Jesse Jackson targets tech’s lack of diversity; sends letter to Apple, Google, HP, others

“Jesse Jackson is bringing a strategy borrowed from the traditional civil rights era playbook to the age of social media and a booming tech industry known for its disruptive innovation,” Martha Mendoza and Jesse Washington report for The Associated Press. “Jackson plans to lead a delegation to Hewlett-Packard’s annual shareholders meeting Wednesday to bring attention to Silicon Valley’s poor record of including blacks and Latinos in hiring, board appointments and startup funding.”

“Jackson said he isn’t singling out HP, he’s just using the company’s annual meeting to highlight the broader issue. ‘Technology is supposed to be about inclusion, but sadly, patterns of exclusion remains the order of the day,’ Jackson wrote in a letter released Monday to Apple Inc., Twitter Inc., Facebook Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Google Inc. and others,” Mendoza and Washington report. “About 1 in 14 tech workers is black or Latino, both in the Silicon Valley and nationally. Blacks and Hispanics make up 13.1 and 16.9 percent of the U.S. population, respectively, according to the most recent census data.”

“Yet as recently as 2011, The Allstate Corp., in alliance with Jackson’s RainbowPUSH organization, recognized HP for its commitment to diversity,” Mendoza and Washington report. “‘While we certainly agree that diversity is an important issue in corporate America, we’re puzzled by Rev. Jackson’s sudden interest in HP,’ HP Executive Vice President Henry Gomez said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press. ‘Today, HP is the largest company in the world with both a female CEO and CFO, and nearly half of our leadership team and board of directors are women and minorities. Additionally, nearly 50 years ago, HP established the first minority business program in the United States.’ Gomez also points out that in 2013, HP spent nearly $1 billion with almost 500 minority business enterprises in the U.S. and an additional $500 million with businesses owned by women. ‘We look forward to seeing Rev. Jackson at our shareholder meeting,’ Gomez said. Apple and Google declined to comment on Jackson’s grievances.”

“In the past, Jackson’s critics have accused him of profiting from similar protest actions. These critics say that after Jackson targeted companies over diversity issues in the financial sector and other industries, some have ended up donating large sums to Jackson’s organizations,” Mendoza and Washington report. “In other cases, the targeted companies gave contracts to minority-owned firms that paid Jackson for referrals.”

Read more in the full article here.

78 Comments

  1. This clown needs to target the black and Hispanic community and work to make them qualified for tech jobs. Lack of diversity has nothing to do with oppression but rather lack of skilled workers. These tech companies are begging for skilled technicians. They don’t care if you’re black green brown or orange but you need to be QUALIFIED!

    1. I agree, the tech companies can do little to change this situation. However, it is a little more complicated than “Lack of diversity has nothing to do with oppression but rather lack of skilled workers.” It isn’t always easy for minorities to rise out of their circumstances.

      Racism certainly still exists (but that isn’t the only cause of the problem). Take a look at “Kentucky fried chicken’s” comment. There are still lots of people that are racist scumbags and a lot of people that contribute by simply doing nothing.

      1. While it is certainly difficult for some members of minorities to rise out of difficult economic/social/family situations, that certainly is not the fault of the tech industry. If anything, the tech industry is probably the least likely to discriminate against someone. If you have good skills or good ideas, you can make it in the tech industry.

        The problem Jackson is completely glossing over (because it has zero PR value) is that most poorer minorities, often in inner cities, get far more involved in gangs, drugs, poor education, and other problems rather than activities to improve their skills. But Jackson can’t make money off of marching against gangs, so he marches against HP, whom he praised not even 3 years ago.

        Hypocrite.

      2. Racism, WTF? Look up the word racism. Racism has nothing to do with it, qualifications has everything to do with it. Do you want “quota blacks” on the job?
        A sad truth, black kids get picked on for being too white, so they become underachievers from an environment of under achievers. Of course not all but most do, they then play the victim card; so sad.

    2. Agreed. They look at symptoms and draw the causes they hope to find. Not one piece of evidence showing anywhere that anyone is discriminating about anything anywhere. Help the parents help their kids learn and gain the needed skills and you solve the imaginary causes. Work on solving the problems. The damage that have been done to many regions of this great country may take several generations to repair. Innovations from companies like Apple and the others can only help speed the repair to the damage along faster. At no other time in the history of the planet has anyone been able to learn, understand and reach the goals they wish to work towards.

    3. Here’s a question: why are the Japanese so terrible with software? Sometimes things can be explained with education and culture (or in the case of the Japanese, linguistics and culture).

    4. Jesse Jackson is an extortionist. He trades on his “own people” in order to line his own pockets. People like him are the scum of the earth.

      If he really cared about minorities, he’d be working against Dem/Lib/Prog policies that systematically encourage blacks to decimate their own race with out-of-control abortion rates while keeping them slaves to government subsistence handouts where, in desperation, they turn to drugs and crime, thereby causing black males to be incarcerated, leaving single moms to raise yet another generation dependent on Dem/Lib/Prog handouts – those they don’t abort, of course – and the cycle continues. These poor sheep are kept so “dumbed down” that they line up in lockstep to vote for their own continued slavery at the rate of 90% or higher.

