that in theory could do things to help people in their community or with their skin color. So the question is then are they doing that? [1][1] And when they sign their contracts, as a part of negotiation, they could request that the league increase diversity. That would seem to be a relatively easy win when the labor cost is what it is with players. And of course the league would agree to that it’s a no brainer and practically a gimme. [2][2] My wife at divorce table when she shows up to sign the agreement “sure but only if you also throw in a trip to Disney for me and the kids”. (Was so proud, she learned that from me..)

    2. eyesfrontmen

      The racism inherent in your formulations is stunning.Just because the bulk of the players are black, does not mean every other aspect of the business of sports need be forcibly made in that image.The bulk of the population from which they drew the interns is not black.If you, or black Americans want a black sports league, knock yourselves out. Why you would want that is beyond me. Especially considering that people like you railed against the necessity of black people needing a black sports league to play in the first place.You people have surrendered your power to reason to irrational ideologies and the narratives that sustain them.

      1. Salt Shaker

        Don’t know who you mean “by you people” but that in itself seems quite perjorative. If you know anything about U.S. sports leagues, then you’d know that each prides itself on its minority initiatives, including the NFL. It’s a stated objective. For example, MLB has a program called RBI (which stands for rebuilding inner cities) where investments are made in fields, equipment, training, etc., in disadvantaged (aka minority) communities. My sole point is there seems to be a disconnect in the league’s hiring practices relative to its stated goals.

        1. eyesfrontmen

          Its stated objective is stupid.

          1. Salt Shaker

            Very much appreciate your highly enlightened response.

          2. eyesfrontmen

            Well if you are just going to repeat your assertions, and point to the very policy I critique as rational for the policy, what do you expect me to say.Offer a substantive defense of the policy and we can debate. Saying that the policy exists so it must be right is not an argument.

          3. eyesfrontmen

            Or let me put it another way. No women play in the league. According to your formula, there is no reason to have any women involved in the business of sports.You people flip your narrative as it is convenient.If a feminist argument suits the agenda, then that is the one you make.If an SJW argument suites your agenda, you make that.And ask us all to ignore the contradictions between what you said a minute ago, and what you are saying now.

          4. ShanaC

            What exactly is a sjw argument. Can you please define it

          5. eyesfrontmen

            Go read. “SJW’s Always Lie,” it will give you a more comprehensive explanation than what I can do in a comment section.But I suspect you already know the answer and are just using a typical SJW rhetorical device.It is not an effective argument technique unless you are up against one of the cuckservatives you are used to dealing with.You are not.Try something else.

