Michael Arrington: ‘I don’t know a single Black entrepreneur’
by Mike Green
In today’s era of knowledge-based, tech-driven innovative high-growth companies rocket-fueled by equity risk capital from angel investors and venture capitalists, it’s hard to believe that around the subject of race, ignorance prevails … even in Silicon Valley.
Arrington … who is Arrington?
Michael Arrington, the founder of Techcrunch, which is revered as one of the top media platforms covering technology companies, is not only the guy who created one of the top media companies covering the tech space, he’s also an investor.
Arrington sold his company to AOL, which now also owns the Huffington Post. And he created the “Crunchfund,” ostensibly to capitalize upon the name of his famous media company and invest in companies his media platform would potentially cover. That conundrum propelled him to national prominence amid a scandal that shook the journalism landscape and created a fervor within TechCrunch itself.
Arrington: “I don’t know a single Black entrepreneur”
Now, Arrington’s views on race in Silicon Valley are creating rumblings across the fruited plains and the Twitterverse (see #blackinamerica). On one hand, Arrington says he doesn’t know any Black entrepreneurs (of which there are few in the space overall), and on the other hand, he proclaims he has invested in two. His notion there is no racial bias in Silicon Valley is a perspective that is widespread … as is the notion there actually is racial bias in Silicon Valley.
I wonder if Arrington has heard of a group in Silicon Valley that calls itself BLACK FOUNDERS. And the reason it has that name is because … wait for it … it’s members are Black entrepreneurs who have founded startups in Silicon Valley. Maybe TechCrunch might get wind of this organization and let Michael Arrington know. He might surprise them and show up at a networking event to give a pitch.
Here’s Michael Arrington: In his own words …
UPDATE: Oct. 29, 2011
MICHAEL ARRINGTON RESPONDS (emphatically): http://uncrunched.com/2011/10/28/oh-shit-im-a-racist/
UDATE: Oct. 30, 2011
SILICON VALLEY’S RACE PROBLEM: The Debate over Meritocracy http://www.zdnet.com/blog/violetblue/silicon-valleys-race-problem/768
Update: Oct. 31, 2011
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN WEIGHS IN: http://money.cnn.com/2011/10/31/technology/arrington_blackinamerica/