      It’s sad. I pray that the black Americans wake up someday and look around for obviously better alternatives. Where have the Dems/Libs/Progs taken you in exchange for your decades of blind allegiance, black America?

      It was a Republican who freed the slaves.

      1. Re:First 2014, Then 2016
        Paragraph 1- True
        Paragraph 2- Opinion with dubious support as it paints with too broad a brush. Democrats, Liberals and Progressives are NOT the same and are only loosely allied. Many Progressives and Libertarian Conservatives have much common ground- so do not be so rigid. I was a Republican until the Republican Party left me behind- it is an intolerant group of rigid ideologues marching toward insignificance like the Whigs that preceded them- so I know.
        Paragraph 3- African Americans tended to vote Republican until the advent of the New Deal, when they switched to the Democratic Party. From emancipation to Hoover Republicans did very little for African Americans after the end of Reconstruction.
        Paragraph 4- Lincoln freed the slaves in the Confederacy by Executive Order- a Presidential power Conservatives constantly bitch about with Obama. The freeing of slaves came as a Constitutional Amendment.

        Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Ford would not be welcome in the GOP of today. Reagan would be seriously disappointed as Goldwater was in his later years.

        1. African Americans have been paying for that mistake for the last 50 years. We are largely an uneducated voting block. We’ve been conditioned to think that some magic solution is owed to us for all of our problems. We keep waiting for that magic solution to come from the Democratic Party.

          Unfortunately we’ve yet to realize that the liberal party of this country has been and still is the single most racist institution to ever exist here. Where it was the overt racism of slavery, the founding of the KKK, the Jim Crow south, or the happy face “benevolent” racism that carries with it a condescending message that “you are not capable” of today, the most racism has and always will come from the left.

          Jessie Jackson targeting the tech industry is just another example of the lies we are told by leftist. No, it is not our fault for culturally eschewing education, it is the fault of some unseen invisible racist barrier. No one ever tells the truth, that in America, YES “RACIST AMERICA” blacks can chart their own course and have the best chance for a good life out of anywhere else on this planet, where overt racism is still rampant.

          Piss poor Liberal policies of quotas and set asides etc. have only served to mix with our cultural dysfunction to create a stagnant demographic of widespread arrested development.

          Yes the largest anti-slavery contingent came from the side of Republicans. Republicans also pushed for and backed civil rights legislation. It wasn’t until LBJ’s new deal that things started to go awry.

          “I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years. [Touting his underlying intentions for the “Great Society” programs, LBJ confided with two like-minded governors on Air Force One]”

          1. Re: Civil Rights Act Of 1957: “When Arkansas refused to integrate and openly defied Brown v. Board of Education, Eisenhower sent in federal troops to enforce the law. Eisenhower maintained he was enforcing the law and doing his duties as president. “

        2. yep, i think this country needs more leaders in the mold of dwight eisenhower. he was not an idealogue – both parties courted him – and despite a few lapses, like not calling out joe mccarthy for one and not denouncing the huac witch hunt – he was a good man. even managed a couple of non deficit budgets too while fighting the cold war at its height and building the interstate highway system. of course the top tax rate for the wealthy was about 90%…… ah the good old days.

          1. Dwight Eisenhower was a man among men. The man who refused Doenitz’s salute at Germany’s surrender. The man who warned of “the military-industrial complex.” The man who forced German civilians to tour death houses of their Nazis.

            Please compare his intellect, compassion and integrity with the current obscenity-in-chief.

    5. I am an embedded software engineer working for a very large bio-medical company and I can tell you that most of the engineers that I work with are incredibly mediocre. Whether Jackson’s intent is good or not, his point is a valid one which is why not also hire “mediocre” black engineers. From my experience, most of the black engineers have to work twice as hard and simply cannot make any mistakes – they are generally very good. You will be shocked to learn that so many of the non-black engineers can totally SCREW UP and still survive.

  2. How many shares does Jesse Jackson have? Surely the company belongs to the shareholders, and anyone can buy a share. The minute decisions are based on colour instead of competency is the point to sell a stock. While Apple is a U.S. based company, an increasing proportion of sales are outside the U.S., e.g. in places like China. The approval of directors is up to the shareholders; if it isn’t, then why hold shares?

    1. The concept is ‘social responsibility’, which sadly was all but stricken from the language of capitalism by likes of nasty Milton Friedman and his ilk. The result, IMHO, as a bastardization of capitalism I find more akin to parasitism of everything within reach. Obviously, that’s not remotely healthy for anyone, including the people who perpetrate it.

      But let’s get back to the baloney of forced diversity without qualification. The actual problem is getting the talented people out of their oppressive environment and encouraging them to become their best selves. I find that process to be marvelous for everyone concerned.

  3. Does anyone really care what this racist fool thinks? People are hired and retained based on training and ability! Leave the damn racist quotas to government! I would hire people I think can do the job! Not because of skin color! This racist mentality is ALL about bringing white people down. No doubt about it. Go a commit adultery again and come back an preach to us, Jackson! You are a complete fool!

Reader Feedback

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