Too Quick to Pull the Trigger

I woke up this morning and was glancing at the news headlines. As I was reading, I came across an article about David Bonderman, Uber Technologies Inc. director, resigning from the company’s board of directors.  According to the reports, during a staff meeting, Arianna Huffington, who also sits on the Uber board of directors, commented,

There’s a lot of data that shows when there’s one woman on the board, it’s much more likely that there will be a second woman on the board.

In response, Bonderman commented,

Actually, what it shows is that it’s much more likely to be more talking.

As I read the article, I began to wonder, how did Ariana Huffington respond to this comment? Was she offended when the words came out of his mouth? Did she use this as a teaching moment? Did she say anything in response to Bonderman’s comment? Then I began to wonder how offended I, the self-proclaimed feminist, would be if I had been present when the comment was made. My honest answer is not enough to think he should resign from the board of directors. Sure, I might look at him and think, “That was dumb as hell.” And there is a possibility that I would have said, “That was a sexist thing to say.” But, I could not imagine concluding that the only acceptable recourse for his comment was board resignation.

Was it an ignorant comment on Bonderman’s part? Certainly;

Was it sexist? Most definitely;

But, should this ignorant, sexist comment have led to his resignation from the board of directors? No. That was excessive, at least in my opinion.

Stories like this confuse me about what position we are advancing as a society. Time and again, I hear people say we need to come to the table and begin an open dialogue about racism and sexism. I wholeheartedly agree. An open dialogue would allow us to talk freely about some of the racist, sexist beliefs that people embrace and their effects on the people that are the subject of these beliefs. Through such dialogue, we can begin to understand one another, dismantle some of those thought processes, and create a plan that will reduce the number of people that hold on to these beliefs.

In my opinion, an open dialogue is necessary if we want to begin dismantling racist, sexist beliefs. But who in the world will take the risk of coming to the table to discuss their racist, sexist thoughts when our society is so quick to pull the trigger and, quite frankly, overreact when they share their thoughts? Overreacting makes it impossible for us to take the first step towards understanding and accepting.

Will an open dialogue eradicate all racism and sexism? Of course not. As humans, we come to the table with different experiences that mold us and help to shape our belief systems. For some, racism and sexism will be with them until they die. However, forcing racist and sexist people into the closet by overreacting and being so quick to pull the trigger means we are missing an opportunity to affect any change. At least, that is what I believe.

Readers what do you think? I am always hoping to invoke thought through my posts and encourage a dialogue.

Much Love,


Published by Tonza D. Ruffin

Perfectly Imperfect but VERY PROUD WOMAN, MOM, LAWYER, and AUTHOR, but most importantly...LIFE LOVER! I laugh loud, I work hard, I play hard, I am adventurous, I am curious, I am driven, I have moments of deep insecurity, I am loving, I am vulnerable, I am explosive (not one of my finer qualities), I dance around my house alone, I am an awful perfectionist which makes my insecurity worse, I sing out loud in my car without any concern for whose watching, I have trust issues, I do not live through my children, I no longer try to force my children into the mold that I created so that I could feel validated as a mother, I am a risk-taker, I am guarded in my personal life, I am kind, I am grateful. I am so excited about the rest of my life!

5 thoughts on “Too Quick to Pull the Trigger

  1. You know…I thought the SAME THING! People are sometimes insensitive to women and minorities, but it seems like the only recourse now days is to fire them or force them to resign. I believe she said simply, “Oh, come on David.”

  2. Well I guess I’ll be the first to comment. An open dialogue would certainly be great. But, first people would have to admit first that they may also fit into that category. Their are so many that won’t look in the mirror and admit they are this or that. But, to a point, aren’t we all to some level? We have to see it first before we can admit it to the world. Having said that, assuming a person can admit it themselves, can they also admit it’s wrong and be willing to address it to get the help to get past it? How many are strong enough to admit it and raise their hand for help? It would certainly be an interesting conversation but all sides would have to admit their not perfect and want to change. Do I truly wish that could happen, yes, but the sixth four thousand dollar question is, will it ever? I can only wish.

  3. Core beliefs are passed on from generation to generation. With that being said. Racism and sexism will always be a part of society so long as people can hear and see. Open dialogue is one thing But to affect true change in the mindset/heart one must be willing to open themselves up to honest criticism and dialogue. Willing to look in the mirror. But you’re right. This guy resigning was way too harsh a response

  4. First of all I look at this specifically as it applies to Uber. From all the press lately it seems Uber is toxic to women. If this guy on the Board, ie. the management, will say something this stupid he’s contributing to Uber’s rank culture and needs to go. He can work on sensitivity training etc on his own dime but for this company, right now, this was the right move. I don’t think in every situation folks should be fired but if I owned a business and one of my board members (who are asked to serve) said something like this I would fire them. While firing may seem extreme often the only way to get some of these folks’ attention is by hitting them in the pocket. Also do businesses want these types of folks setting their corporate culture? I am fine with him being removed from the board as it seems that 1) he’d be unlikely to support a woman’s nomination to the board and 2) he might create a hostile Board environment and/or devalue the contributions of his fellow board members and 3) Uber is under fire for exactly this type of treatment of its female employees so the company has to take a stance.

Share Your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: