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Jesse Jackson To Take On Silicon Valley's Lack of Diversity

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the equality-in-industry dept.

Technology 397

New submitter wyattstorch516 writes "San Jose Mecury News reports that Jesse Jackson will lead a delegation to HP's next board meeting to discuss the hiring of technology companies in regard to African-Americans and Latinos. 'About one 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.' Jackson sent a letter to HP, Apple, Google, Twitter, Facebook, and others about meeting to discuss diversity issues."

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Fuck that guy. (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about 7 months ago | (#46528027)

Seriously, I was sick of his guilt-peddling bullshit decades ago.

-jcr

Unjust (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528083)

When you think of all the good people that suffered long, painful deaths from cancer this year, it is simply a travesty of justice that Jackson was not one of them.

Re:Fuck that guy. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528089)

there is probably a more nuanced discussion to be had about affirmative action

but having been in the hiring seat, I can tell you that almost every single
applicant is white and male, and very few of those are actually qualified

so unless Jackson thinks HP should hire unqualified people just because
they are black or latino, he should probably focus his efforts earlier
in the pipeline

Re:Fuck that guy. (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about 7 months ago | (#46528121)

"affirmative action"? That's nothing but a euphemism for racial discrimination. Here in California, it amounted to a modern-day Chinese Exclusion Act to fuck over Asian kids applying to the cal state universities.

-jcr

Re:Fuck that guy. (5, Interesting)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 7 months ago | (#46528261)

Pretty much. I've had arguments with a lot of people over affirmative action, and 95% of the time they think it helps Asians get a job and education. Basically they think it helps everybody but whites, and they themselves are huge advocates of white guilt. They quickly shut up once I show them facts about how affirmative action actually fucks over Asians pretty bad, in fact it screws them much worse than white people, mainly because they have an even higher interest in higher education and the high tech career fields than whites do while being an even smaller portion of the population than blacks.

The problem with affirmative action is it assumes that a given percent of every race is interested in x career or y school, but that just doesn't reflect reality one bit. Take music for example; by far more black people are into rap, but there's nothing inherent about rap that makes them like it more or white people like it less. The underlying cause of this schism is a simple cultural difference. The same thing is likely to cause them to be less interested in IT careers, so they don't even apply for those jobs.

Re:Fuck that guy. (5, Interesting)

gandhi123 (1173413) | about 7 months ago | (#46528539)

"The problem with affirmative action is it assumes that a given percent of every race is interested in x career or y school, but that just doesn't reflect reality one bit. "

It's not just this. Even when black students are interested in STEM careers, affirmative action puts them in a position where their white and Asian classmates are much better prepared and capable to handle difficult STEM classes. As a result they get poor grades, feel demoralized, and transfer to easier majors. This is called the "mismatch problem."

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03... [nytimes.com]

Recently, economists from Duke studied the effects of Prop 209, comparing undergraduate graduation rates for blacks, Hispanics and American Indians before and after the ban. In a paper being considered for publication by The Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Duke economists conclude that mismatch effects are strongest for students in so-called STEM majors — science, technology, engineering and math. These subjects proceed in a more regimented way than the humanities, with each topic and class building on what came before. If you don’t properly learn one concept, it’s easier to get knocked off track.

The Duke economists say that lower-ranked schools in the University of California system are better at graduating minority students in STEM majors. For example, they conclude that had the bottom third of minority students at Berkeley who hoped to graduate with a STEM major gone to Santa Cruz instead, they would have been almost twice as likely to earn such a degree.

and

http://blogs.sciencemag.org/sc... [sciencemag.org]

More Evidence that Admissions Preferences Discourage Minority Students from Majoring in STEM

Recently Science Careers commented on Mismatch, a provocative and persuasive new book that examines the effects of giving large admissions preferences to minority college students. One of the unintended consequences of such measures, write authors Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr., is to steer minority students away from majoring in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. This happens, they argue, because large preferences encourage students to attend colleges where their academic credentials place them toward the bottom of their college classes. Science majors, however, overwhelmingly come from the upper end of their college classes, regardless of where they go to college. Students admitted with large preferences--as many African American and Hispanic students are--are therefore deprived of the realistic opportunity to earn STEM degrees.

