A Tech Co-Founder Just Gave Me A Master Class in Centering Whiteness

As #BlackHistoryMonth winds down, I was reminded with how pernicious #whiteness can be.

This reminder was delivered during an online conversation with one of the co-founders of Arbo Works (and a former Googler).

In re-telling his story of a Dr. Dre concert in the 90s he wrote in a post “i‘m still surprised that I didn’t get beaten up by the rest of the audience (me and my friends were one of the 10 white folks)” I asked why he was surprised he did not get beat up and he replied it was obvious I had never been to a gangsta rap concert. (emphasis mine)

After researching Arbo Works and seeing their % of Black and LatinX employees is close to zero. I mentioned this in the conversation we were having The co-founder deleted it. Not once, twice. Attempting to silence the calling out of his performative support and faux liberal mindedness.

The problem here is that many people in tech, some in the position to hire and promote, deliver this type of performative BS when recruiting and engaging with the tech community at large. But get them in a private conversation and they go all Peter Thiel.

So without further ado, here is the master class for centering #whiteness by Mark Striebeck:

What’s up with #whitefragility line. He just tossed that in for real.


He stopped responding and deleted my subsequent posts when I mentioned his companies lack of Black and LatinX representation as illustrated by their employee page:




The Complicated Man Who Risks his neck for non-binary peeps, trans folk, women and men. 1st CTO @ObamaFoundation , @SlackHQ , @Twitter @Google @Apple

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The Complicated Man Who Risks his neck for non-binary peeps, trans folk, women and men. 1st CTO @ObamaFoundation , @SlackHQ , @Twitter @Google @Apple

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