"The Slide"

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The Infamous Slide from DB's panel/soapbox session @ C4. Totally non-representative of the event.

Christopher Humphries, parzifal44, and 14 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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  1. schwatoo 93 months ago | reply

    The digg idiots are truly out of the woodwork now.

  2. StenK 93 months ago | reply

    He could have used a better presentation slide! I mean come on ;)

  3. indignari [deleted] 93 months ago | reply

    That's funny I am Black and have three macs and two iPods....
    (Back to WinDoze PeeCees for me i guess....)

  4. indranil 93 months ago | reply

    lol! This is really funny!! What did he propose? For every white guy that buys a Mac, Apple must force a black guy to get one too?

    I'm neither white nor black. I'm Asian! w00t!

  5. cioxx 93 months ago | reply

    Rich (middle-to-upper-middle class) black people all use macs. In fact, amongst rich African-Americans the usage of macs is disproportionately high compared to whites, latinos or asians in the same socio-economic stratum.

    Apple products are considered by some to be status symbols. This works to the detriment of Apple in black urban areas. People generally don't want to advertise their laptops from a mile away with that shiny apple logo lit up like a christmas tree. Since media loves to project the image of poor-innercity black areas as areas ripe with criminal activity, this has been imprinted in people's heads as the unequivocal truth. It's hard to overcome such a perception.

    Same is true for iPods. One of my black friends, who is a mac-fanatic like myself, disposed of the white headphones immediately when he purchased an iPod.

    I hope people don't come to the wrong conclusions based on what I wrote.

    As for Drunken Batman's idiotic slide, there are more non-controversial ways of talking about platform disparity in racial groups. For instance,

    WRONG: "Black people don't use macs"
    RIGHT: "How to better communicate the virtues of superior platforms to minorities"

  6. MrModern 93 months ago | reply

    Ok, I'm not a developer, I didn't attend, but I'm wondering why everyone didn't just stand up and walk out? Shunning is very effective at curbing socially unacceptable behavior.

  7. Monochor 93 months ago | reply

    I was there, many of us were disgusted at that, but for some stupid reason we decided to be polite and not really say anything. Everyone I was with was ethnic, so we could all relate to how idiotic the statements were.

  8. eric.. 93 months ago | reply

    well i am black, and i've been using macs since the lisa, so to him i say, **** you ya c**t. joking or not, it was uncalled for

  9. auteuil, encore plus fort 93 months ago | reply

    Actually, do you see any black people in the audience?

    Dont get me wrong: I'm, uhm, "liberal", and I take the line as an (exaggerated) observation, without any "normative" racist value (though I havent been there and couldnt dig the context).

    The whole thing reminds me of the Zeldman-induced discussion about women in tech/web/whatever, a couple of months ago.

    Maybe the Mac community should be more aware with regards to race/gender/class, really.
    Isnt it obvious that the whole iPhone-bonanza features a specific social profile?

  10. Funkzillabot 93 months ago | reply


    Um... Excuse me, but I don't find this particularly funny at all. I find it completely inaccurate and rather offensive. I'm black -- I use a Mac, so does my Uncle who is a Unix programmer and my cousin is a Engineer. There are several other people of color who also use Mac.

    Bleeding heart, guilt, and political correctness have NOTHING to do with being an assh*le who clearly doesn't know what he's talking about. This is how HATE starts! Miss information, lies and rumors. So why don't you both grow up, if the two of you don't see this a problem -- Then YOU'RE PART of the F*CKING PROBLEM.

  11. Exempt 93 months ago | reply

    It is not a racist comment, the "begging of change" is pushing towards racist, actually more like stereotyping, however, demographically and statistically speaking, looking at the US income levels by races, blacks and hispanics account for the lowest income levels, as well as lowest education levels, which is sad, however the statement, would prove to be true in a general discussion, "black people don't use macs"

    It's a difference in opinions here really, it doesn't have to be racist. Change one word and the statement changes meaning to you.

    "Abiponian people dont use macs" is that a racist comment? no not at all.

    Educate yourselves and you'll spend less time being angry.

  12. ars3n 93 months ago | reply

    How could you not see a problem with this?!? I am a black IT profesional currently interning for a Fortune 500 (top 5) and during my first month I encountered "predjudice remarks" made by a respectable coworker. I was shocked! I can understand why the people in the room stayed, it is not something you deal with everyday and it definitely comes as a suprise when it occurs. I hope if they encountered the situation again, they would handle it differently.

    In my situation, I endured the remarks for many weeks, not exactly understanding the basis for these "jokes". Was this person racist or too relaxed? Had I approached management with this issue, they would have been fired. Lucky for him I was able to handle it before it amounted to that. How did it make me feel? It made me feel like an outcast. C4 and the Mac community should be concerned about its image.

    Pass by my cube, you'll see the Apple logo. You know what's really ashame, out of the 10 other non-black interns, I was the only Mac fan.

