Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Stats Technology

Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step 514

Posted by Soulskill
from the opportunity-shortage dept.
theodp writes: U.S. civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson called on the Obama administration Monday to scrutinize the tech industry's lack of diversity. "There's no talent shortage. There's an opportunity shortage," Jackson said, calling Silicon Valley "far worse" than many others, such as car makers that have been pressured by unions. He said tech behemoths have largely escaped scrutiny by a public dazzled with their cutting-edge gadgets. Jackson spoke to press after meeting with Labor Secretary Tom Perez for a review of H-1B visas, arguing that data show Americans have the skills and should have first access to high-paying tech work. Jackson's Rainbow Push Coalition plans to file a freedom-of-information request next month with the EEOC to acquire employment data for companies that have not yet disclosed it publicly, which includes Amazon, Broadcom, Oracle, Qualcomm and Yelp. Unlike the Dept. of Labor, Jackson isn't buying Silicon Valley's argument that minority hiring statistics are trade secrets. Five years after Google's HR Chief would only reassure Congress the company had "a very strong internal Black Googler Network" and its CEO brushed off similar questions about its diversity numbers by saying "we're pretty happy with the way our recruiting work," Google — under pressure from Jackson — fessed up to having a tech workforce that's only 1% Black, apparently par for the course in Silicon Valley.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @02:42PM (#47568419)

    Follow the money.

  • Stop the idiocracy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @02:43PM (#47568425)
    Step #1 would be for not allowing people to look down on those who are smarter. Way too many people in the USA make it a point of pride that they are dumb.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      people

      Way too many people avoid naming names when dealing with race, even in stories that directly cite "black." It's urban black culture that disparages intellect.

      If we're going to talk race then lets talk race. Lets talk about how few blacks are employed in tech, and lets talk about why so few blacks are actually employable in tech.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by geminidomino (614729)

        It's urban black culture that disparages intellect.

        It's hardly limited to that.

        * The 20% of the country's land area called "the bible belt", especially the more rural chunks of it fit neatly into that box.

        * Enough of the boob-tube watching population that it's a trope second only to "oafish husband-father/long-suffering wife-mother."

        * All of Washington DC.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @02:43PM (#47568433)

    Tech isn't about equal rights. It's about if you are smart enough to get it done.

    If there isn't a minority in there they are not smart enough.

    It's bad enough we have to deal with the Indians and Chinese with their H1B Visas and working practically for free, the last thing we need to do is be forced
    to work with someone who can't carry their own weight.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ilsaloving (1534307)

      How is this modded insightful? It's complete and utter bullshit.

      Overseas workers work cheaper, and put up with more crap than domestic workers. It has nothing at all to do with skill level... it never did. It's pure corporate greed.

    • by metlin (258108) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @04:13PM (#47569335) Journal

      As an Indian American, while I agree with the spirit of your comment, please remember that we are just as badly affected by the H1B visas as any other Americans.

      Unfortunately, we are all cast in the same light, our background, academic qualifications, or experience notwithstanding.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      This is BS. Human beings still do the hiring, not impartial computers. Humans like to hire humans that are like them; similar personalities for sure, but also similar races, same gender, same schools, same religion, people who dress similarly, and so forth. Maybe it's not overt but humans have bias, even geeks.

      Meritocracy is just another way to maintain the status quo, and ignores that there are real problems preventing people outside of the privileged groups from getting the necessary education.

  • by Whorhay (1319089) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @02:45PM (#47568435)

    I can't speak for what it is like in Silicon Valley but where I work in the deep south I would estimate that at least 30% of my fellow tech workers are of African ancestry.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I can't speak for what it is like in Silicon Valley but where I work in the deep south I would estimate that at least 30% of my fellow tech workers are of African ancestry.

      This seems to only happen in a government setting. Am I right?

      • Nope (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @03:12PM (#47568725)

        I can't speak for what it is like in Silicon Valley but where I work in the deep south I would estimate that at least 30% of my fellow tech workers are of African ancestry.

        This seems to only happen in a government setting. Am I right?

        I work in the in Metro Atlanta and I had a few (quite talented I might add) African-American developers. One saved my ass with an encryption routine.

        Geoffry was this Nubian -as he referred to himself - very sharp coder/developer/computer scientist/ or what ever title you want to give him.

