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.


  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.


      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]”

        2. 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. “

        3. 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.

        4. 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!

  4. Companies should hire the best and brightest. And if any company is found to unfairly discriminate because of race, religion or politics then that company needs to be held accountable and punished.

    End of story.

    1. That’s fine as long as Eric Holder, Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton et al are not calling the shots with regards who gets to decide when a company needs to be held accountable and punished!

  5. White guilt runs high in California. The Right Reverend should clean up. I’m betting Tim Cook will do something to mollify Jesse without breaking the bank.
    Microsoft probably told him to take a running f**k already.

    1. “”I feel sad when some Silicon Valley CEOs — ones that have fine diversity records — validate Jackson’s con by putting him in the spotlight,” Cypress Semiconductor President and Chief Executive Officer T.J. Rodgers tells Insight. Rodgers is one of a handful of executives who have rejected Jackson’s efforts to be paid.

      Microsoft spokeswoman Gayle Cruise wouldn’t disclose the extent of Microsoft’s gifts to Jackson’s nonprofit empire, but said it now includes software, cash, training and Microsoft employees who are loaned to the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.

      An examination of Jackson’s financial-disclosure forms for the last 10 years turns up just a single contribution by Microsoft, made in 1999. The $25,000 from Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash., was dwarfed by dozens of Jackson’s larger sponsors.”

  6. We know what works. When Jessie demanded the A&E network and the Cracker Barrel restaurant 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! It’s hard to decry ‘lack of diversity’ in Silicon Valley when America’s first “black” president sits down among the Valley’s top CEOs for dinner and a chat.

    Apple, simply ignore this buffoon!

    1. Hilarious. Jackson -a liberal- calling out Apple -run by liberals- because they do not toe the line… enough.
      And then you wankers call Jackson out when he’s simply doing what you people have required others to do, kowtow to the feminists and ‘equality’ nazis.

  7. Tech is very diverse- just not Jesse Jackson diverse.

    Take a look at the schools that fill the tech universe and then go to the colleges/departments that teach engineering, math and science- take a look around.
    Very diverse and not majority white by any standard.

    This, Mr Jackson, is where the future hires are coming from. Tech is a meritocracy and is open to any who do the work necessary to get there.

    When the people Mr Jackson purports to represent start enrolling in Calculus, Physics, Trigonometry, Advanced Algebra, Chemistry instead of coasting through High School their employment horizons will begin to improve. A degree from Fly-By-Night Career College or some for-profit unaccredited school is not going to cut it.

    When poor kids stop trying to be rappers and start studying, doing their homework, staying out of trouble, not getting or getting someone pregnant, and using the school resources available to them for free they will break the cycle. Too many people have come from poor backgrounds and poor schools because they used the resources available to them and ran with the ball. Playas will never be recruited to Silicon Valley- well prepared people driven to succeed of all races, genders, orientations, ethnicities and backgrounds will.

    1. Darwin, you hit the nail on the head.

      If black kids or any kids want to get into high tech, they need to take STEM classes in high school then go to college and major in engineering or science. It is really that simple.

      Look at the graduating engineer classes for most good universities in the US. The classes are half Asian which leads to half the executives in the Silicon Valley being Asian.

      Ah, but this is America where it is so much easier to blame someone for our problems then to look in the mirror and realize it is our own fault.

  8. Apple has nerds to design and code, sales people who push the products and off continent, low wage workers who assemble the products.

    If that’s not diversity, what the hell is?

  9. Jesse Jackson has misplaced his wrath (for his own profit) for decades.

    If you want “diversity” in the workplace, start by strengthening the family, early pre-school family oriented learning (including using the right words) and then encourage students all through their school years. Continue to tell the students they can achieve whatever they set their mind to do.

  10. Jesse Jackson is starting another big business shakedown. As usual playing the race card to scare companies into donating money to the cause (AKA Jesse’s Bank accounts). This POS needs to STFU and go away.

  11. To be fair, back in the day, Jackson was one of those people who marched, risked his life and safety, for equal opportunity. I don’t understand what changed him.

    You know, it’s funny. Things are broken. While the Democratic party (not necessarily the people who call themselves Democrats) is the party of racism, and blacks are largely a conservative group of people, we continue to vote Democrat.

    I think we are starting to see a change in that.

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