Too Quick to Pull the Trigger (Food for Thought)

I woke up this morning and was glancing at the news headlines. As I was reading, I came across an article about David Bonderman, Uber Technologies Inc. director, resigning from the company’s board of directors.  According to the reports, during a staff meeting, Arianna Huffington, who also sits on the Uber board of directors, commented,

There’s a lot of data that shows when there’s one woman on the board, it’s much more likely that there will be a second woman on the board.

In response, Bonderman commented,

Actually, what it shows is that it’s much more likely to be more talking.

As I read the article, I began to wonder, how did Ariana Huffington respond to this comment? Was she offended when the words came out of his mouth? Did she use this as a teaching moment? Did she say anything in response to Bonderman’s comment? Then I began to wonder, how offended would I, the self-proclaimed feminist, be if I was present when the comment was made.  And, my honest answer was, not enough to think he should resign from the board of directors. Sure, I might look at him and think, “That was dumb as hell.” And, there is a possibility that I would have said, “That was a sexist thing to say.” But, I could not imagine concluding that the only acceptable recourse for his comment was board resignation.

Was it an ignorant comment on Bonderman’s part? Certainly;

Was it sexist? Most definitely;

But, should this ignorant, sexist comment have led to his resignation from the board of directors? No. That was excessive, at least in my opinion.

Stories like this make me thoroughly confused about what position we are advancing as a society. Time and again I hear people say, we need to come to the table and begin an open dialogue about racism and sexism. I wholeheartedly agree. An open dialogue allows us to talk freely about some of the racist, sexist beliefs that people embrace and their effects on the people that are the subject of these beliefs. Through such dialogue, we can begin to understand one another, dismantle some of those thought processes, and create a plan that will reduce  the number of people that hold on to these beliefs.

An open dialogue, in my opinion, is absolutely necessary if we want to begin to dismantle racist, sexist beliefs. But, who in the world is going to take the risk of coming to the table to discuss their racist, sexist thoughts when our society is so quick to pull the trigger, and quite frankly, overreact, when they share their thoughts? Overreacting is making it impossible for us to take the first step towards understanding and acceptance.

Will an open dialogue eradicate all racism and sexism? Of course not. As humans we come to the table with different experiences that mold us and help to shape our belief systems.  For some, racism and sexism will be with them until they die. However, forcing racist and sexist people into the closet, by overreacting and being so quick to pull the trigger, means we are missing an opportunity to affect any change. At least, that is what I believe.

Readers what do you think? I am always hoping to invoke thought through my posts and encourage a dialogue.
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5 thoughts on “Too Quick to Pull the Trigger (Food for Thought)

Add yours

  1. You know…I thought the SAME THING! People are sometimes insensitive to women and minorities, but it seems like the only recourse now days is to fire them or force them to resign. I believe she said simply, “Oh, come on David.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well I guess I’ll be the first to comment. An open dialogue would certainly be great. But, first people would have to admit first that they may also fit into that category. Their are so many that won’t look in the mirror and admit they are this or that. But, to a point, aren’t we all to some level? We have to see it first before we can admit it to the world. Having said that, assuming a person can admit it themselves, can they also admit it’s wrong and be willing to address it to get the help to get past it? How many are strong enough to admit it and raise their hand for help? It would certainly be an interesting conversation but all sides would have to admit their not perfect and want to change. Do I truly wish that could happen, yes, but the sixth four thousand dollar question is, will it ever? I can only wish.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Core beliefs are passed on from generation to generation. With that being said. Racism and sexism will always be a part of society so long as people can hear and see. Open dialogue is one thing But to affect true change in the mindset/heart one must be willing to open themselves up to honest criticism and dialogue. Willing to look in the mirror. But you’re right. This guy resigning was way too harsh a response

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First of all I look at this specifically as it applies to Uber. From all the press lately it seems Uber is toxic to women. If this guy on the Board, ie. the management, will say something this stupid he’s contributing to Uber’s rank culture and needs to go. He can work on sensitivity training etc on his own dime but for this company, right now, this was the right move. I don’t think in every situation folks should be fired but if I owned a business and one of my board members (who are asked to serve) said something like this I would fire them. While firing may seem extreme often the only way to get some of these folks’ attention is by hitting them in the pocket. Also do businesses want these types of folks setting their corporate culture? I am fine with him being removed from the board as it seems that 1) he’d be unlikely to support a woman’s nomination to the board and 2) he might create a hostile Board environment and/or devalue the contributions of his fellow board members and 3) Uber is under fire for exactly this type of treatment of its female employees so the company has to take a stance.

    Liked by 1 person

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