        Back in Boca Raton, my boss was this African-American who was a cross between Link on Mod Squad and Mr. Rogers. Brilliant developer who had the management-leadership skills that would melt the brains of the best.

        If I were a rich man....yabba dabba doo ... I'd give him a billion dollars and make him rich too - and me richer.

    • by tofu2go (727555)
      Might have something to do with the fact that the African American population is greater in the south than anywhere else in the United States. In Louisiana and Georgia for example the African American population is around 30%. In California, African Americans make up only about 6% of the total population. Perhaps the demographic of the local workforce is a reflection of the local population?
    • by gbjbaanb (229885)

      Yeah, so I hope and expect Jesse Jackson to really kick off and promote the workforce equality such that it is truly representative of the local population's ethnic ratio.

      If that means more white workers have to be hired then I expect him to be promoting more white guys.... won't hold my breath waiting for that to happen though!

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      In the firmware development group I work in we actually have a good amount of diversity.
      We will hire anyone with talent.
      The lack of opportunity is not in the hiring area. It is in the home and education. Hiring someone because of race is bigotry. I doesn't matter if the race happens to be anglo or african descent.

  • Confusing position (Score:5, Informative)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @02:45PM (#47568441)

    I'm confused... is Jackson arguing for more Americans, or more black people, or more black Americans, to get tech jobs?

    After listening to Jackson over the years, it's now almost a reflex for me to argue against his statements. But I'm still sketchy on what they are in this case.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @02:50PM (#47568495)

      There is no confusion, that racist is arguing specifically for black people. Not Americans in general or anything else. Instead of trying to get the government to lay down yet more regulations, he should really reach out to his communities and educate the vast majority of black people so they can get these tech jobs. The majority of black people live in low income areas and rarely ever leave. He needs to stop asking for handouts and actually start helping the people he claims to be helping.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      >> is Jackson arguing for more Americans, or more black people, or more black Americans, to get tech jobs?

      Whatever gets him paid.

      http://www.solargeneral.com/jeffs-archive/black-civil-wrongs/jesse-shakedown-jackson-gets-beer-distributorship-for-son/

    • by DigiShaman (671371) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @02:55PM (#47568547) Homepage

      Reverse discrimination. Jesse Jackson is putting race, not skill level, as the priority imputes to employ more blacks. In his world view, society must bend over backwards to cater to the African American.

      Hey Jesse!!! Yeah you. They don't want to be an Uncle Tom. The idea of "white" culture (a culture of being educated and the further pursuit thereof) is what may of the blacks are against. Those that you represent value ignorance over everything else. For them, they derive power through victimization; and the liberal society is all to willing to go along with the coddle-fication of victimization attitude!

      • by Capt James McCarthy (860294) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @03:14PM (#47568747) Journal

        Reverse discrimination.

        Sorry, but discrimination is discrimination. There is no direction. It either takes place or it doesn't. Using the term reverse gives advantage and power to one group over another.

        • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @03:20PM (#47568813)

          Reverse discrimination.

          Sorry, but discrimination is discrimination. There is no direction. It either takes place or it doesn't. Using the term reverse gives advantage and power to one group over another.

          So would you argue that affirmative action and hiring/acceptance quotas are discrimination since they put a higher value on some races than they do others?

          • Reverse discrimination.

            Sorry, but discrimination is discrimination. There is no direction. It either takes place or it doesn't. Using the term reverse gives advantage and power to one group over another.

            So would you argue that affirmative action and hiring/acceptance quotas are discrimination since they put a higher value on some races than they do others?

            At some point they become discrimination and defeatist in nature to everyone involved with society. But I am also a realist, and understand that at one point there was a need to have these practices in place in the U.S. And I think that they will still exist in some form or another, but not enforced. There are many industries in the US who's work force is not diversified at all or are becoming of one particular background.

            What is a proper percentage of bodies of a particular ethnic background/gender

        • by jxander (2605655)

          While true, reverse- just indicates that it's opposite of the norm.

          When Mega-Maid went from suck to blow, it could be characterized as reverse-flow. But really, there's no such thing. Flow is flow.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        Jesse Jackson is putting race, not skill level, as the priority imputes to employ more blacks.

