This week I’ve been contacted by 10 or so journalists, so I just wanted to make sure my words were said exactly how I intended, all in one place.
Let me be clear:
I believe Peter Thiel should resign as a part-time YC partner.
In my opinion, his presence there after investing money in Trump’s campaign at this point sends a strong message that bigotry & sexism are tolerated at YC. Because by lending his image, his voice, his influence, and substantial capital to Trump, Thiel isn’t simply exercising his legal right to vote: he is fueling and enabling racism, sexism, sexual assault, violence, and tyranny.
It is YC’s right as a private company to do as they see fit. It is my right as a citizen not to recommend the program to founders in my network as long as they take this stance.
Let me be even MORE clear:
This week, another entity was set to make a very generous investment in my company. This was a deal a few weeks in the making, and at approx $500k would have made a huge impact on what we’re building at Backstage. Because this entity has close business ties to Thiel, I was faced with the decision to be a hypocrite and take the cash, or not be a hypocrite and respectfully decline it. I chose the latter.
Today I tweeted this:
In 140 characters or less, I shared my frustration with the fact that my company and many others were affected financially by this Thiel nonsense. I added the gif cause I wanted to also show I had not lost my sense of humor even under these circumstances. It sucks. Gonna have to work a lot harder to make up for it. But I get to sleep at night. Easy peasy.
Lots of people responded publicly and privately wanting to know who the JERK was who “yanked their funding from me!” So I then tweeted this…
…making it very clear that it was my decision to turn down the money. And when I say “ultimately” my decision, that is because I said to the entity that if they changed their current stance and publicly disavowed themselves of Thiel (business-wise) anytime soon, we could accept the money. They have not, so I respectfully declined.
Still respect them. Still am grateful to them for offering. Hate that we had to lose out on the opportunity. But pretty cut and dried. I made the choice and I’ll have to face the consequences if there are any.
My beef is with Thiel and Trump.
This isn’t easy for any of us. Trump is a disaster… (he’d like that)…people who send money Trump’s way are a mystery to me. I’d much rather be spending my time talking to founders and investors about how we can move things forward…and watching General Hospital, and planning an awesome 2017.
I don’t think any of us asked for this. Sam Altman’s being raked over the coals, even though he’s helping Clinton’s campaign and helping to get more people to vote in general. This isn’t black or white. This is nuanced as fuck, as Shakespeare once said.
In the past 5 days I’ve lost out on a major funding opportunity, I’ve had my physical appearance attacked online by strangers, and I’ve been called racist, and every other word in the book. People who despise Trump have had to justify and defend their decision to remain loyal to their friends and business coleague — or at the very least not ostracize him due to his beliefs. I get that. I just don’t agree.
I stand by my position on the issue.