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Rev. Jesse Jackson targets Apple, Google, HP, others in tech racial diversity campaign

post #1 of 270
Thread Starter 
American political activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson on Wednesday launched a new campaign aimed at drawing awareness to the lack of racial diversity in the executive ranks of top-tier Silicon Valley firms, including Apple.

Jesse Jackson


"Technology is supposed to be about inclusion, but sadly, patterns of exclusion remains the order of the day," Jackson wrote in a letter issued under the Rainbow PUSH Coalition banner. "When it comes to African Americans on Board - ZERO. C-suites, ZERO. Minority firms in IPO's and financial transactions, advertising and professional services - ZERO. These ZEROES are contrary to the enlightened values exposed by the industry. Rainbow PUSH is seeking meetings with tech leaders to address these ZEROES head on."

In addition to Apple, the coalition distributed copies of the letter to Twitter, Facebook, Hewlett Packard, Google and "other iconic Silicon Valley technology companies." It is not the first time Apple has come under fire for the relative lack of diversity in its executive ranks, which features few women or minorities.

Former Avon CEO Andrea Jung is the lone female member of the company's board, while communications vice president Katie Cotton and human resources head Denise Young-Smith -- an African-American -- are the only women known to report directly to CEO Tim Cook. Incoming retail chief Angela Ahrendts, now the CEO of fashion house Burberry, will be the first woman on Apple's senior leadership team when she joins later this spring.

In January, following pressure from shareholders, Apple directors altered the charter of the Nominating and Corporate Governance committee to include language codifying a commitment to diversifying the makeup of the board.

"The Committee is committed to actively seeking out highly qualified women and individuals from minority groups to include in the pool from which Board nominees are chosen," the bylaws now read.
post #2 of 270
I say hire the best people for the job whatever their color, age, sex etc.

I have a dream that one day people will be hired not for the color of their skin....
post #3 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by starflyer View Post

I say hire the best people for the job whatever their color, age, sex etc.

I have a dream that one day people will be hired not for the color of their skin....

 

I agree that firms should hire the best people for the job without regard to race, age, sex etc. 

 

However, I also think that there are real inequities in society that need to be addressed, and that in far too many cases people who say what you said (and what I agree with) pretend those inequities don't exist or are opposed to every single idea for addressing them. 

 

So I think that if one rejects one idea, then there is some burden on the rejector to suggest an alternative. 

 

The alternative I suggest is to focus on economic inequality rather than racial/gender/etc inequality, and use mildly redistributionist policies to address those inequities. By "mildly redistributionist" I mean taxing the rich at a higher marginal rate than the middle class and poor, and using that money to support things like the earned income tax credit and education and health care for the poor. In other words, I support the types of policies that the mainstream Democratic party supports, and that the Republican party is constantly trying to eliminate. 

post #4 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post
 

 

I agree that firms should hire the best people for the job without regard to race, age, sex etc. 

 

However, I also think that there are real inequities in society that need to be addressed, and that in far too many cases people who say what you said (and what I agree with) pretend those inequities don't exist or are opposed to every single idea for addressing them. 

 

So I think that if one rejects one idea, then there is some burden on the rejector to suggest an alternative. 

 

The alternative I suggest is to focus on economic inequality rather than racial/gender/etc inequality, and use mildly redistributionist policies to address those inequities. By "mildly redistributionist" I mean taxing the rich at a higher marginal rate than the middle class and poor, and using that money to support things like the earned income tax credit and education and health care for the poor. In other words, I support the types of policies that the mainstream Democratic party supports, and that the Republican party is constantly trying to eliminate. 

Exactly - there's definitely a problem, but the tough part is figuring out where that problem comes from. Is it the hiring process (i.e, people of different races being passed over for some reason)? Is it the applications (people of different races aren't applying for some reason)? Is it before that, in the education system? Or before that?