        No he isn't. He is saying that black people need more opportunities to get those jobs, i.e. more access to training that is lacking in the areas where many black people live. Rather than going after H1B visas the tech companies should be trying to bring better education to parts of America that are not well served, but there is a lot of stigma associated with them that prevents it happening.

        You are projecting your own feeling of persecution onto what it he says, rather than paying attention to what he actua

    • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @03:34PM (#47568953) Homepage Journal

      His arguments are, "pay attention to me so I can use the plight of African-Americans to fatten my own bank account."

      In fact, that's the only argument he and Sharpton have ever had. I pray, when they die, the ghost of MLK spends eternity bitch-slapping the both of them day in and day out.

      • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @03:44PM (#47569043)

        I pray, when they die, the ghost of MLK spends eternity bitch-slapping the both of them day in and day out.

        I think MLK is going to be too busy spanking his kids for eternity after the way they've fought over and tarnished his legacy these past few decades.

      • by raymorris (2726007) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @04:24PM (#47569403)

        >. I pray, when they die, the ghost of MLK spends eternity bitch-slapping the both of them day in and day out.

          That put a smile on my face. MLK was a leader, one of the best. Jackson is not a leader, he's a whiner. Also a liar. WWhas it Jesse or Sharpton who was about 8 years old when he started calling himself "Reveren"? Either way, they're the same - professional whiners. Where exactly is your church, reverend? I'll try to avoid having my daughter exposed to either of them, lying and telling her she can't do anything because of her complexion.

  • by TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @02:47PM (#47568465) Journal
    But I have a hard time referring to Rev. Jackson by the titular "US Civil Rights Leader" when in fact, he is most widely known for promoting the civil rights of a specific minority. Also, and again, I don't like where this is going. Hiring should be based on qualification of skill, and NOTHING else. Trying to make up for inequality of upbringing by arbitrating diversity standards is as stupid today as it was 20 years ago.
  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @02:48PM (#47568479)

    He seems convinced that the tech companies with the fewest black developers make the most amazing products.

    It seems he's basically arguing that there's a correlation (and therefore maybe causality) between being diverse and not leading the market.

    • I thought he was arguing against HB1 visas that import foreign workers instead of trying to hire more diverse American workers.
      • I thought he was arguing against HB1 visas that import foreign workers instead of trying to hire more diverse American workers.

        That's my best guess too. What if those workers are black? Or black and from impoverished countries? I'm curious if a liberal Democrat can bring himself to say "Americans first."

        • Americans first.
  • by hsthompson69 (1674722) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @02:50PM (#47568503)

    ...it's the content of one's culture.

    If Jesse wants more people with his skin color in the tech industry, he needs to get more of them into the proper culture.

    A thug mentality, and victimhood culture, does not succeed. A culture focused on academics, hard work, and personal responsibility does.

    • by Whorhay (1319089) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @04:47PM (#47569585)

      I agree in general but that is not an absolute. We've seen ample evidence over the years of institutions like the police giving particular attention to black communities in a negative way. Simple possesion of an illegal narcotic is more likely to destroy your future job prospects as a young black man than if you belonged to any other ethnic group. And I don't know if that is because people of other ethnic groups treat them unfairly in the court system or if it is a self inflicted thing. I am always surprised by the extremely negative atitudes my succesful black co-workers have for any young black person who makes a poor decision. It's probably some mix of both those problems though.

  • Jesse Jackson (Score:4, Insightful)

    by asmkm22 (1902712) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @02:51PM (#47568507)
    Hard to take him seriously when he's basically made himself very wealthy by "advocating" for blacks. It's hard to find anything he's done in the last 30 years that has had any meaningful impact, beyond lining his own pocket. But that hasn't stopped him from taking the soap box every chance he can get, before moving onto whatever new crisis comes up -- often leaving his previous efforts hanging.
  • Having an "equal opportunity" President is proving to be so popular [townhall.com], I can't wait for Mr. Jackson to be treated by an "equal opportunity" heart surgeon...

    fessed up to having a tech workforce that's only 1% Black, apparently par for the course in Silicon Valley.

    Not only is Silicon Valley young and Illiberal [businessinsider.com], they are also working on developing their businesses and would not sabotage their start-ups' success by turning away real talent.

    Whatever the problem is, Silicon Valley's "racism" ain't it...