          6. ShanaC

            I started reading it. Based on just the descriptions in his first chapter, I quickly realized that anyone I knew associated with such movements that he names that I was friends with (including some close friends, who have sat with me when I was sick, fed me when I was hungry, and housed me when I was essentially homeless, gave me emotional succor when I needed it – things they did because they were good people, irrespective of identity politics at play) don’t use the arguments he proposes that fail contact with reality. Almost everyone I know is fluent in the technical and philosophical underpinnings of the terms they use – and the policy choices they may or may not want are often varied and have specific reasons why those choices. In nearly all cases, those policy choices also have limits.Just to give you an idea:True story: I got engaged last year, to a guy named Shawn that it took me a very long time to realize I should even date, let alone marry. I was actually introduced to him over a decade ago, when I had to switch dorms, due to a bad match. At the time, I was orthodox Jewish, and I was sleeping on the floor of my friend Jay (who was Judy). Jay was placed in the super advanced math class freshman year with Shawn, and because jay’s parents are mathematicians and Jay and Shawn lived in the same dorm, they would call them for homework help together. Jay introduced me to Shawn because he was going to be in my living group and he was very social and knew everyone. Apparently Shawn was smitten, and I was very attracted to him but refused to acknowledge it and ran away scared for a decade instead.Jay is going for a non-denominational rabbinical degree, and is active in gblt, especially trans, rights in the Jewish world. While I haven’t gone into it in depth, marriage is primary an emotional/relational change from his perspective. Shawn isn’t jewish at all; he’s is ignostic, and thinks for the most part, the idea of wedding is semi-pointless, though he is coming around to my view. I’m ex-orthodox, a soft atheist, and I regularly go to a zen temple with friends in the Jewish world, including both friends and family in the orthodox world. I see marriage as primarily a change in relationship state based on contract, and a wedding a public, joyous celebration with your community of choice to publicize that contractual change. When it became really obvious that we were going to get engaged, Shawn and I knew Jay had to do the ceremony (duh) – since how common is it that the person who introduced you is a very academic person who also is going to become clergy, AND a very close friend. As you can obviously see, even though everyone involved has known each other for over a decade, and probably by the time a date is set, closer to 15 years, NONE of us agree what a wedding and a marriage is about. This is going to make the eventual planning a ceremony EXTREMELY difficult. We also have another layer of difficulty IF my immediate family (and my mother’s family) shows (and decides to not sit shiva…). A third layer of difficulty is if we invite Shawn’s extended family, all of whom are very religious, very conservative catholic farmers from places like Iowa. The last layer of difficulty is the varied political gradients of the guests depending on the size of this wedding – we could easily make a party of over 500 with guests ranging from republican political operatives to socialists cum extremely liberal nonprofit managers, each who can be offended by who knows what^.Long story short, in order to make this work, at a minimum for Just US and make a meaningful wedding, which hopefully will resonate with everyone else: what we are probably going to do is gather a bunch of primary sources relating to weddings and marriages, and debate them, either among ourselves, or maybe with friends, or maybe in public. Best arguments become basis for weddings.This is pretty much how all of my friends who would be labeled as SJWs work in practice, for actual policies, or events. Almost all have to have grounds, otherwise the idea/practice gets junked.^We have respect and try to get along with people.

          7. leapy

            Wow, Shana, please *film* the discussions. That would be a blast to watch.A wedding of people from different cultures and worldviews is very hard to navigate (I should know) but navigate successfully you will. Why? Because you will ensure that everyone you invite will come with their portion of love and support. ONLY invite the people who you know will come with love.

          8. ShanaC

            a) I have this half bizarre, half brilliant idea that I should be a lifestyle blogger that isn’t so “polished” and is willing to actually do stuff like talk about what a wedding is, and what is hard or easy in life, ect, and how I love my pet tree. I figure I am over the top as a person and/or lifestyle blogs have converged on essentially really boring/the same that either I will really win or really lose at this. However, I really can’t decide if publicizing stuff in my life like the internal arguments and debates of what a wedding ceremony is right next what I have and have not figured out about pie baking is just too weird with too small an audience. Though I am glad to know someone thinks the fact that I am going to have to think this through is awesome, and would want to see what happens.b) I need to do some life changes before worrying about wedding planning. Besides which, beyond budget concerns, what you think a wedding is about is directly related to who you invite. Remember, in my basic interpretation pre-debate, it is way less important that say Shawn’s that the guests like me than act at witnesses, especially communal witnesses to the communities we are part of, because there is a legal status change happening. This in part comes from the fact that I grew up orthodox Jewish, and that is essentially what an orthdox jewish wedding is at its most basic – and as a result large chunks, if not all of the community ends up invited. The smallest wedding I’ve ever been to as a result was 175 people, because I have never been to a not orthodox jewish wedding (as of yet, I might get lucky soon enough). The largest was over 500, and probably closer to 700. In no way do I think the guest numbers are weird – I just happen to find them overwhelming.

