Pampered Silicon Valley guy posts Dickensian, dickish screed about San Francisco’s homeless; expect more of this for the next little while

cyberselfishAdd Greg Gopman to the list of Silicon Valley people contributing to the “Cyberselfish” and “Entitled Millennial” stereotypes, thanks to this Facebook post that he and his company’s PR person will be dealing with for the next little while:

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.

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.

In case you have any doubts as to which side of the rich/poor divide Gopman lives on, remember that he’s in the business of organizing hackathons worldwide, which clearly puts him on the “shuffling wealth around, not creating it” side of economics. He’s doing all right, judging from a couple of his recent tweets:

Gopman has since deleted his original Facebook posting and posted an apology:

Last night, I made inappropriate comments about San Francisco and its less fortunate citizens on Market st. I’m really sorry for my comments. I trivialized the plight of those struggling to get by and I shouldn’t have. I hope this thread can help start an open discussion on what changes we can make to fix these serious problems. Again, I am deeply sorry.

Gopman’s original sentiment will become only more prevalent on those who are on the better side of the ever-widening Gini coefficient gulf that separates rich from poor. It’s a line of thinking I see more and more among people who are making more — oftentimes much more — than the mean wage: that people who’ve had bad breaks must have bad character. (Were this true, Rob and Doug Ford would not be millionaires.)

Let’s see if Gopman’s metanoia is real, or if it’s just backpedalling to counter bad PR.

4 replies on “Pampered Silicon Valley guy posts Dickensian, dickish screed about San Francisco’s homeless; expect more of this for the next little while”

Interesting post.
I’m glad there are still people like you fighting to defend the poor and the weak.
Unfortunately, when posting a picture of Mr Gopman that you probably nicked on his Facebook page- you never thought of asking authorisation for that picture.
And I happen to be the photographer who took it. And it’s been featured in countless articles of this sort but not one single person has contacted me.
Now, I am a professional photographer but not exactly a pampered Silicon Valley boy myself.
I live in China where I struggle to make ends meet for me and my family.
Facebook pictures are not – as many may think- public property.
And you failed to mention the source of that picture too.

Now, what are you gonna do about it? You demonstrated compassion for your neighbour in that post…Now show me a little love after stealing my work.

Remember, all Gopman did was post (dirty) words on his facebook.
You literally took my work for free to use it to make yourself look good and fight evil.
Ironic, eh?

Looking forward to hearing from you…

I’m sorry — I had no idea of the provenance of the photo and intended no theft. I’m between jobs myself, so the best I can do at the moment is take down the photo and replace it with random Creative Commons snap.

Once again, my apologies.

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