  • Good for him (Score:5, Interesting)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @02:52PM (#47568517) Journal

    > Jackson spoke to press after meeting with Labor Secretary Tom Perez for a review of H-1B visas, arguing that data show Americans have the skills and should have first access to high-paying tech work.

    I usually find myself disagreeing with Jackson, but he seems to be on the right track here. I'm really hoping his involvement doesn't muddy the issue.

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @02:56PM (#47568561)

    From a NYT article:

    Of Google’s technical staff, 60 percent are white, 1 percent are black, 2 percent are Hispanic, 34 percent are Asian and 3 percent are of two or more races.

    As I read it, America is about 63% non-Hispanic white. Which sounds pretty close to Google's proportion of white technical staff. [wikipedia.org]

    It sounds like Jackson really needs to have a discussion as to why black people are being so out-hired by Asians.

    • by Reason58 (775044)
      It doesn't matter what percentage of the total population a race is if they aren't getting related degrees they won't be hired.
      • by digsbo (1292334)

        It doesn't matter what percentage of the total population a race is if they aren't sufficiently skilled they won't be hired.

        FTFY because I don't think giving dumbed-down degrees, a likely possible proposed solution, would really help.

    • Isn't it obvious? Since any disparity with proportions in the general population can only mean some sort of deliberate discrimination, we are forced to conclude that Silicon Valley is unfairly biased in favor of Asian people.
  • What?! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @02:57PM (#47568573)

    I saw him cry like a baby when Obama was elected. [youtube.com].

    I kind of think he's for real.

    On the other hand, as someone who has worked with very gifted African-American developers (at least here in Metro-Atlanta)* and who was offered a lucrative position because of his talents (technical AND social - he was GREAT to work with!), I am not so sure that there is a problem on the employer's side based upon my sample of one with a standard deviation of nonsense.

    Oh! The '*' - we had a HUGE problem with our software. I was tasked with finding out WTF happened.

    It was me. I fucked up.

    Now, I was handed a GOLDEN opportunity to blame the black guy as Chris Rock would say.

    I told the lead, "It was my code. Let me fix I know what I did."

    Tech lead, "But it was something that [black guy's name] did to cause it, riiiight?"

    "Nope. It was me."

    "But there was something he did that made you think you needed to code it the way you did? Right?"

    A bit terse: "Nope"

    End of conversation.

    End of jobs from that contracting company too.

    Why did I do that? Because of my own sense of fairness, I really like the guy, and my own belief that talent and hard work should be rewarded and folks who make a mistake should have the opportunity to make it right and learn from it (that's me).

    I think I was done a favor. I love tech but I hate working in it.

  • I mean what he wants is tech companies to hire minorities because of their race right? Wouldn't it be more fair to be colorblind in the workplace and hire people according to skill?
    • by blue9steel (2758287) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @03:44PM (#47569033)

      Wouldn't it be more fair to be colorblind in the workplace and hire people according to skill?

      There are two different schools of thought when it comes to solving racial inequity issues. Once school recommends that we strive towards colorblindness in decision making, the other school suggests that we deliberately take color into account but in a more positive way. The justification for the first school is that "two wrongs don't make a right". The justification for the second school is that "the situation won't resolve itself naturally". It's the whole equality of opportunity vs. equality of outcomes argument that tends to dominate our political discourse.

  • I'd bet a dollar that the offices of tech companies outside of Silicon valley are a bit more diverse. What are the stats on offices in Atlanta, NYC, or Chicago? Not everyone is willing to move to the valley in pursuit of a six figure paycheck and 100 hour work week.
    • by powerlord (28156)

      Google has lots of offices in places outside the Valley (famously buying a building or two in New York for instance), as do a number of other companies mentioned above.

      Is the article just targeting the Silicon Valley office population, or referring to the company workforce as a whole and already taking those other offices into account?

  • I have a dream that my four little computers will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their case, but by the content of their harddrives.

  • lack of diversity? (Score:4, Informative)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @03:01PM (#47568605) Journal

    Does the article really mean to say "lack of diversity"? My company's IT department is a little over 80% east Indian, which although technically (probably) meets the definition of "lack of diversity", misses the usual colloquial definition of "too many white guys".