          9. eyesfrontmen

            That is about the silliest thing I have read in a while.”I started to read it” Seriously?You take a conversation related to the political positions, programs, and rhetoric of a well defined and self defined, very active, and effective group…and reduce it to a personal story about how some SJW’s you know behave in their private lives.And that is an argument for what? How?I know an avowed communist who works for Obama. I hate communists with a passion and thought we should have destroyed the Soviet Union in its infancy instead of joining the war against Germany. I think we should have done it at the next opportunity before turning to the Nazi’s.I think Obama should have been impeached over at least four issues, and will go down in history as our worst president ever. Potentially, the man who put the final nails in the coffin of America. I hate the man with a passion and despise anyone who would work for him or support him.The communist I know is one of my favorite people, a truly beautiful man. His psychosis saddens me. He could have been so much more. But he is a lovely person anyway. The only Marxist I have ever known who was even a smidgen more than slime, and most are worse than slime. And he is so much more.I still hate communists. I still hate his boss. I would give my life and gladly to see them blotted from the memory of man.

          10. ShanaC

            Because it isn’t there private lives. Remember, classically, in identity politics “the personal is the political”Meanwhile, your book misunderstands Utilitarianism by Mill, and with it, classical liberalism and the sense of what he was trying to do with ethics. It also manages to misunderstand Marx just as a political theoreist, not as as an economist or a major political mover and shaker, and somehow manages to also misunderustand biology. He also doesn’t know how a web tracker even works. It is mostly him screeding, and I can’t figure out what he wants to say, since he hasn’t decided to lay out criteria of some sort.At least, to your Marxist friend’s credit, he decide to live his life to some sort of criteria, even if you happen to dislike them. For all that my friends are living to some variation to “the personal is the political” or some such other motto, at least they made the decision to try to live towards a criteria. What is Vox’s? What is Vox critiquing exactly? I actually can’t tell.

          11. ShanaC

            Which means, because I forgot to say, SJW is ill defined – so what exactly is it, and what exactly is an argument that works as an example

  21. Verlton Gordon

    Amen! But do not exclude the so called public officials on Capital Hill!

  22. aroyalcrime

    Fred – we need more people in power, more white men, like you, talking, objecting, standing up and saying #blacklivesmatter

  23. Robert Labarre

    Thanks Fred for bringing up this important topic. I agree with many of the thoughtful comments here, and it seems profoundly clear to me that the plethora of guns in this country is the overwhelming problem. Mental illness exists throughout our peer societies in Europe, Japan, and Australia, but guns are the outlier only in the U.S. The Australian experiment after the mass shootings in 1996, lends powerful credibility as well. The transformation of the NRA from a outdoor hobby organization into something that appears dedicated to supporting the gun industry occurred in about 1977 while the US didn’t notice. The concurrent Right Wing shift of the Republican party at the time abetted this change. The result is about 300 million guns, each with a half-life of nearly 200 years, admixed / embedded freely within the US population that contains a subset of people who have a random tendency to violence that cannot yet be predicted by psychiatrists. The biological understanding is still not there in 2016. And these guns are most certainly the problem. Armed with an assault rifle, a malnourished Adam Lanza was able to murder adults and children in Sandy Hook CT in five minutes in 2012. . Had he just had a knife, he would have been tackled by the Principal at the Front Door, and she would have treated only for a punctured lung at the local Hospital later that morning. Likewise, a Football player or two would have subdued the two guys at Columbine High School in 1999 after they had inflicted some scrapes and wounds,… and so on. One could make the case that inner city gun violence has strongly contributed to police profiling and overly aggressive tendencies– leading to the situations we have witnessed over the past year and culminating in the tragedy last nite.

  24. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I urge all the white people here to do three things today:1) Commit to stopping and videoing whenever you see a person of color being stopped by the police. White people have already started doing so this week.2) Join here http://www.staywoke.org/3) Read this thread https://twitter.com/IjeomaO… and do something from the listStop talking, start doing. Use that privilege to make things better.Please remember: Black Lives Matter does NOT mean white lives don’t matter or blue lives don’t matter. But all lives won’t matter until black lives matter as much as white ones.We have a sickening racism problem in our police culture. I know this direct from the horse’s mouth, a friend who is a former NYC cop (now FBI). Dallas PD are actually a model for how to address and improve this.

    1. LE

      Commit to stopping and videoing whenever you see a person of color being stopped by the police.Why only people of color? Why not all people? [1][1] I don’t agree with this idea.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        For God’s sake LE. I can’t help you. Please just get out of the way so that the rest of us can get something done.