Re:Fuck that guy. (0)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 7 months ago | (#46528791)

That's a nice story but Asian Americans are all minorities and qualify for affirmative action just as well as any other minority. If they are being discriminated against it is because favoritism is being shown for particular minorities and not an inherent bias in the laws themselves.

Re:Fuck that guy. (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#46528427)

Cheer up. When you begin losing jobs and college entrances to those less qualified, your people have finally made it. Wear as a badge of competence that things need not be set aside for you.

And Jessie? If I were an American of African descent, I wouldn't vote for, er, ... never mind.

Re:Fuck that guy. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528151)

I see lots of Chinese and Indian applicants myself. For that matter, I've seen far more Chinese and Indian women than American women, and when they come in I can see that they actually want to do the work. I'd take any of them over any of the social justice warriors I've ever met.

Re:Fuck that guy. (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#46528307)

there is probably a more nuanced discussion to be had about affirmative action

but having been in the hiring seat, I can tell you that almost every single
applicant is white and male, and very few of those are actually qualified

so unless Jackson thinks HP should hire unqualified people just because
they are black or latino, he should probably focus his efforts earlier
in the pipeline

What Jesse seems unaware of is there's a very small pool of qualified "diverse candidates" and they are generally snapped up pronto by employers who want to be able to compete for contracts where a stipulation favors an employer with diverse employees.

Mr. Jackson seems rooted in an age that has long since gone by. What he needs to do is tell the people he claims to represent, "pull up your damn pants, don't get ugly tattoos all over your body, learn to address people in respectful language and study your ass off rather than trying to figure how you can goof off more. There's boatloads of money, waiting to be made and odds are you aren't going to be a zillionaire hip-hop or movie star, but if you take an interest you could make more than all of them put together.

Not popular, but then, sometimes you need to turn about and address the crowd that's following you.

Re:Fuck that guy. (2, Insightful)

Tailhook (98486) | about 7 months ago | (#46528335)

hire unqualified people just because they are black or latino

If minority candidates aren't qualified then the problem is unfairly tough and racially biased requirements. Get your mind right.

Re:Fuck that guy. (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#46528473)

hire unqualified people just because they are black or latino

If minority candidates aren't qualified then the problem is unfairly tough and racially biased requirements. Get your mind right.

More H1Bs on the way - to people who don't have any problem whatsoever with learning to make it in a country thousands of miles from home.

It's a funny old world, isn't it?

Re:Fuck that guy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528561)

More H1Bs on the way - to people who don't have any problem whatsoever with taking advantage of racist, narcissistic, caste-based hiring practices to gain jobs they're in no way qualified for in a country thousands of miles from home.

FTFY.

Re:Fuck that guy. (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 7 months ago | (#46528621)

hire unqualified people just because they are black or latino

If minority candidates aren't qualified then the problem is unfairly tough and racially biased requirements. Get your mind right.

Or minorities aren't following the education or career paths to become qualified even under reasonable requirements. This could be because of cultural bias among the minority group or bias against the minority group in the education system.

I'm not even sure what "unfairly tough and racially biased requirements" means (aside from the obvious "you must be white to apply", which seems... well, unlikely): if some people are qualified (no matter their race), than it doesn't seem to be unfairly tough... unless you're implying minorities are incapable of meeting those requirements.

Affirmative Action (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528649)

Affirmative Action is so decisive that I feel I need to give a bit of background. For all intents and purposes, I'm White (I do have native American ancestors, but too far removed to count tribal membership). I grew up in a part of Hawaii where only 30% of the population was White. Among my own spouse and the spouses of my siblings we have two Asians, one Pacific Islander, and three Latinos (one Latina also is part Black). I do not generally consider myself a racist, nor do I feel any White guilt. Slavery ended so long ago that I would be surprised to meet anyone in the US whose grandparents were slaves in the US. My own ancestors weren't slavers and I believe slavery to be evil, but people of all races can make their own future now.

In Hawaii, preferential treatment is given to Pacific Islanders. At my university, the highest paying jobs for students ($10 / hour) were reserved for Pacific Islanders, while White like me had to be content with $5.25 per hour. I have been turned down numerous times so that a company could get government credit for hiring a less qualified person from a protected class.

