Twitter Exec Makes Really Inopportune BART Strike Joke

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The thing about race, class, religion and gender is that, for the most part, they are out of people’s control.

This all-encompassing feeling of lack of control is why, when chronically underpaid service professionals like teachers or transport workers strike, there is an equally out-of-control discussion around the societal and economic value of these professionals.

It becomes the real-life version of our comments section.

Twitter, which is a) a service I love and b) the Earth’s comments section, has obviously gone to town with the San Francisco BART strike. There is a pervasive and fallacious idea that the tech sector, which is SF’s Hollywood, is a meritocracy, which implies that individuals — by virtue or smarts or gumption — do control their place in it and the world.

There is also a tendency to dismiss anyone who doesn’t ascribe or fit in to this meritocracy as just not working hard enough, or not in demand enough.

But, going by Twitter, there is a lot of demand for these workers, or at least for these workers to return to work — from both tech operatives and from people outside ‘The Circle.’ 

As far as I know, no one ever died trying to make Internet ads more clickable.

And, fittingly enough, one of Twitter’s own employees has added their own two cents (140 characters) to the Twitter BART discussion, since deleted:

“What’s brown and black and looks great on someone causing the #BARTstrike? A Doberman. (Toooo angry? Long day in the car.)” — @grossman

Yeah, probably too angry. For what it’s worth Twitter Head of Global Operations for Media, Ben Grossman, did write, “whoever caused” the strike, not the people who are striking, couching his words finely so that he could be referring to the workers or the management.

Still, wishing violence on anyone is not a professional thing. In fact, it’s indecent and inhuman – especially since two BART workers were fatally injured on the job in an accident a day after his comments.

As far as I know, no one ever died trying to make Internet ads more clickable.