        1. LE

          It’s amazing the disgust that you have for someone that doesn’t think and agree with everything that you are saying. I mean seriously telling someone who is making a comment on AVC to “get out of the way” because they don’t agree with your point of view or with perhaps even what the majority thinks? Work is being done, get out of the way little boy.See here’s the thing. I am not running a popularity contest. I never have cared much what others think. Maybe in a small way sure. But definitely at the end of the bell curve. That frees me to say things that I want to say and do what I want to do. I won’t even give some higher level purpose for that. But you might want to consider not trying to censor other points of view “just get out of the way so that the rest of us can get something done”. New flash: This is not your blog and all opinions can be voiced.

          1. JMorphy88

            These little would-be Stalins just love telling everybody what they can and can’t say. I expect this comment thread to be no different from the usual around here.

          2. Noah Steadman

            lol typical white neoliberal, invoking communism as some unmitigated evil

          3. JMorphy88

            Care to tell us all how wonderful Communism was?

          4. Noah Steadman

            interesting thing about bread lines: the bread is being distributed equitably, rather than heaped on the 1% (who would ungratefully disdain it due to imagined gluten allergies)

          5. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I can’t possibly censor you.Dude, I often agree with you. But then you come out with these notions that are just so damaging to those they concern. Women. Black people.Maybe you’ll understand this part: women, people of color, we get tired of constantly having people like you demand that we convert them, enlighten them, educate them. If you actually gave a damn, you’d educate yourself. We see it for what it is – pointless argument that will go nowhere. I just don’t believe you’re actually interested in my reply to “why just people of color?” I feel baited. I don’t see it as a serious question at all. And my energy is valuable. I need to reserve it for the change I’m trying to help make.Whether you mean to or not, you divert the conversation. You say “don’t look at that! Look at this!”

          6. LE

            Actually the point that I made in my other comment was that I thought a control group of footage would be valuable to have. Whenever I hear something on the news I always want to have more exact data to be able to frame the problem. That doesn’t mean that I think there isn’t a problem, simply that I think it’s easier to sell an idea and convince people if you have data to support what you are saying. Having videos of what happens with white people is part of that data. The way that I see it.As I’ve said before when I drive around in a nice car (which I’ve worked fucking hard to earn by the way) in a tshirt and dungarees (what I wear everyday) even unshaven every other day, I never had had a problem with police. In fact (as I’ve mentioned before) I don’t even have a front license plate on the car as required in my state (and haven’t for years and years). And I never get stopped. So yes do I know that blacks are treated differently. Of course I do just from my own anecdotal experience in my state.

          7. Kirsten Lambertsen

            [Deep breath]. Ok, I can kind of get on board with the control footage concept.But, why don’t you just say that in the first place, instead of playing some kind of game of Socratics with me? Again, it feels like baiting. I don’t ask you rhetorical questions just so I can burn you with your wrong assumptions about my intentions. That’s called gas lighting.

          8. LE

            My intention isn’t to bait you. And since I get attacked enough when having fully written out thoughts and long comments, I have no reason to gaslight someone either. I will just say what I want to say and go from there. People seem to do fine and reply back as needed to what I am saying. Brandon is in full “take your jack and shove it mode” with what I am saying today. [1]Now if the question is “did I know you might interpret what I said in the wrong way” well sure. But then again most people are jumping to conclusions even with my longer form comments. Unless I apologize in advance and act extra respectful which I don’t feel like doing.Now the other day Charlie replied to one of my comments in a way (I think it was Charlie) that I thought was baiting me. Instead of assuming he was doing that instead I asked a question to clarify prior to making an assumption. But then again that’s because I am great. So the answer is simply for you to be more like me and everything will be fine. (Said in jest in case there is any doubt).I wish there were interesting people like you and some of the others around the parts where I live.[1] http://sites.jcu.edu/boler/

          9. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I appreciate the levity.

