Just got back to SF. I've traveled around the world and I gotta say there is nothing more grotesque than walking down market st in San Francisco. Why the heart of our city has to be overrun by crazy, homeless, drug dealers, dropouts, and trash I have no clue. Each time I pass it my love affair with SF dies a little.--Greg Gopman, CEO of AngelHack, to his thousands of Facebook friends.
The difference is in other cosmopolitan cities, the lower part of society keep to themselves. They sell small trinkets, beg coyly, stay quiet, and generally stay out of your way. They realize it's a privilege to be in the civilized part of town and view themselves as guests. And that's okay.
In downtown SF the degenerates gather like hyenas, spit, urinate, taunt you, sell drugs, get rowdy, they act like they own the center of the city. Like it's their place of leisure... In actuality it's the business district for one of the wealthiest cities in the USA. It a disgrace. I don't even feel safe walking down the sidewalk without planning out my walking path.
You can preach compassion, equality, and be the biggest lover in the world, but there is an area of town for degenerates and an area of town for the working class. There is nothing positive gained from having them so close to us. It's a burden and a liability having them so close to us. Believe me, if they added the smallest iota of value I'd consider thinking different, but the crazy toothless lady who kicks everyone that gets too close to her cardboard box hasn't made anyone's life better in a while.
Hilarity ensued on Twitter, reports the Daily Mail:
His company's Twitter feed was bombarded with messages from people keen to share their view and tell Gopman exactly what they think of his controversial views.Slate adds:
Unfortunately for AngelHack, the firm's Twitter feed was reportedly set up to automatically retweet messages every time the company got a mention.
AngelHack's Twitter feed since appears to have been taken down from the site.
The sentiments are so risibly retrograde that, were they uttered by some mustachioed baron on Downton Abbey, you’d worry that the show’s writers were getting lazy, falling back on hackneyed stereotypes of villainous aristocrats. They wouldn’t sound out of place coming from the lips of Billy Zane’s character in Titanic, or the bigot Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. And yet, unless there has been some truly elaborate hoax, it seems that Gopman actually wrote those words—he apologized for them today on Twitter and Facebook.I'll be the first to agree that San Francisco has a problem with homelessness. No question.
But wait—Gopman’s friends aren’t having it! Below his Facebook apology post are a series of comments from fellow techies defending Gopman’s original homeless-phobic rant.
- One friend said he was glad Gopman spoke his mind, because even though he disagreed with the post's tone, “It isn’t like you said anything many others in the startup community aren’t saying." His comment had 14 likes at last check.
- “No way!!! Do not sorry to anyone,” added another Facebook friend.
- "I don't think you need to apologize for anything," agreed a third.
- The hate for the homeless wasn’t limited to San Franciscans: A New Yorker chimed in, “I agreed with you Greg. The city has created an unfortunate situation where they rely on it for handouts vs rising above and creating their own value and contributing to society. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t base my company there and do not live there full time.”
Do Gopman's and Shih's attitudes reflect the community they're part of? I don't know. But this I do know. Gopman's business depends on social media. Yet the guy posts something mindlessly tone-deaf using those same tools, and gets surprised by the blowback. He joins a whole parade of people who should avoid posting without adult supervision.
I guess this technology is harder to use than it looks.