How the tech community views non-PC people, by Ron Unz. From an open letter to the Alt-Right.
Although I’m a software developer and live in the heart of Silicon Valley in Palo Alto, I’m really not part of the mainstream “tech community” and only very slightly know a few of the prominent figures in it. But I think I have a reasonably good sense of what’s going on and why they’re taking the absolutely unprecedented step of purging many of you from the Internet.
My strong impression is that most of the leading Silicon Valley people are generally pretty nice and reasonable, but are very politically unsophisticated. They’re totally focused on technology and business issues, and with a few exceptions here and there, don’t really pay any deep attention to politics or ideological matters, sub-contracting out those things to the same “mainstream” opinion-forming elites who provide that role for almost everyone else in our society. Just think of the leading Silicon Valley people as your pleasant, college-educated next door neighbors, who sporadically catch the regular news on TV, glance at the newspaper headlines, and regard that as the reality of the world.
Downtown Palo Alto (University Avenue)
As an example, when “everyone says” that Russia hacked our presidential election, well, then, I suppose that Russia must have hacked our presidential election. And pretty much the same applies to matters of race, ethnicity, and social policy.
Now most sensible people somewhat weigh the reality presented in the MSM against what they actually experience in their day-to-day lives, and if there’s a sharp divergence between the two, they may gradually become suspicious of the MSM, and begin turning to alternate sources of information, even including the sort of ideological views presented on your own websites. …
The issue is PC fantasies versus reality. But their reality is a lot like the PC fantasy world, a sort of special Star Trek existence unlike most of the world.
But the problem that all of you face is that when people in Silicon Valley look around themselves, what they see reasonably matches the claims of the MSM, while if they ever visit Breitbart, let alone any of your own Alt-Right websites, you mostly come across like a bunch of total lunatics. Therefore, when the MSM recently claimed that you were all a bunch of violent, murderous madmen, they stampeded the Silicon Valley people into deciding to help shut all of you down as a public service to America.
Let’s take a few salient issues. Over the last year or two, I’d guess that 70% of the most visible and heated rhetoric coming from Donald Trump has involved ferocious attacks on Muslims, Mexicans, and immigrants in general, and certainly that’s also been a major theme of his backers both in the Alt-Right and the Alt-Lite. …
The immigrants and Muslims in Palo Alto are the world’s best and brightest, easily fitting into western culture — or they wouldn’t be there, and the property prices alone would keep them far away. There are very few low IQ people in Palo Alto.
But Silicon Valley is a different story. … There are huge numbers of other immigrants in the technology industry, and a noticeable slice of them are Muslims. Nearly all of these groups seem like perfectly fine people, very few are criminals, and virtually none are terrorists. Trump and Ann Coulter and others may talk about swarming hordes of “Mexican rapists,” but they just don’t seem to exist in real life. Rightwingers may claim that immigrant crime has been forcing affluent whites to barricade themselves inside gated communities, but Silicon Valley has no gated communities. For twenty years, Steve Jobs lived in an ordinary house sitting on an ordinary street, one which wouldn’t have seemed too out of place in the white-bread San Fernando Valley of the 1950s, and the same is true for many of the other top Silicon Valley execs.
Alt-Right people are always talking about the horrific future consequences of white Europeans becoming a minority, but they already became a minority decades ago in Silicon Valley, and these days are probably down to around 30% or so. Yet everything is perfectly fine here. Well, not perfectly fine since everyone is always complaining about traffic being terrible and housing prices ridiculously high, but these aren’t exactly the central concerns raised by the Alt-Right. …
So the problem is that when people notice that many of the things your organizations are saying are absolutely 100% contrary to what they actually see in their ordinary lives, they quickly conclude that you’re just as crazy as your critics in the MSM always say you are, and they immediately dismiss all of your other claims and ideas. Perhaps that’s not entirely fair, but it’s what happens.
Meanwhile, certain other “alt-right”-type issues have very little daily resonance in Silicon Valley. For example, black behavior here is just as problematical as it is elsewhere, and blacks are responsible for a remarkably high fraction of all the serious local crime. But since there are very few blacks, it’s relatively easy for local “good-thinking” people to pretend not to notice the problem. Overall, California has by far the lowest black percentage of any large state, and for Silicon Valley, the figure is something like 3%, of which a relatively high fraction are middle-class engineers and such, while overall crime rates are too low for it to be much of an issue.
I lived in Palo Alto for six years in the 1980s, and that was my impression also. The tech people are very politically unsophisticated — though like most everyone they think they know “a lot” about politics. Also, being clever people in one area they tend to overestimate their expertise in other areas. They are so easy for the political types to lead around by the nose, such babes in the political woods. Unfortunately the left has captured them and convinced them to shut down non-PC points of view.