That message is; diversity does not mean diversity of thought and ideas.
Today, we struggle to rationalize Peter Thiel’s power and influence as he moves further and further out there. We were confused by his seasteading funding, angered by his negative views on women’s voting rights, amused by his reported fixation with living to 120, and annoyed by his keynoting the Republican National Convention.
But we are completely outraged to read about Thiel donating $1.25 million to Trump, “apparently unfazed by the storm around the candidate in the last week following the broadcasting of lewd conversations.”
While all of us believe in the ideas of free speech and open platforms, we draw a line here. We agree that people shouldn’t be fired for their political views, but
this isn’t a disagreement on tax policy, this is advocating hatred and violence.
And donating $1.25 million is a lot more than speech.
Money is power.
Giving more power to someone whose ascension and behavior strike fear into so many people is unacceptable. His attacks on Black, Mexican, Asian, Muslim, and Jewish people, on women, and on others are more than just political speech; fueled by hate and encouraging violence, they make each of us feel unsafe.
At Project Include, our mission is to give everyone a fair chance to succeed in the workplace. “Everyone” means all groups to us, but we draw a line at individuals who fund violence and hate. We believe differences should be bridged with tolerance and empathy, not amplified by rage and fear. Diversity and inclusion are the source of open discussions and better decisions.
I’m just going to point out that ALL of the “violence and hate” has been coming from the left. If she is willing to break off business with people who support Trump, is she willing to do likewise to people who have supported the people who have actually committed violent acts and even acts of terrorism.
Of course Ms. Pao is apparently a repeat offender when it comes to ramming “diversity” down people’s throats and stifling people who disagree with the PC narrative.
The buzz seems to be that Project Include dropping Y combinator is a bad thing. That may not be the case. The last thing a startup needs is some group of busybodies advocating for affirmative action programs when they are trying to develop the business. Especially when said organization is exhibiting fascist tendencies. YC is better off without Project Include. Apparently YC agrees, or at least understands what’s important.
After all, the last thing a startup needs is something that represents a huge distraction from the business at hand. The startups in tech don’t need to play social games. In fact, they can’t afford too. A startup shouldn’t be worried about sending the right virtue signals. Instead the focus needs to be getting the product to market. leave diversity to the Facebooks, Amazons, Apples and Googles who are large and profitable enough to pay for useless virtue and PC causes.
The People at Project Include should understand that there are bigger issues at stake than the sending the proper signals to how virtuous you are by supporting the right causes including supporting the Democrats and the current Democrat candidate for president simply because she is female.
Here outside the Valley, things haven’t looked so hot under the current administration. In fact, for new businesses the climate has been rather disastrous. Which I suspect that Mr. Thiel knows. He knows that things do need to change and he’s putting his money where he thinks that if the person he is supporting wins, change will happen.
The key issue here, though is intolerance. In any business, intolerance is inexcusable in any form. That includes the clients you have, the companies that are your vendors and you employees. Indeed one of the biggest stinks lately has been because some small bakeries refused to bake cakes for gay weddings. How is that wrong and what Ms. Pao doing right? Any business is free to limit their clientele and that is their right. Many businesses are built around religious beliefs and the people working in them adhere to those beliefs. Try to buy a pro camera on Saturday in NYC for instance. Still those people know that they are paying a price for their actions and as far as I know, none of them outright say that the potential customer is wrong, just that they can’t meet their needs in this case on religious grounds. What Ms. Pao is doing is different. She is saying that because of the issues that she has with certain other people that the company she is working with have as associates.
Considering the consequences of having somebody like Ms. Pao’s organization “advise” you when you are trying to build your business the best thing any startup in the valley should do is stay away from Project Include or any other PC crap. As far away as possible.
Bonus: Death By HR is getting good reactions.