It’s safe to say that San Francisco has its share of unhappy people right now
, with the shuttles for the employees of major tech firms becoming the site of some increasingly heated protests.
It’s not so safe to say those protests make San Francisco akin to Nazi Germany. However, that’s what venture capitalist Tom Perkins, co-founder of the investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, did in The Wall Street Journal
over the weekend.
In a letter to the editor headlined, “Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?” Perkins “would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its ‘one percent,’ namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the ‘rich.’”
The letter drew more than 500 comments on the WSJ website, a few of which agree with Perkins, but most of which are critical of the comparison.
Perkins appeared on Bloomberg TV
on Monday to defend himself, but he may have done more damage to his cause. He offered an apology in which he said he regretted using the word “Kristallnacht” and the comparison, but not for saying the richest Americans are being unfairly attacked.
“I used the word because the 'Occupy' of San Francisco—the 'Occupy Wall Street' crowd—they broke the windows in the Wells Fargo Bank, they marched up to our automobile strip on Van Ness Avenue, and broke all the windows in all the luxury car dealerships,” he said. “I saw that, I remember that the police stood by frozen, and I thought, this is how Kristallnacht began.”
He said in a letter to the Anti-Defamation League that his business partner, Eugene Kleiner, would have approved of his letter.
In addition to saying his firm, Kleiner Perkins, “threw me under the bus,” Perkins claimed the letter to the Journal
was prompted by San Francisco Chronicle attacks against his ex-wife, Danielle Steel
“I thought since I’m a knight, I’m a literal knight of the kingdom of Norway, I would get on my horse and charge forth to her defense,” he said. “We can see all the blood I spilled in that process.”
Perkins also made a rather baffling statement about his watch being worth “a six-pack of Rolexes.”
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Here’s the full, nearly half-hour interview:
sums up his Bloomberg interview thus: “Anyway, Perkins is a fool, and somehow comes off as even more condescending and awful than he did before. File under: dudes who still don't get it.”