We are in the 21st century. We need to get rid of diversity quotas. Let the most qualified person get the job. Bill Cosby is right in that Blacks need to rid themselves of the ghetto mentality and educate themselves. Blacks (everyone, really) need to take responsibility for their own situation instead of blaming it on events from the 1800s.

Re:Fuck that guy. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528123)

I agree. If a person is qualified, ill hire him regardless of race. Just because you are black or latino you should not get any special treatment. If we do let unqualified people in, then it perpetuates the problem by highlighting their lack of skill.

Re:Fuck that guy. (3, Insightful)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 7 months ago | (#46528513)

I agree. If a person is qualified, ill hire him regardless of race. Just because you are black or latino you should not get any special treatment. If we do let unqualified people in, then it perpetuates the problem by highlighting their lack of skill.

Great!

When I graduated from my university, it was almost entirely a blend of american white and asian males in the program. We had 3 white women, 2 black males, and no latinos, in a graduating class of about 70 people. One of the graduation speakers made special point of it in the commencement address when discussing issues in diversity in our field.

When I am in a position to interview people for our engineering jobs, over the past ten years I recall exactly one female applicant with the mandatory degrees and certifications. We see mostly white males, some Asian males (mostly from India and China) and a handful of others. That isn't because we are refusing to interview minorities, it is because those are the people who have the mandatory certifications. I cannot find any solid statistics on the racial distributions of people with engineering certifications, but I'd assume they are similarly skewed.

If he wants to address diversity in our field, he needs to look at those entering the program. If he wants more people in the job, help give them the proper educational background and other certifications required to enter the field.

Re:Fuck that guy. (2)

gandhi123 (1173413) | about 7 months ago | (#46528675)

"If he wants to address diversity in our field, he needs to look at those entering the program. If he wants more people in the job, help give them the proper educational background and other certifications required to enter the field. "

The affirmative action policies Jackson supports actually reduces the number of blacks who end up with engineering degrees.

Even when black students are interested in STEM careers, affirmative action puts them in a position where their white and Asian classmates are much better prepared and capable to handle difficult STEM classes. As a result they get poor grades, feel demoralized, and transfer to easier majors. This is called the "mismatch problem."

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03... [nytimes.com]

Recently, economists from Duke studied the effects of Prop 209, comparing undergraduate graduation rates for blacks, Hispanics and American Indians before and after the ban. In a paper being considered for publication by The Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Duke economists conclude that mismatch effects are strongest for students in so-called STEM majors — science, technology, engineering and math. These subjects proceed in a more regimented way than the humanities, with each topic and class building on what came before. If you don’t properly learn one concept, it’s easier to get knocked off track.

The Duke economists say that lower-ranked schools in the University of California system are better at graduating minority students in STEM majors. For example, they conclude that had the bottom third of minority students at Berkeley who hoped to graduate with a STEM major gone to Santa Cruz instead, they would have been almost twice as likely to earn such a degree.

and

http://blogs.sciencemag.org/sc... [sciencemag.org]

More Evidence that Admissions Preferences Discourage Minority Students from Majoring in STEM

Recently Science Careers commented on Mismatch, a provocative and persuasive new book that examines the effects of giving large admissions preferences to minority college students. One of the unintended consequences of such measures, write authors Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr., is to steer minority students away from majoring in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. This happens, they argue, because large preferences encourage students to attend colleges where their academic credentials place them toward the bottom of their college classes. Science majors, however, overwhelmingly come from the upper end of their college classes, regardless of where they go to college. Students admitted with large preferences--as many African American and Hispanic students are--are therefore deprived of the realistic opportunity to earn STEM degrees.

Re:Fuck that guy. (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#46528519)

I agree. If a person is qualified, ill hire him regardless of race. Just because you are black or latino you should not get any special treatment. If we do let unqualified people in, then it perpetuates the problem by highlighting their lack of skill.

If you do bring in unqualified people, regardless of demographic, you'll find your qualified people frustrated with having to help them all the time and resenting they get paid the same as people who do half the work.

damned if you do... damned if you don't

Re:Fuck that guy. (1, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#46528191)

Seriously, I was sick of his guilt-peddling bullshit decades ago.

-jcr

Seconded.

