I was on a YouTube link with an interview of Marc Andreessen and Reid Hoffman the other day. I decided to punt watching the interview but noticed a comment that accused Reid of looking “like a slob.”
I don’t know why I felt the need to defend Reid. I’m sure life as a celebrity entails worse abuse than that. But, nevertheless, I’d seen Reid in action a couple of times during my time at LinkedIn and thought highly of him. So, I did. It wasn’t long before I regretted it.
“Big poppa” told me I was probably stinking and smelling of curry. So, I ought to take a shower for freak’s sake.
I was torn for a minute to write a sarcastic response back. But, I was reminded of the difference between stimulus and response. And, I decided to let it go and, instead, find humor in it. I was left with a few questions though –
- Can you build a nice community without asking people for real names? There is little chance “Big poppa” would have said this on LinkedIn. But, on YouTube, it’s all fair game.
- How much of this is influenced by the current political discourse in the United States? It is always hard to tell. But, I do wonder if folks like this have been emboldened.
- Why is it always men?
The good news is that there is a gap between stimulus and response – confirmed. :) I’m glad I didn’t go back and respond. Instead, it did get me to pause and reflect about how you build civil communities (it isn’t easy), politics and gender.
And, finally, small incidents like me make me feel grateful for the folks I’ve been fortunate to surround myself with as my exposure to racial slurs has been few and far between.
All in all, plenty to be thankful for.