Michael Arrington: ‘I don’t know a single Black entrepreneur’

(photo still from video by CNN Money)

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.

Black Founders

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 …

Click here for origin of video and CNN Money report.

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/

 

 

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11 Responses to “Michael Arrington: ‘I don’t know a single Black entrepreneur’”
  1. Blaming Michael Arrington for racism in Silicon Valley is like blaming Bernie Madoff for the mortgage debacle. The problem is bigger than we think and the solution will be harder to contemplate, much less implement. Identifying and attacking a “boogie-man” may make us feel better but, in the long run, it will not have brought us closer to solving the actual problem. Short term thinking has never been a friend to people of color. So why do we embrace it so?

    Also, to the guy who called Angela Benton an apologist, you should reconsider your thoughts. First, she has put herself on the front lines of this issue, unlike others who make sniper remarks while hiding behind a veil of anonymity. Our people called Martin Luther King an apologist and many leaders before that. I am certain history will prove that she will played a bigger role in leveling the playing field than many of the cowards who chose to oppose her efforts and attack her personally. #imjustsayin #letsbegreat

  2. ShellCard says:

    I thought the idea was to wake you up, not put you back to sleep!

  3. ed says:

    The issue that concerns me is how Angela Benton at Black Web 2.0 positioned herself as an apologist for Techcrunch/Michael Arrington over the years while at the same time trying to get some kind of kickback from them.

    It seems everybody news come up that the industry is racist, they bring up only one or two Blacks and Black Web 2.0/Angela Benton rear their head and start apologizing talking about we Black entrepreneurs are not good enough or have the merits to be notice as if she is some authoritarian.

    I decided to open up my own channels with a few civil rights groups so we can blunt these apologists like Angela Benton because I find it extremely unusual for any Black person to come out and say someone is not racist when the industry is blatantly biased towards Blacks in a negative sense.

  4. I don’t know a single black entrepreneur. “There just aren’t any …” SMGDH

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