Jesse Jackson is one of the most racist, fuckhead mouthpieces alive today. Same goes for his partner-in-racially-motivated-crime, Al Sharpton.

The worst part of these fucks is, they don't even care about black people, unless by "black people" we mean "their own fat-ass bank accounts."

Fucking greedy, race-baiting fucks.

PS before the trolls chime in with their 'fuh fuh dur yer a racist fuh fuh" nonsense, I will have you know that I own not one, but three color TVs.

Re:Fuck that guy. (5, Funny)

presspass (1770650) | about 7 months ago | (#46528359)

PS before the trolls chime in with their 'fuh fuh dur yer a racist fuh fuh" nonsense, I will have you know that I own not one, but three color TVs.

You mean: "TVs of color".

FIOST PWOST! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528299)

  • Isn't it rich?
  • Are we a pair?
  • Me here at last on the ground,
  • You in mid-air.
  • Send in the trolls.
  • Isn't it bliss?
  • Don't you approve?
  • One who keeps tearing around,
  • One who can't move.
  • Where are the trolls?
  • Send in the trolls.
  • Just when I'd stopped
  • Opening doors,
  • Finally knowing
  • The one that I wanted was yours,
  • Making my entrance again
  • With my usual flair,
  • Sure of my lines,
  • No one is there.
  • Don't you love farce?
  • My fault, I fear.
  • I thought that you'd want what I want -
  • Sorry, my dear.
  • But where are the trolls?
  • There ought to be trolls.
  • Quick, send in the trolls.
  • What a surprise.
  • Who could foresee
  • I'd come to feel about you
  • What you'd felt about me?
  • Why only now when i see
  • That you'd drifted away?
  • What a surprise.
  • What a cliché.
  • Isn't it rich?
  • Isn't it queer?
  • Losing my timing this late
  • In my career?
  • And where are the trolls?
  • Quick, send in the trolls.
  • Don't bother - they're here.

Re:Fuck that guy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528369)

Agreed. There are plenty of Asians and Indians working at tech companies so it's clearly not a race issue.

Re:Stastaticians (1)

Technician (215283) | about 7 months ago | (#46528793)

Unfortunately, the diversity of the population does not equal diversification in job skills.

This is a repeat of Equal Oppertunity and job quota's from 2 decades ago. In the 70's I had a job with a TS clearance in a technical field and I noted the stark lack of some ethnic groups. I asked my employer about this ethnic bias toward White. He showed me the stack of applications. Minorities very rarely applied or even trained in the high tech trades.

Due to affirmative action in the 80's by t US Goverment, a family relative applied for an apprenticeship with Bonniville Power Administration. He had the highest test score, until another canidate passed him due to race, ethnicity, etc. My brother was passed by for the position. The selected canidate failed out of the program. By this time 6 months had passed and he took another posiiton in private industry.

Now 30 years later, the BPA HR staff is in the hotseat because they gave preference to minoriities as part of Affermitive Action, but did not give any preference to Veterans. I and my brother are vets. I did not even apply with BPA because at the time I knew the deck was stacked against me.

Mainzer's email to staff said BPA was now working with DOE to identify the first wave of applicants, including veterans, who were disadvantaged and provide them with priority consideration for positions at BPA. But his email also suggested that the problems went on until April 2013, a year longer than initially reported.

http://www.oregonlive.com/busi... [oregonlive.com]

Stating only a low number are hired is only part of the story. Poor inner city schools, culture, and other factors disadvantage these minority groups. When they change culture, work ethic, schooling, etc and enter the trades, only then will the numbers start to match up.

Do not fix a lack of a race by hiring 100 percent of the applicatents from a race while only picking 5 percent of a mjority. Testing and qualifications do matter to private industry. It should matter in government positions too.

Why are there so few black engineers? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528045)

Black culture doesn't reward or encourage intelligence.

Re: Why are there so few black engineers? (4, Insightful)

nehumanuscrede (624750) | about 7 months ago | (#46528367)

"Black culture doesn't reward or encourage intelligence.
"

To be honest, AMERICAN culture doesn't either. Is why celebrities, athletes, and entertainers are paid dump truck loads of cash while the really intelligent folks ( scientists, reaearchers, you know folks who actually create the world as we know it today ) are compensated at a much lower level.

