Hall of Shame: Most Classist Comments

2016

2016 was a year of many nominations and close votes, so we’re indcuting all 3 into the Hall of Shame. with 23.4%, the title this year goes to Paul Graham, a Silicon Valley executive and venture capitalist. “I’ve become an expert on how to increase economic inequality, and I’ve spent the past decade working hard to do it… when I hear people saying that economic inequality is bad and should be decreased, I feel rather like a wild animal overhearing a conversation between hunters. But the thing that strikes me most about the conversations I overhear is how confused they are. They don’t even seem clear whether they want to kill me or not.”

Runner up with 21.5%: “But unlike Chanel and Louis Vuitton, we are able in our business to cater to all of the market by making our standard so high that everybody wants to in the building,” he said. “Or to put it in a more colloquial way, rich people only like being around rich people. Nobody likes being around poor people, especially poor people.” – Steve Wynn, Casino Magnate

Third place with 19.6%:  When Clinton said there were years when Trump paid no taxes, he replied, “That makes me smart.” -Donald Trump, US President Elect

2015

Denise Elsken, a member of the Martinez Unified School District, which on March 30th voted to install air conditioning elskenat the predominantly white John Swett Elementary over the
predominantly Latino Las Juntas Elementary

“I really don’t care how this comes out, I would say 95%  of the students at Las Juntas do not have air-conditioning in their homes. So whether that means those students are more acclimated and can handle a little bit more heat than the John Swett students, which I would say 95% of their residents have air-conditioning in their homes.”

With 48% of the votes, Elsken′s overt classism and racism took the “prize” last year. There are already so many unspoken and invisible inequities our public education system, and Elsken isn′t afraid to name the underlying classism and racism that plague too many school boards, districts and legislative bodies across this country. And it is precisely these unchecked attitudes that continue to make people think it is okay.

Read more about this debacle here.

2014

Venture capital pioneer Tom Perkins said about resentment of the very rich,

“In the Nazi area it was racial demonization, now it is class demonization… a progressive war on the American one percent… a very dangerous drift in our American thinking.”

After Perkins got flak, billionaire Sam Zell came to his defense, saying he was “right” because “the 1 percent are being pummeled” and “the 1 percent work harder.” 

Read the whole interview here.


2013

Silicon Valley CEO Greg Gopman, wrote on Facebook:

“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.unnamed

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.”


2012

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s comment was so clearly the low point of 2012 that we took it out of the running. Here’s a little trip down memory lane:

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what …who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims… These are people who pay no income tax. … and so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Runner up in 2012

Alan Dlugash, accounting firm partner whose 6-figure pay dropped during the Great Recession, said, “Could you imagine what it’s like to say, ‘I’ve got three kids in private school, I have to think about pulling them out?’ How do you do that? People who don’t have money don’t understand the stress.”


2011

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 4.37.21 PMNewt Gingrich, for calling child labor laws “truly stupid” and advocating firing union school janitors and replacing them with poor students.