Desperate for attention, racial injustice pot-stirrer Jesse Jackson has targeted tech companies for his belief that they exclude minorities in hiring, board appointments, and start-up funding. He plans to lead a delegation to disrupt the Hewlett-Packard annual shareholder’s meeting today to bring attention to this non-issue. Should be fun.
“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, Twitter, Facebook, Hewlett-Packard, Google and others tech giants.
Really? Technology is supposed to be about inclusion? Where in any definition of the word does it say that? Technology is about innovation and simplification. It is a non-political, non-social arm of science that is beholden only to the laws of physics and bound by the human imagination.
Earl “Butch” Graves Jr., president and CEO of Black Enterprise magazine, made an equally stupid statement regarding tech’s lack of diversity. He said, “Jackson is shining a light on the fact that technology companies don’t come close to hiring or spending what is commensurate with the demographics of their customers.”
Just because someone buys (or steals) an iPhone doesn’t mean they are qualified to program the operating system or design an app. And that really is the point in all of this. If there is a lack of diversity at tech companies it is because there are a lack of qualified minority job applicants. Tech companies are the most progressive, socially conscious firms in the world. They aren’t excluding blacks and Latinos; there just ain’t enough of them around that can do the job.
It’s not just the message Jackson is trying to send that makes no sense; his targeting of Hewlett-Packard is also a mystery. The company spent in 2013 nearly $1 billion on 500 minority business enterprises in the U.S. and an additional $500 million with businesses owned by women.
“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,” noted HP executive vice president Henry Gomez.
Way to pick a fight with a company that has a proven track record of diversity, Jesse. Maybe he should at least target a tech company that has outrageously discriminatory hiring practices. Of course the problem here is that no such company exists. Once again Jackson is inventing racism where it doesn’t exist.
This entire episode brings up an interesting point about entitlement. Why do blacks feel they are owed a certain percentage of employment in every field based solely on the percentage of the population they hold? It is an affirmative action mindset that makes blacks demand that they should get jobs they aren’t qualified for to level the playing field. Hiring someone just because they are black is as racist as not hiring someone just because they are black.
The field is level and everyone has an equal chance to succeed. Those that have talent and drive will rise to the top. This applies to everything including the tech industry and professional sports. I don’t see Jackson complaining about the lack of diversity in the NBA.
If Jesse really wants to address this perceived problem, he should first look to the broken families that fail to teach their children the value of education and hard work. Then, get on a K-12 education system that is more interested in social engineering than teaching math and science. Lastly, he needs to take a long look in the mirror for giving the black community an excuse to underachieve by blaming all of their problems on racism.