Given that, if you're growing up in America are you going to strive to be a math whiz or a pro-athlete ? Which gives you the ideal " American " lifestyle ?

Here in the good ol US of A, we glorify a lot of things: War, wealth, and power to name but a few. Intelligence is way, Way, WAY down the list.

In fact, if you're TOO good at say, Math, in school, you become a target and an outcast because you don't fit in with the cool crowd folks now. Your life will become a living hell.

Re:Why are there so few black engineers? (5, Insightful)

aurizon (122550) | about 7 months ago | (#46528547)

Actually, black culture penalizes anyone black who allows his/her intelligence to get them ahead. Any child who does so is beaten and bullied by the other black kids, so they learn to hide their abilities and blend in. Some emerge and excell, but sadly, too many are lost to the lifestyle.
As a retired teacher, I have seen this and it is hard to eliminate, and if you try, it is risky.

Re:Why are there so few black engineers? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528667)

Actually, black culture penalizes anyone black who allows his/her intelligence to get them ahead. Any child who does so is beaten and bullied by the other black kids, so they learn to hide their abilities and blend in. Some emerge and excell, but sadly, too many are lost to the lifestyle. As a retired teacher, I have seen this and it is hard to eliminate, and if you try, it is risky.

AC to preserve mods. I really, really don't want to agree with this. It seems like a topic better suited for the 1950's than the 2010's. But, I have seen it happen firsthand at a goddammed university. In grad school, one of the most brilliant people I knew was a blerd, his dad was an engineer and his mom was a nurse, the guy was doing calculus since age 8. I saw him get treated like garbage by his undergrads (he was teaching at the time) because he was a huge black guy who refused to conform to what they thought he should be. It isn't a black or white problem per se, it's a problem of how society has conditioned its members to judge success by different racial groups. Jeremy Lin should have been a doctor, Neil deGrasse Tyson could've been a baller, etc. How on Earth are we still having these conversations?

Maybe he should talk to the NHL? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528063)

I don't see much diversity in professional hockey.

Re:Maybe he should talk to the NHL? (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about 7 months ago | (#46528517)

Or the NBA. They have the same philosophy as silicon valley ... it's all about results.

Show us. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528065)

Maybe Jesse should start his own company, hire strictly based on race, and compete.

Tech is full of minorities (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528071)

Just not his minorities, queue the shakedown parade.

Re:Tech is full of minorities (1)

mycroft822 (822167) | about 7 months ago | (#46528599)

Exactly. I work at a large tech company and our engineering staff is probably close to 40% non-white. He needs to go the schools and communities to encourage education if he wants to see the numbers of his minority rise, not corporate boardrooms.

Give old man a break... (5, Funny)

enterix (5252) | about 7 months ago | (#46528081)

He just wants Jessie Jr to find decent job after he's out of prison...

Education... (3, Insightful)

Luthair (847766) | about 7 months ago | (#46528099)

Seems like this would be an education issue not a hiring issue. e.g. are there really a lot of underemployed / unemployed black or hispanics with CS degrees?

I suspect the tech industry has a high percentage of minorities due to Indians and other Asians ethnicity.

Re:Education... (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#46528223)

I think it's more of a "Jesse Jackson found yet another way to use black people for his own selfish desires" kinda thing.

Not Our Fault (5, Insightful)

Gre7g (801284) | about 7 months ago | (#46528107)

I've been in the tech industry (software, circuit board design, chip design, and then back to software) for 24 years. I've worked with engineers with heritage from India, China, Korea, various eastern European countries, and probably a couple other countries in Asia. I've never had a black or latino co-worker. In all those years, I've only ever seen us interview a single black candidate, and he so inadequate that he got sent home after speaking with a single interviewer.

Hiring is not the problem. A lack of black and latino candidates worth hiring is.

Re:Not Our Fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528137)

... and he so inadequate that he got sent home after speaking with a single interviewer.

That guy must have been really bad compared to the standard they set for you.

Re:Not Our Fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528221)

Seig Grammar!

Re:Not Our Fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528203)

As we all know from the shrill social justice warriors that have been in the media recently, you can't pretend to be a meritocracy unless the people working there are the absolute most qualified anywhere even if they never apply, don't want to work there, or have never heard of you.

