In early December, Timothy C. May passed away, and much was written about him. I myself wrote about his influential political philosophies having studied much of his writing whilst at university. Whilst there is little doubt May was someone who was extremely smart, there is a darker side to the man. The big issue that has since arisen was his racism.
I have seen some fans attempt to sweep this issue under the carpet by suggesting that he was merely a troll looking to start a debate, or that we shouldn’t mention this issue because the man has passed away and can’t defend himself. However, as a proponent of free speech, and as it is an important issue, it needs to be discussed.
The evidence of such racism can be found here, and it’s quite something. The main target of abuse is Martin Luther King, with a variety of slurs aimed at the man, along with some mentions of Jews as well. Whether May was being a troll or not becomes irrelevant when you see that the disgusting ideas he discusses would make Hitler proud.
Whilst there has been plenty of praise directed towards May for his role in cryptography and crypto anarchy, without which WikiLeaks and Bitcoin may not have arisen, such blatant racism is abhorrent. It is disappointing to see that few have called May out and questioned his thoughts on such an issue.
However, May is not alone amongst his peers in exhibiting racist tendencies. There are others who share similar thoughts. Considering Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer network that hopes to break down the idea of a nation state, many of those who adhere to being a Cypherpunk would like their state to increase borders rather than take them down. They fear those who are different and want a minimal state only when it suits them. Taxes are theft, or so they say, unless it stops Mexicans and Muslims coming across their border.
Racism isn’t endemic to Cypherpunks and crypto anarchy, but those that are not should be more vocal in calling out those that are, no matter who they are. If they want Bitcoin to succeed, people of all races and nationalities need to be convinced.