        2. JLM

          .I don’t necessarily agree with you but I love the way you said this.Well played.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Heh. Must be the Wyoming in me coming out 😉 I appreciate your respectfulness.

          2. Noah Steadman

            What general area of Wyoming do you live in? I am considering retiring there and I want to know which areas are #woke.

          3. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I grew up in Rawlins, home only to the state prison. Not a nice place, to be very frank (in my opinion).If you want to retire there, I would recommend getting as far north as possible 🙂 I grew up in the high desert. You likely have mountains in mind (but I could be wrong).

          4. Noah Steadman

            Thanks! What about the Jackson Hole area?

          5. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Beautiful! Fabulous! Horribly over-priced at this point 🙂 And full of entitled types, cough. But I hope you are such that the prices aren’t an obstacle 🙂

          6. JLM

            .Wyoming? A very beautiful place, indeed, except for that windy Interstate in the south, no?Casper, Wyoming. The stories I could tell you.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          7. Kirsten Lambertsen

            That windy part is where I grew up, ha! I do not miss the wind.

      2. Noah Steadman

        HDD/cloud space for video is finite; I think the point is that you shouldn’t waste footage on police abuse of comparatively privileged populations when you could be aiding POC.

        1. LE

          What’s the waste? If nothing happens to the privileged people then that is valuable data as well and besides the space can be written over anyway.

          1. Noah Steadman

            And if something does “happen” to privileged people — then what? Smartphone footage of the Cologne attacks, e.g., did nothing but stoke racism and xenophobia.It’s 2016. Let’s turn our digital and literal gaze on marginalized populations for once.

          2. Kirsten Lambertsen

            You have a great way with words. Thank you 🙂

        2. ShanaC


    2. Brandon Burns

      There’s always something one can do. Thanks for showing that.A friend shared another article, listing actionable things that regular people can do: http://www.ravishly.com/201

  25. JLM

    .As a kid, I grew up on Army posts. We didn’t have babysitters, so my mother gave me a log and a hammer and a sack of nails. Six penny nails.I sat on the back porch and I used to pound those nails into that freakin’ log like a machine. My mother — the third smartest woman in the history of womanhood — would listen and if she heard me pounding away, all was good with the world.When I filled up a log — which then weighed a million pounds — my father got me a new log and a new sack of nails (free from the Post Engineers).I realize now, in retrospect, that I used that log and those nails and that hammer to pour all my frustrations out. At the time, I never realized it; but, today, I do.Today is one of those days I wish I had a big ass log and a hundred pound keg of nails and a big framing hammer. I’d like to pound the shit out of something.I will be taking the rest of the day off. Going to Home Depot?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Tom Labus

      get logs for all of us

    2. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Oh my goodness, I used to do the exact same thing as a kid in Wyoming! When I got a little older, I was allowed to whittle.

    3. ShanaC

      I have to ask, who is the first smartest and second smartest woman then?

  26. DJL

    This tragedy points to one of the most painful failures of the Obama presidency. He had an historic opportunity to bind the races together with his leadership. Instead, He and his department of Justice have lead a top-down campaign to make cops the bad guys and fuel race hatred that has led directly to this event.Black Lives Matter is based on hate-based division – not on solving problems. And yet this group is now driving the narrative. The hate creates an environment where cops cannot do their jobs. And who suffers? The blacks in these areas.Look at Ferguson. Look at Baltimore. Despite the best attempts of the media, Al Sharpton, the Justice Department and liberal politicians – the cops were found innocent. What is the result? A now Baltimore has the highest murder rate it history. Making cops the bad guys is never the right answer.Where are the people really trying to solve this problem? This race division is bad for everyone. But cops and inner-city blacks suffer the most.

  27. Aruni S. Gunasegaram

    We’ve come so far, yet we still have a very long way to go towards inner peace as a species on this plant.

    1. Noah Steadman

      Do you practice yoga? My mother has been working toward inner peace through, primarily, downward dog and I think she’s really starting to see results.

