In an unnecessary response to my blog post (Jason Calacanis: Ah, Gawker, Mr. C Knows There’s Racism In Tech) pointing to several encounters with me which proved that, contrary to his assertions in Gawker, he does see that there’s a race problem, just chooses to do nothing about it, the creator of the blog network that he then sold to AOL for $25 million elected to visit said blog post and call me a jerk.
Now here’s the deal.
While I’ve certainly knocked Jason for not paying attention to the tech race problem, and for his treatment of me along the way, I’ve consistently stopped short of calling him names of any kind other than, well, let’s see: entrepreneur. I figured that – well, I hoped that – Mr. Calacanis had a basic level of gentlemanly behavior such that I would not expect mudslinging. Given the time that he left the comment, around 8 PM, I can only assume he was drunk. In other words, I’m giving Jason Calacanis an out.
Calling a person a jerk is something you do when you want to elicit a negative response from them. It’s also something that people in polite society don’t do in person. I’m actually surprised that Jason was able to stoop to a level of behavior so low he can play handball with the curb.
Called me a jerk. Wow.
Well, I suppose I should give him credit for not using the N-word, since I’m called that on the average about 50 times a month in my YouTube comments sections of my videos. But given the total body of treatment he’s given to me since 2007, including now calling me a jerk on my own blog, I now believe that kind of behavior is well within the realm of possibility with Jason Calacanis.
It’s sad because, while I thought Jason might be blind to the tech race problem, I didn’t think of him as racist, at least in the classic sense. Ok, in the institutional way, perhaps, but honestly I’d not even entertained the idea until now.
Whatever the case, calling a person names, rather than attempting to have a good exchange about a very real problem, racism in tech, is massively sad. One thing I can say about Jason Calacanis with certainty now, an idea that would have never came to be before, is that he’s just not a good man.
And because of that, Jason’s not the best person to expect to care enough to try solve the problem. He’s too busy trying to get into fights with black folks – like me – who dare talk about the race problem, to even want to do that. Hey, sticks and stones his words aren’t – but a window to his character his words are.
To sum it up: Jason Calacanis berated a black blogger named for writing a take on the lack of black tech writers. Jason Calacanis suggests that all a black person has to do is blog for a few years, and that person will get noticed. Gawker’s Matt Reed picks up on the exchange and makes fun of Jason Calacanis. I chime into explain that I am that black tech blogger who Jason says should be out there, and I then point to specific ways he’s ignored me, and even dissed me.
And for that, he calls me a jerk.