  13. Chenier Spencer 93 months ago | reply

    I'm black... and I definitely find that very insulting, and some of the comments in his defense even more insulting... that's life, I know people disagree, but we should all at least attempt to try to imagine how things feel from someone else's point of view... and trust me, years of stuff like this sucks... it would have been a really cool display of solidarity, empathy and guts if some of the people had walked out, but I can understand their (slight) dilemma. I would like to think that I would have walked out (especially being black), but that's easier to say not having been there. Luckily, this guy is not representative of most mac users, who I've always found to be quite cool, and relatively enlightened.

  14. Gabriel 93 months ago | reply

    I just don't even get how race is relevant to a computer.

    There's a lot of hand-wringing here... some people are offended, others aren't. Mostly it's fueled by political correctness (and the backlash thereof) and racial tension, but the real problem is there's no substance. I mean what was he even trying to get at here? You make an obviously false and banal statement about race, and the only thing that's going to happen is everyone gets confused and uncomfortable.

    FWIW, the original slide was just DB talking out his ass--the kind of thing that could be dismissed as an awkward comment if made in casual conversation. Putting it on a slide? Well that's pretty weird and inflammatory. But then to say the only black people he saw were panhandling... well that's some blatant racism right there.

    And to those of you who don't think that's racism, you probably think of yourself as a very non-judging person who would never be racist, while at the same time subconsciously judging every black person you meet, and if interviewing them for a job, probably giving the job to someone else with equal qualifications.

    You don't have to hate to be racist. And likewise, prejudice is an inevitable part of the human condition (it's necessary for survival). That is the real challenge of racism... using actual empathy to build real relationships and understanding. It doesn't help anyone to simply go through the politically correct motions, or to decry political correctness as being reflexive, fashionable posturing and thus throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  15. dogfaceboy 93 months ago | reply

    You don't see what it has to do with computers?

    Let me say that I'm white, that I use a Mac, and that I didn't go to your conference.

    Let me also say I have I have been in marketing and advertising for twenty years. Of course race is relevant to computer use. It's relevant to everything. Because it's all about marketing and audience.

    And it's not really a racist comment. It could simply be an observation or a fact. It's no more racist, for example, than saying fewer women watch wrestling.

    There are any number of good reasons that Macs might not be of use to a majority of the members of the black community (they are certainly not of use to the majority of the white community, either, remember!):

    #1. Macs are not the computer of choice for anything but the design (any kind of design) industry, really. So if you're in a business in which the Mac isn't the preferred computer, you're less likely to have a reason to use it at home.

    #2. Those with an income lower than middle class—and that would include blacks as well as whites, but minorities are typically poorer than non-minorities—are less likely to spend DOUBLE (sometimes triple) on a computer for home use. Duh. (On the other hand, the iPhone will probably appeal to those interested in status products; it's portable and can be seen by others, whereas a computer is mostly a stay-at-home product. Even laptops don't travel easily and visibly.)

    #3. Macs have not been marketed to blacks. Look at television commercials, like the one in which the Dell (or whatever) is being passed from person to person—there's a punk rock bowling girl, a black man, an Asian woman, etc. The demographics are more mixed because the advertising appeals to a mix of races.

    Macintosh does not specifically target market to blacks. It makes perfect sense for those reasons and more. And if you see racism in that comment or the ones above, you're just trying too hard.

    And yes, racism is, by definition, the belief that someone is inferior because of his skin color. The comment doesn't imply inferiority. (Lots of whites don't use Macs, either!)

  16. dogfaceboy 93 months ago | reply

    While the speaker's comment and slide are extreme (because it's obvious that some blacks do use Macs, and I know quite a few here in Baltimore!), I'm sure it was just an attempt to make the point I made above. Of course, I wasn't there, and I don't know the context. If the speaker was talking about marketing and Macintosh or demographics, what he said was perfectly appropriate.

    I'm not sure why people would have walked out. Are people so sensitive that they can't tell the difference between an observation and racism? Racism is hatred of a group, or a feeling of superiority over that group, based on that group's skin color! Where is the hatred or superiority in that statement?!

    [edited to add:] I'm a Mac user who finds it superior to other computers. Using one doesn't make me superior, even to those who use PCs, just like being white doesn't.

  17. mikeharper 93 months ago | reply

    I think it's inflammatory, not the polite way to bring it up, and probably more suited to a personal conversation, but does anyone believe that his motivation was to keep black people away from macs?

    Let's put it in the context of the controversial Kanye West statement made post-Katrina, which I think is the point here, despite the fact the reasons aren't "black." The black population of the US is still disproportionately poor. Are Macs often seen in public libraries or schools in economically poor areas?

    Or, assuming buying power isn't the point here, has Apple ever used music or movie creators in their advertisements or promotional material that are black? I'm looking through the iLife and iWork pages, recently added since they're the '08 edition, and I see a proportionately greater number of white faces than I do at work. And I'm in the middle of Des Moines, Iowa.

  18. steveyb 93 months ago | reply

    bad taste.

  19. sintaks 79 months ago | reply

    I'm not condoning this bit of his presentation... but if it were a black man presenting in a comedic fashion, that joke would have went over swimmingly. Dave Chappelle does it all the time.

    So is he the racist for presenting the slide without regard for his own race, or everyone else for taking offense when they wouldn't in a different setting?

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