white men in the tech industry treating homeless people as accessories

So I just read this article about some tech guy who met a random homeless person, and offered to either give him $100 or teach him how to code.

It’s precisely as gross as it sounds with lots of “I’m richer and whiter than you so I have moral superiority and am clearly smarter and better at running your life than you are,” overtones. He even styles the project as, “finding the unjustly homeless and teaching them to code,” because apparently some people are “justly” homeless, presumably for just not working hard in this great meritocratic nation of ours, or something?

Anyway, Leo, the homeless man for whom this tech dude was playing “benefactor”  just got arrested for trespassing. Maybe tech dude will realize that social institutions (including but not limited to law enforcement) are designed to make his life easier and basically every other “type” of person’s, including Leo’s, life harder. Maybe not, though.

Anyway, exploiting homeless people is something of a trend in tech circles.

For example, turning homeless people into wireless hotspots at south by southwest.

Or using homeless people as unwitting lab rats to test out your new tech product.

So, yeah. I post here a lot about women in tech, but it’s worth remembering that this myopic privileged white male world view that infects the entire tech scene also shows up in all sorts of horrible ways that have nothing to do with gender.


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