 

In my opinion it's an issue at the most basic level with quality of life, as you said. We see the same lack of diversity at college / university level, not just with businesses - so it can't be to do with the companies themselves. The most obvious factor that is likely to be influencing this is economic equality or lack thereof. 

post #5 of 270

Somebody's trying to stem the tide of growing irrelevance.

post #6 of 270
This inequality has to be tackled much lower down the food chain, in education and work and in promotions. It's often the case that the arse lickers climb up the corporate ladder quicker than the qualified. You can't make changes at that level by statistical targets it should happen organically by removing prejudice wherever it manifests itself in society.
post #7 of 270
I think Jesse Jackson is probably the worst spokesman for racial equality. He can create more in the negative column than he can in the plus.
post #8 of 270
The world isn't perfect. Perfect solutions to its problems, reducible to comforting sound bites, will never be found. And yet those problems still need to be solved, not ignored.

So, let's face a little uncomfortable imperfection and start to change things. It's past time.

One uncomfortable imperfection: the color of your skin can affect your career. It's not 100% evaluation of talent that's at work. That's true even if (as I believe true at Apple and many modern firms) it is unplanned. So--step one: admit the problem and talk about it without being afraid.
post #9 of 270

I’d rather have all white men who can do the best job than “one of each flavor” who can’t.

 

If that makes me racist, I’m happily so.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #10 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaba View Post

This inequality has to be tackled much lower down the food chain, in education and work and in promotions. It's often the case that the arse lickers climb up the corporate ladder quicker than the qualified. You can't make changes at that level by statistical targets it should happen organically by removing prejudice wherever it manifests itself in society.

 

Completely agree with this. 

 

Though I will say, there are a few high ranking Senior Software Engineers at Apple that aren't white & male. How do they progress into the even higher ranks? That's a mystery I've tried to figure out even if you are white & male. Usually means climbing the corporate ladder by throwing people under the bus and taking credit for things you didn't do. 

 

So what Jackson really wants is non-whites to be more deceitful. /s

 

 

Quote:
The reason why they are analysts is because they failed at running businesses.

 

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Quote:
The reason why they are analysts is because they failed at running businesses.

 

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post #11 of 270
While we are at it .... lets also bring diversity into NFL , NBA as well
post #12 of 270
Been missing the media coverage, Jesse?
post #13 of 270
Life is about choices both for the individual and the individual's family. One of the most irresponsible choices that many African-Americans make is to have children when they can not reasonably support those children. Over 70% of African-American children are members of single parent families, and the single parent is usually the Mom, who then struggles to make ends meet. Although there are exceptions, the odds of becoming well-educated and successful are against children from single-parent families. Why is it the responsibility of wealthy Americans and corporations to offset the poor choices made by individuals?

For more than half a century, the Democratic party has initiated and supported policies and programs of higher taxes and more entitlements and here we are fifty years later, after spending trillions of dollars on these programs, with the very same problems. One would think that a party that espoused the concept that it was "time for a change" would finally put into practice what they preach.
post #14 of 270
Quote:
 I mean taxing the rich at a higher marginal rate than the middle class and poor

How much more tax should the "rich" have to pay? What is your definition of middle class?

 

Quote:
 health care for the poor

Like medicaid?

 

Quote:
 I support the types of policies that the mainstream Democratic party supports, and that the Republican party is constantly trying to eliminate

With 4 years of a Democratically controlled Congress, 6 years of a Democratically controlled Senate and White House are minorities are worse off now then 6 years ago? African American unemployment rates are almost double that of men and women. If you count the people that have left the work force (i.e. gave up looking for work) since 2008 you have an 18% unemployment rate for African Americans. How are those policies helping minorities again?

post #15 of 270

How many boards can Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice serve on?

 

The fact is the there just isn't a huge pool of top-notch executive level African Americans to draw from.

post #16 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

The fact is the there just isn't a huge pool of top-notch executive level African Americans to draw from.
That's your assertion that you're trying to label as a fact. Where's the data to support your assertion?

I admit to being a Fanatical Moderate. I Disdain the Inane. Vyizderzominymororzizazizdenderizorziz?

