The Secret Empire
The other name for the Klan was the Secret Empire, because even at the height of their power in my hometown of Indianapolis it wasn’t a given that public membership in the KKK was acceptable in polite company.
It’s no secret that Silicon Valley Venture Capital and Angel Investing is lily white almost all male, and conservative. No matter how many gay men are in the club (Peter Thiel) the same people who have run the show in the past continue to run it now with occasional East Asian guest stars.
So it comes as zero surprise the Oculus founder Palmer Luckey has a secret identity as a backer of Donald Trump with his bevy of Alt-Right, Neo-Nazi wanna-be disruptive cultists.
It turns out that twenty years of paeans to diversity have achieved exactly zero precisely because people who own the system are vested in not sharing it with anyone who is brown and icky. Like me.
Your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents stood by as Jim Crow terrorism built the foundation of a prosperous white middle class and their kids are making sure that 21st Century goodies will be equally protected.
It’s why Microsoft AI’s become racist, misogynistic digital jerks within hours of release. It’s why Google photo filters can’t tell the difference between black people and horses. It’s why OpenAI thinks using Reddit archives with their nigger subreddits and wholesale race-baiting are a fine way to train their digital offspring how people speak.
Palmer Luckey isn’t an anomaly, he’s not an aberration and he’s not any different than millions of other white people who grew up thinking black people are animals who need to be kept at bay by whatever means necessary. He’s your racist grandfather and he’s you.
Very, very many of you.