  • by Rinikusu (28164) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @03:05PM (#47568647)

    Maybe there is something to the SV culture that's either rotten or just too self-absorbed to acknowledge there may be a problem. I'm down in SoCal (LA) and having worked for several small tech shops, I've never seen the issues that a lot of folks complain about up in SV. My workgroup is 50% female, and other than my manager, everyone is a minority (black, asian, indian-asian (and not H1Bs). Upper management tends to be of the white-male variety (I dunno, do we count gingers in that?) although our CEO is white female. I've been on the interview panels and it's not like we were hiring for diversity. We were just looking for people who had the technical know-how and personalities that would not be detrimental to our work group. And, I must add, our women engineers are engineers, not just "tech evangelists" or "tech spokeswomen" and the like that seem to get a lot of controversial press up there. Our black developers? The same. Maybe there really is a tech-bro-fraternity mentality in the SV, I've not moved up there to find out for myself (and as an asian, I don't imagine I'd actually see much of it directed against me, but who knows? More likely, I'd face issues because I'm over the age of 40).

  • I'm beyond it. Our parents aren't. But I think my generation is beyond it. Once they phase out of leadership roles, I think parasites like Jessie will find they have guilt upon which to feed.

  • We are on the opposite ends of the ideological rainbow (no pun intended), but I agree with part of what he is doing. The USA has plenty of high tech workers to fill any voids in the IT world here in the USA. If the number of H-1B visas should change, it would be to lower it, in my opinion. Definitely, do not increase this number.
  • by x_t0ken_407 (2716535) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @03:21PM (#47568829) Homepage

    I don't get it...I worked hard and was determined, and built my career from the ground up, WITHOUT a college degree. I don't understand why or even how I've continuously found work in an industry that needs a civil rights movement...? Should I ask the myriad of previous and current minority co-workers their experiences and trials/tribulations in attempting to break into this industry with such a color barrier? This is a fucking slap in the face of the ACTUAL civil rights movement of the past, and it sickens me.

  • by Cardinal Biggles (6685) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @03:25PM (#47568861)

    Yes! I was rejected for a job at Google once. Now I will be able to tell everyone it was only because I'm white. ;-)

    Seriously though, while I agree that hiring should be based on qualifications and not race/gender (or being a USian for that matter you bunch of nationalists), if an industry has so few non-white guys we need to take a long hard look at ourselves to check that there's no unfairness going on.

  • by losttoy (558557) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @03:34PM (#47568947)
    I am an Indian (asian) and work in SF and have worked in a few big tech companies down in the valley. I understand that people like Jesse Jackson spew a lot of rhetoric for their own cause not necessarily for upliftment of the people he supposedly represents. And, I also understand, the solution isn't as easy as making tech companies have some sort of affirmative action - if there aren't enough black people with basic tech skills or college degrees then affirmative action isn't going to help. All that said, it is bizarre - in all the places I have worked including the current, there isn't a single black person on the entire floor. And, think, places like Oakland are just right across the Bay here but so few black people on the tech workforce. It speaks volumes about the failed social integration of black people in this nation - and it has failed at so many levels - from basic primary education, healthcare, law enforcement to higher education and outright discrimination. It doesn't matter who's to blame for it, really because at end of the day, you have a population that isn't as functional as the rest and we should be fixing that. Instead, we have these arguments where people don't even seem to recognize the problem.
  • He's a crook (Score:5, Informative)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @03:38PM (#47568993)

    Jesse Jackson is a crook and runs a business, not a charity... it's called the Rainbow/PUSH coalition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R... [wikipedia.org]
    They show up, accuse your business/industry of racism, do not letup until... you donate money to their cause, then they drop the issue.
    It's a scam.

    Just take a look at NASCAR.
    About 15yrs ago, NASCAR tried to break out of the south and become a mainstream sport. They were largely successful. Jesse Jackson saw this as an opportunity, went on morning talk shows and accused the industry of racism for their lack of black participants. Now, I'm not even going to argue that point... there are very few African Americans in NASCAR. It may very well have a problem with race... that's not the problem.