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I admit to being a Fanatical Moderate. I Disdain the Inane. Vyizderzominymororzizazizdenderizorziz?

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post #17 of 270

We know what works.  When Jessie demanded the A&E network and the Cracker Barrel meet with him regarding Duck Dynasty's Robertson's race claims, A&E and Cracker Barrel ignored Jackson's demand in short order. 

 

Having been adamantly rebuffed, Jessie slinks away, his relevance and lack thereof shown for all the world to follow.

 

Sorry Jessie, your usual lowbrow shakedown tactics failed, because you are now insignificant!

 

Apple, simply ignore this buffoon!

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #18 of 270
Throughout my life young life I considered Jesse Jackson a wanna be. He never seemed to be a true leader. As I grew older my opinion of him never changed.

In this country anyone can try to be more than he/she is IF they choose to try. Trying will not be easy. There will be many knocks. Many of those knocks will come from fellow minorities.

With so much hardship going on in cities around the country, why is Jackson focusing his attention on disparity in board rooms? The Rainbow Coalition obviously does not consider providing inspiration where it is truly needed a priority considering it is targeting technology companies for not having minorities on their boards!

I have started a software company developing iPhone/iPad apps. This is not easy stuff. If my company does become successful enough for me to hire people, the odds ate the people will not be minority. This is due to the lack of minority talent able to do what I do. Heck, in this area there are few non-minority people who are doing what I am!

If there are minorities bitching because they are not Apple's board, who are they? Have the submitted their resumes to Apple or any other company?

I do not consider myself missing out because I chose not to submit my resume to Apple, Google, etc. for admittance to their boards. I have too much to do to make my company successful.

Hmmm... Jackson could promote minority technologists who are out there busting their butts everyday just like the Silicon Valley technologists and are having a great time attempting to create great technologies.
post #19 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

The world isn't perfect. Perfect solutions to its problems, reducible to comforting sound bites, will never be found. And yet those problems still need to be solved, not ignored.

So, let's face a little uncomfortable imperfection and start to change things. It's past time.

One uncomfortable imperfection: the color of your skin can affect your career. It's not 100% evaluation of talent that's at work. That's true even if (as I believe true at Apple and many modern firms) it is unplanned. So--step one: admit the problem and talk about it without being afraid.

and it's a barrier for entry that goes back generations.   If we are a people who 'apply energy to fix problems [inequality/justice]'  then this means an 'affirmative' set of 'actions' (being careful not to link those together).   The fact that, especially for African Americans, several generations got no return on their sweat, and even now, a black man with a pristine college degree will more than likely lose out to a white guy with a felony criminal record is telling. 

 

under-privileged people means (if you look at a bell curve) there is a set of over privileged people.  Equality means no place for privilege.   Every corporation is run not for the good of the human race (the 1 and only 1 race of people on earth), but for the good of the owners....

 

Unless they purport to 'think different' (and use Muhammad Ali as an icon of their message).

post #20 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post
 

How many boards can Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice serve on?

 

The fact is the there just isn't a huge pool of top-notch executive level African Americans to draw from.

Gotta Fill the pool.  This isn't about taking some schmoe off the street and putting him on the Board.   This is executive grooming.   Large Corps pride themselves in their executive development (Apple, actually doesn't do what the military and GE do, which transfer their protege's into other divisions to get a feel of the 'whole company' - they are very 'up from the bottom' mode).   

 

The problem won't be solved tomorrow.  But the solution can be started today.

post #21 of 270
Given where we are today, we have to separate the objective of diversity from the questionable behavior patterns that we have come to know in Jesse Jackson, the individual.

I admit to being a Fanatical Moderate. I Disdain the Inane. Vyizderzominymororzizazizdenderizorziz?

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post #22 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I’d rather have all white men who can do the best job than “one of each flavor” who can’t.

If that makes me racist, I’m happily so.

Yes it does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

How many boards can Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice serve on?