      1. ShanaC


      2. Aruni S. Gunasegaram

        Yes, I practice Kundalini and Yoga Nidra.

        1. ShanaC

          He’s a troll. He doesn’t deserve the response

  28. Zaporozhe

    Five police officers are dead and all Brandon can think about is more gibs for blacks like himself.By the 2010 census, 38 million Americans identify as black, and, taken as a group, are not capable of self-goverrnment to anything close to the white standard.Every black run municipality, be they small like East Cleveland or Inkster, in between like Flint or Gary, or large like Baltimore or Jackson, is in some phase of collapse – vanishing tax bases and declining populations. Which means, when you look at the arithmetic, there’s a lot of black flight going on.So no, plenty of blacks have been hired to run things. And there’s the result.So hey, Brandon, let’s just double down on mau-mauing the flack catchers, after a generation of trying that, it’s bound to work sometime.

    1. Noah Steadman

      This post seems racist.

    2. cavepainting

      Dude, That’s rude and racist.

      1. Zaporozhe

        I have come to the conclusion that no reasonable man is not a racist. If race didn’t matter, it wouldn’t be a rhetorical cudgel, now would it?That aside, a counter example has yet to be offered — a black governed municipality that is attracting people, even whites.

        1. cavepainting

          Hey, I do not know about the data, but that’s no standard to judge a large swathe of people. If you somehow think one group is generically “better” than the other, it is the very foundation for discriminatory behavior, which leads to contempt, apathy, and eventually violence.Also, we all have our dark sides. There is no pure saint out there. But, whether we ignore or amplify the dark impulses is a choice we get to make as humans.What if you were a black man listening to a rant like this ? How would you feel ?

          1. Zaporozhe

            For the liberal, it’s all about the feelings. But I am not a liberal, so I don’t care what a black might feel or you, for that matter.I am a racist, and you should be, too. It’s liberating. For starters you can releive yourself of the discipline of not noticing things.I say : The record of black self government since the tail end of the Great Migration 50 years ago has been one of unbroken failure – so much so, that now even blacks are leaving those places.Feel free to provide a counter example.

  29. creative group

    Contributors:If we collectively are not part of the solution we are definitely part of the problem.

  30. JMorphy88

    Goods posts and discussion all around. A good place to go for more context on these issues is to open Google, type in “race realism” and hit enter. Cheers to all, be well.

  31. cavepainting

    As the President said, the vestiges of our racial history will continue to linger for long. Acknowledging the real issues that exist is the first step towards addressing them. Inequality, unequal access to opportunity, and a skewed criminal justice system are all matters that need to be addressed head-on.We do not know the black experience for we do not live it. What are we doing to ensure that White and Asian kids develop real empathy for the black man’s life ? And, how are we helping black kids appreciate and understand the experience of whites and others, especially as it relates to their perception of the black community ?My family and I were robbed at gun point in a home invasion a few years back by a couple of black men. http://www.nytimes.com/2011…Incidents like this can leave a deep impression on your consciousness. But, it is important to step back and understand why these happen and not let one incident lead to prejudice and bias towards an entire community.I would like to see our education system doing more to help kids understand other races and cultures. As parents,we need to do more to talk to our kids about other religions and cultures, and why everyone deserves to live in happiness and dignity.These are matters of the heart first. And helping the next generation of kids develop more empathy for other people and races is the most important thing we can do.

  32. Roger Anderson

    Fred, love ya, but I think you should rethink the way you prejudiced the reader and revealed your bias against the police. “fatal shooting of a black person by law enforcement” says that a black person was shot be the entirety of law enforcement. Your bias is clear you hate cops and you want everyone else to as well. Actually at least 2 black people were shot by 2 or so law enforcement officers who MAY have acted improperly but we presume innocence only of the victim? Neither were shot by all law enforcement officers as your phrasing implies. A ISIS adherent shot up a night club, the entire muslim community did not. It is your phrasing that insinuates that all LEOs are guilty. Your are smarter than that but in this case you let your privilege take you beyond the truth. It is tragic and awful and we should also wait for the facts before condemning the entirety of law enforcement.