    What's the problem then? NASCAR then donated around $250,000 to Jesse Jacksons Rainbow Coalition and suddenly they were right with black America, Jessie Jackson dropped the issue and said NASCAR didn't have a race problem. NASCAR didn't add a single black employee or change any of their policies. The problem isn't that there isn't a racial divide in NASCAR or even Silicon Valley. The problem is Jessie Jackson doesn't care. He just wants to use that disparity to extort money from those businesses. He's a scam artist and a crook, and it's sad he's seen with such reverence in this country. He's done nothing but harm the black community and he should be ashamed of himself.

  • Barriers to entry (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jgotts (2785) <jgotts@nosPAm.gmail.com> on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @03:39PM (#47569001)

    The major cause of the lack of minority and women computer programmers was a financial barrier to entry.

    Today, you can get a desktop computer for $250. You can get a tablet for $300. You can get a laptop for $400. You can get an Android smartphone for $600, all pretty much medium to high end hardware, nothing second hand or used. 15 years ago, you had to invest a minimum of $1000 to get a new computer, and $1500 would give you something more reasonable. Importantly, decent home broadband connections are now affordable for all but the poorest individuals.

    The difference between someone becoming a computer programmer and making millions of dollars throughout his or her career and someone not in the field might now only be a few hundred dollar initial investment whereas when I was a kid it was thousands of dollars. Fortunately, we don't have to worry about that large investment anymore, so this aspect of the problem has solved itself.

    There are plenty of scholarship opportunities for minority and women computer programmers, but they need to get started way before college. Nobody learns programming at the university. If you're doing programming for the first time at the university, then very likely you'll never want to do it again. The programming work you do at school is dull, formulaic, theoretical, useless, and often frustrating.

  • Anytime Jesse Jackson gets involved, you know it's more about skin color than relevant metrics.

    In some cultures, we might call that "racist".

  • Why is Jesse Jackson only protesting about the rights of African and Latino Americans instead of the rights of ALL Americans?
    Isn't that the very defintion of being blatantly racist?

  • So rather than asking why there aren't more blacks in tech, and addressing those issues (which mostly center on the welfare state and drug war destroying black culture), Jesse is going to pretend to still be relevant by trying to get racial hiring quotas in the tech industry. Oh joy...
    Racism against minorities is about as common in the US as polio (both exist only due to small pockets of people who ignore reason and logic). Jesse needs to keep fanning the flames on anything he can. Otherwise he'd have to g
  • by Morpeth (577066) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @04:05PM (#47569271)

    This is not a racist rant, but a realistic look at some of the issues Jackson might want to address within the black community first before taking his usual stance of blaming everyone else:

    72% of black kids born out of wedlock (compared to 17% for Asians). The Rev [cough] Jackson himself had an affair & fathered a child with another woman.
    Double the unemployment rates of whites (roughly 5.4 to 11.5% as of last month)
    Why doesn't he talk about the negative affects of hip-hop culture (glorifying violence, promoting misogynistic attitudes to an extreme, promotes wealth through any (often illegal) means)
    On average, African American twelfth-grade students read at the same level as white eighth-grade students. 54% of African Americans graduate from high school, compared to more than three quarters of white and Asian students. [http://www.pbs.org/wnet/tavissmiley/tsr/too-important-to-fail/fact-sheet-outcomes-for-young-black-men/]
    50% of the murders in the country are committed by black men, who comprise only 6% of the total US population. NEVER talks about, but will spend endless hours race baiting over a single case like Martin.
    Look at the murder rate in Chicago, his home town (and the perps)

    As a liberal myself, Jackson's race baiting and racial profiteering sickens me -- he only uses his racial politics to advance his own ego and fatten his wallet. He hasn't been a civil rights leader in decades in my opinion, he's a self serving jerk who actually promotes racism, a dependence culture and victim mentality. He's done more damage to the black community than good, but is such a smooth talker, his fans don't see it.

  • by echtertyp (1094605) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @04:21PM (#47569387)
    As a white guy - born in Europe even! -- I can say that while working in Mountain View, California it was indeed overwhelmingly young, male, with mostly Northern European genes sloshing around. Some Asian but not as much as you'd think.

    That said our boss was quite a progressive guy and reached out to hire a black guy and several typical American women. The women were a disappointment. It has to be said that they proved to be demanding low performers. Had high expectations of everything and everyone else, but didn't really put points on the board for the team. In talks about the women I learned the US English codeword PITA, not the flat bread, but Pain In The A**. It was true.