The fact is the there just isn't a huge pool of top-notch executive level African Americans to draw from.

And that's where the problem lies. Why are minority execs in short supply? Don't tell me none are qualified. Why isn't there more opportunity? There has to be a non-quota way to fix this.

I don't think Jesse Jackson should be the face of this issue. He's a race baiter. He's only in it for himself and his publicity.
post #23 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


Yes it does.

No it doesn't.

post #24 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by bvgk View Post

While we are at it .... lets also bring diversity into NFL , NBA as well

Weak Sauce.   It's actually a testament to how non-white people can achieve when their talents are nurtured at young age and rewarded based on ability, not on what school you came from (well... in a different sense, maybe), or did I hobnob with your father in the day....

post #25 of 270
Tim Cook: so busy focussing on being gay that he forgot to be African-American as well.

Apple is Doomed™
post #26 of 270
It starts with the approach that individuals like Bill Cosby espouse. Do that, provide equal educational opportunities and encourage/enable diversity at the school level and the problem will resolve itself in one or two generations.

You already see improvements but, unless the points addressed by Cosby are embraced, the likelihood of true progress is diminished greatly.
post #27 of 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

I’d rather have all white men who can do the best job than “one of each flavor” who can’t.

 

If that makes me racist, I’m happily so.

I would be willing to wager a winning lottery ticket that you are in fact a White person making what you probably think is a neutral, objective statement about race.

 

I would also wager that you consider people of differing races (whatever they may be) to be truly different than you in some quality or distinction. Sure, there are cultural differences. There are physical differences. But in terms of their humanity, capability, value, and worth, they are absolutely no different. Scientifically speaking, there is actually greater genetic similarity between people of DIFFERING races than people of the same race!

 

Which is why it is so problematic that there are so many of one "race" in power over people of another "race."

 

Don't think CEOs have power, that they knowingly wield over others? I would wager the same lottery ticket I won from my previous bet that there are dozens of posts, articles, and physical evidence could argue otherwise.

 

So why have CEOs that come from different backgrounds? Why from different races? The question is why NOT? Why AREN'T there people from all backgrounds, racial and ethnic, leading corporations, influencing vast swaths of American consumption? What makes White people so special?

 

My apologies if this seems like a rant. But I believe veiled or self-excused racism is, in fact, the worst kind.

post #28 of 270
Newly hired Angela Arendts at Apple is often touted as a potential successor to Tim Cook upon his retirement already. Also, I notice the new Chairman of the Board at Micrsoft is black.
post #29 of 270

Are you seriously that ignorant ?  Do you know own any African American CEOs and executives exist at other companies? The pool is quite large. And there are are "binders full" of white women executives. Ignorance is just a prevalent in 2014 as it was in 1960. Welcome to the new world.  Oops.  It's still the old world - just more undercover. Put a new coat of paint on it but never fix the rust.  Sooner or later it comes to the surface. Duh.

post #30 of 270

I was wondering what happened to Jesse Jackson.  It's been a while since we've heard from him.  Hiring the best person for the job inherently discriminates against hiring the worst person for the job.  How will we ever move forward?  /s

post #31 of 270
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post
Yes it does.
Originally Posted by starflyer View Post
No it doesn't.

 

I’m glad there’s at least something on which we can agree.

 

Originally Posted by emoeric87 View Post

I would also wager that you consider people of differing races (whatever they may be) to be truly different than you in some quality or distinction.

 

Is genetics a quality or distinction? Because I’ll have to go with genetics.

 
But in terms of their humanity, capability, value, and worth, they are absolutely no different.

 

Thanks for implying I believe otherwise, by the way. That goes over well with people–claiming things about them you cannot possibly know.

 
Scientifically speaking, there is actually greater genetic similarity between people of DIFFERING races than people of the same race!

 

That sounds completely and utterly wrong.

 
The question is why NOT?

