I’m not an American but I’ve certainly enjoyed the political theatre this last couple of years. Yesterday morning I was walking through a hotel lobby in San Jose at 9AM (noon in Washington) and there on the big TV in the restaurant was the inauguration. The lobby had emptied as the staff crowded in to watch. Then everyone joined in a big round of applause. I was touched, but it was complicated.
You see, in Silicon Valley, the entrepreneurs and engineers, while mostly men, are a mixed bag ethnically, and their language is English. But the people who work the reception desks and wash the floors and bring the coffee and provide security, their skins are all black and brown (no whites); they have heavy accents and talk lots of different languages, some I can’t even identify, to each other. It’s been that way long as I can remember. This apparently-fixed class/race background is one of the things that bothers me about the Valley.
I think the applause was maybe a little louder from the (standing) hotel employees than the (sitting) business breakfasters.