    The black guy turned out well. In the first couple months he was very reserved and looking back I think he was very keen to not make mistakes or rub anyone the wrong way. But man, after that first 90 days or so, he relaxed and realized we weren't going to bite him, and he started learning the craft with real zeal. He was one of the hardest working fellows I ever met in my time in the U.S.

    I think the dynamic is that black people in the U.S. are all too accustomed to having "the prize" and opportunity dangled in front of them, and then snatched away once someone has got what they wanted from that black person. So they I think have learned to regard the larger American system with suspicion or at least much caution. However if they see by actions and not words that something is the real deal, the team is there and they are part of it, no bait and switch, they really get fired up and loving it.

  • by Theovon (109752) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @04:38PM (#47569505)

    For some reason, Americans have developed a stereotype of "white" and "black" that is related far more to social class than anything else. When you say "white," we imagine someone from the middle class. When you say "black," we imagine someone from lower socioeconomic status. How many blacks are in the middle class, I'm not sure, but as for whites in lower classes, we have them coming out our ears. While we may have millions of blacks who live in ghettos, we have 10 times as many whites living in trailor parks.

    Because of our confusion between ethnicity and social class, we end up with things like Dave Chappelle's "Racial Draft": http://www.thecomedynetwork.ca/blogs/2013/06/chappelles-show-june5-racial-draft
    While amusing, it highlights the real problem, and this false stereotype is widespread throughout American culture.

    I recall an interview with Bill Cosby, talking about educational advancement among black children. Peers discourage each other from studying because it's "acting white." When in fact it is "acting middle class," because this same kind of discouragement occurs among lower class whites as well. As long as education is not valued within any group, that group will have difficulty being equally represented in white collar industries.

    What we have to work out to explain the disparity between population demographics and white collar job demographics is the proportions of the underrepresented groups who discourage education. People like Jesse Jackson want to make this all out to be the result of prejudice on the basis of genetics or skin color. Honestly, I think we're long past that. There are still plenty of racist bastards out there, but in general, we do not have pink people acting intentionally or unconsciously to undermine the advancement of brown people when it comes to getting college degrees.

    It's not PC to talk about genetic differences, but genetics is interesting. Geneticists have identified differences between different ethnic groups, and they have correlated them with some minor differences in physical and cognitive adaptations. Things like muscle tone, susceptibility to certain diseases, social ability, and other things have been correlated to a limited degree with variation in human DNA. But the average differences between genetic groups are miniscule compared to their overlap (statistically, we have very small mu / sigma for basically any meaningful measurable characteristic).

    Thus I can only conclude that correcting any disparities must come from within. Regulating businesses won't do any good, because unqualified minorities will end up getting unfairly hired and promoted. We have to start with the children and get them to develop an interest in science and math. If Jesse Jackson wants to fix this problem, he need to learn science and math and start teaching it. I assure you, even at his age, he has that capability, if he just cared enough to do it. Unfortunately for him, if he were to corrupt himself with this knowledge, he would find himself taking a wholly different approach than the "we're victims" schtick he's played most of his life. Personally, I prefer the "the universe is awesome" philosophy held by Neil deGrasse Tyson. He's one of my biggest heroes, having nothing to do with his skin tone.

    One last though: I'm sure someone will find something racist in what I have said. Either that or I'm being too anti-racist and appear like I'm overcompensating. There are also aspects of these social issues I know nothing about. I'm just writing a comment on Slashdot that is about as well-informed as any other comment. One thing people should think about in general is whether or not they have hidden prejudices. It's not their fault, having been brought up in a culture that takes certain thing for granted. Instead of burying our heads in the sand, we should be willing to admit that we probably do have subconscious prejudices. That's okay, as long as we consciously behave in a way that is fair to other human beings, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, autism, or any other thing they didn't choose to be born with (and plenty of things they have chosen, because it's people's right to choose).

  • by kaatochacha (651922) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @05:36PM (#47570041)

    "Pay my Rainbow Coalition money or I'll make trouble"

  • by TsuruchiBrian (2731979) on Wednesday July 30, 2014 @07:43PM (#47570939)
    I always thought the next step for civil rights was getting better proponents than Jesse Jackson.

Put your Nose to the Grindstone! -- Amalgamated Plastic Surgeons and Toolmakers, Ltd.

Working...