 

That’s nowhere near an argument.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #32 of 270

Haven't he tried this before when Steve Jobs was alive?  

post #33 of 270
Jesse Jackson has a well-established reputation as a shake-down artist with PUSH in Chicago. There, he's not only demanded that businesses hire more blacks, he often has a list of friends seeking well-paying executive positions. It the racial equivalent of Chicago-machine's classic pay to play.

On the other hand, it's hard to feel much sympathy for a company that leans politically left and whose employees put a lot of money in the Obama basket in 2008 and 2012. If you want good, fair, equitable, government that doesn't engaged in various forms of race and sex baiting, don't give money to those who have a "D" after their name, much less those from the country's most corrupt city. That's obvious.

Instead, Apple has opted for putting the Chicago shakedown machine in the White House. It is now upset that means they, of all people, are getting hit by shakedowns. First came that DOJ lawsuit (for Amazon's sake, no doubt). Now Jesse Jackson has come a knocking, cap in hand. You reap what you sow.

There's another reason to feel no sympathy for executive offices at Apple. Years ago, I worked on getting EMT-certification in Washington State. One of my classmates was a woman who'd come up from California. She told me that getting an EMT job in California was virtually impossible for a white woman. In their hiring, fire departments set aside a certain number of slots to fill diversity criteria. Their thinking was "Why fill just one at a time?" Hire a white woman, and they'd only fill one diversity slot. Hire a black or Hispanic woman and they filled two. And they weren't doing that out of evil intent. Once those quotas were filled, other applicants could be judged on merit alone. And when it comes to EMTs and Medics, what you really want are those most qualified.

I made a mental note to never get in a medical emergency in California. And since that sort of unpleasantness has been going on for decades for working-class and blue collar job with no protest from Apple and their kin, there's little reason to get upset when the quota demands start to focus on the top. It's not like a company with Al Gore on its board can argue that intelligence, good sense and technical expertise drive its selection process.

I might add that in my experience people with genuine talent, whatever their race or sex, hate quotas. Those quotas cast doubt on the success they've legitimately earned.
post #34 of 270

And the race baiting extortionist plies his trade once again.

post #35 of 270
Ah... Jesse Jackson, professional corporate blackmailer back in action.

He is a truly lamentable human being.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #36 of 270

To me, the surprise isn't that there aren't more African-Americans in top-tier tech positions, it's that there aren't more Indians, Chinese and Russians (although there are some of course, like Nadella at Microsoft). In my experience working in technology in New York, those seem to be the dominant groups. I haven't really seen high percentages of African-Americans in technology in any "tier," and the situation isn't much better for women in general. Career choices have a strong cultural component, and this can certainly change, but I don't think the businesses and industries are primarily responsible in this case. I think parents and schools are probably more to blame, if we're going to apportion blame. Here in New York, there's so much demand for good developers that competitive businesses can't really afford to discriminate even if they wanted to. Which isn't to say that racism and discrimination aren't completely reprehensible and probably still happening somewhere.

post #37 of 270
"Technology is supposed to be about inclusion, but sadly, patterns of exclusion remains the order of the day,"

Uh? I thought technology was about getting the best engineers and designers to forge paths into the future. What does that have to do with race, creed or color?
post #38 of 270
Jessie Jackson is a terrible choice for a diversity campaign leader. He is a known racial bigot. Apple has plenty of diverse employees and Mr Jackson has only 1 thing in mind - Black, not diverse. He has been a trouble maker all of his life and I would not give him the time of day. He is biased and not worth even a conversation on the subject.
post #39 of 270
You know, if you're smart and black, you'll make it. Just like if you're smart and white, smart and asian, smart and indian, etc...you'll make it.

Jackson just can't stop playing the race card. He's the typical reverse racist.
post #40 of 270
It's not like the problem is limited to executives and to Apple. In 20 years in the Silicon Valley, I have worked with a grand total of three African Americans; never interviewed a single black candidate for an open position. Don't know what the reason is, but there seems to be a disproportionately low percentage of blacks in the high-tech industry; i don't know what the official statistics are.
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