    1. DJL

      This attitude starts at the top, which is why our law enforcement feels abandoned. Let’s look at these two cases: A Muslim shoots 50 innocent people while pledging allegiance to ISIS. The first reaction of the President and Attorney General: “Now, let’s not jump to conclusion and blame the 99.9% of other loving Muslims”But one black (with a rap sheet) is shot by a white cop in the line of duty, and what do you get? All cops are racists. Where is the plea by Obama and Lynch to remind everyone “please, 99.9% of cops are hard working, honest people. Don’t make this about all cops.” But instead they invite Black Lives Matter to the White House.Where is the all the love and compassion for the cops? What an insult to all of is and the police.

  33. Pete Griffiths

    Hard times + alienation + lots of guns = not good.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      This is a fantastic resource, everyone. Do not miss.

  34. Drew Meyers

    It seems most white commenters here have conceded they don’t know what it’s like to live as a person of color.Everyone should also acknowledge we have no idea what it’s like to be a cop and put your life in harm’s way on a daily basis either.

    1. Jerry Hall

      Just a pointer here but, typically there’s just one word more offensive than the word ‘colored’ when referring to people of color. Generally, people of color speaks volumes and is widely understood but, not offensive. Big difference.

      1. Drew Meyers

        point taken.

  35. Drew Meyers

    @Brandon_Burns:disqus what do you think the best solution to racism is?I’d love your thoughts on hospitality/cultural exchange as a tool to increase understanding among those of different races in our country. Historically, hospitality exchange has been used to build bridges across the globe with the goal of global peace (among other benefits). I recently had a discussion with someone who runs a local non profit, and he thought it could be used equally as effective within the USA to build friendships/understanding across races.Focusing on that would be one approach to take w/ Horizonapp.co. Our goal is to be a technology tool for any/every community… and not build a single standalone network/community to compete against Couchsurfing, so I’m hesitant to rebrand the whole platform in line with that. The ideal scenario would be to find the right person who wants to build that community to address racism, and use Horizon as the technology to connect its members.

  36. ShanaC

    and I’m frankly angry we’re sinking to this depth

  37. LE

    I already pay taxes which helps others who are not as fortunate as I am as a result of the institutionalized white supremacy. Nicely put by the way.For that matter we all benefited from the slave labor that was used to build the Panama Canal (see the PBS special on this). Does that mean we should be spending part of our tax money or pay more taxes to help people linked to that? [1][1] Animal House courtroom scene “and isn’t that an indictment of our entire system”.

  38. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Talking about real sh*t always brings the trolls to the yard. The regulars are on good behavior, no?

  39. Roger Anderson

    This sounds racist to me. Could even border on incitement.

  40. DJL

    What kind of a comment is this? I hope you are joking.

  41. ShanaC

    for the most part, yes. I’m still very irritated. FYI, I need to email you about something you said here

  42. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Ok, cool. Not sure you have my current addy. I’ll dm you on Twitter.

  43. ShanaC

    did so anyway. ha

  44. ShanaC

    his, a few other people, racism in general. I dislike racism

  45. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Got it!

  46. andyswan

    I’m replying to a proposed scenario, Sean

  47. eyesfrontmen

    Anyone who thinks that is brain dead.

  48. Jim Murray

    Which one?, Dr.Charlie. The open secret or the company and the physician comment ?You make yourself look as though you are unbiased which my guess is you are not. When people typically respond to offensive comments, it is usually a feeling of guilt camouflaged inside..I would like you to ruminate through and find out if you have already helped the non-whites. Ever.

  49. Ana Milicevic

    Thank you Charlie. I won’t feed the troll.

  50. Brandon Burns

    You’re right. And I feel bad that these comments are seen by some as an “attack” on Fred or USV. I don’t have any reason to single them out specifically, other than Fred providing the prompt for the conversation with this blog post.

  51. Brandon Burns

    I have a lot of practice when it comes to hearing all of this.