Re:Not Our Fault (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528263)

I've worked with talented black IT professionals, but, they were from South Africa, not the USA.

Americans have a "Thug Culture" that makes them stupid in general. It's not a racial thing at all. It's an attitude thing.

Re:Not Our Fault (4, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#46528453)

I've worked with talented black IT professionals, but, they were from South Africa, not the USA.

Americans have a "Thug Culture" that makes them stupid in general. It's not a racial thing at all. It's an attitude thing.

Some resist the culture and make something of themselves. In college I met an African-American man who was very sharp - He knew there were programs, more than for any other ethnic group, to help him get a leg up and he was taking advantage of these. He was confounded how few people of his racial group were aware or willing to make the effort. His elevator clearly hit the top floor, smart, motivated and with clear goals in mind - get the engineering degree and move on to a masters. He's probably pulling down the big bucks, wearing a suit and driving his choice of ludicrously expensive car.

Sadly, so many from the neighboring communities were only interested in doing the basic, whatever would get them a slip of paper saying they accomplished something - so could get a better job in a mall or something. No where near as much fire in them to gain knowledge and use it.

To be fair, whenever people try to counter these subcultures they simply become bores and are tuned out. These people need a proper scare put into them - you'll be gardeners for the immigrants who claw their way to a BSE or such. How do you feel about that?

Re:Not Our Fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528285)

My very first software internship in 1977 was alongside an African American software engineer. He was a great engineer and a great friend.

Re:Not Our Fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528315)

The only black candidate I ever had give me a resume I actually ended up hiring for an entry level job.
Unfortunately it ended up not being a good match as he had 20 years of cobol experience working for
the state but didn't know how to install a program on windows. I assumed wrongly that anyone who
had been programming for 20 years would be able to do simple navigation tasks in windows.
I'm not saying he is a typical candidate or a typical government worker but now I make sure to not
just test a person's programming skils but also other skills needed for the job that I used to think
were "freebies"

Really? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528117)

I'm guessing he also wants them to overlook criminal convictions in their hiring process?

Another problem in our society (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528419)

I'm guessing he also wants them to overlook criminal convictions in their hiring process?

As we can see [wikipedia.org] , the incarceration rates for African-Americans is much higher than the general population.

It is easy to just brush it aside as it being a sign of the inferiority of Black Culture in the US - like how "those people" do not value education or being smart.

Granted, there is (some) truth in stereotypes, but I just have to ask why? Is it really true that it is believed that being smart is acting "white" in that community? Is that attitude a way of dealing with lack of opportunities - sour grapes "I really don't want to be an engineer because it's acting white."

Now, I'm sure there will be folks that will jump all over the "lack of opportunities" stated above and point out all the scholarships and the affirmative action policies of universities. Much of that IS true; no doubt. What I'm talking about is education UP TO college.

It sucks in black neighborhoods.

But wait! There's more! There is the family unit. With so many Black men in jail, it's pretty hard to have stable families.

Side note: Now I am over simplifying a very complex problem for a Slashdot post - but the theme is something we all can understand.

Anyway back to incarceration rates. It's the way Black neighborhoods are policed and our idiotic drug laws [huffingtonpost.com] .

And as we all know, in this society, jail birds are fucked for the rest of their lives and you can kiss ANY decent paying work good-bye forever.

So, we as a society can just say (by implication) there are no minorities because they have inferior character or we can actually work to solve the problem.

Yeah, I thought so. Sorry Black people, you're fucked.

Re:Another problem in our society (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528555)

Mod up as one very insightful post!

Blackmail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528157)

Give us jobs or you get bad press?

Re:Blackmail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528753)

Blackmail from a black male?

Somehow... (1)

otaku244 (1804244) | about 7 months ago | (#46528161)

I don't think HP is the right place to go for this ploy. HP's done a real bang-up job in relation to their consumers in almost every market to say nothing of their staff relations.
The best Mr. Jackson can expect that is that the shareholders concoct a way to pay minorities less than the current staff to save a few bucks on the bottom line.

Huh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528165)

Is the rate at which software engineers find employment affected by racial attitudes? I doubt it. If JJ wants more minorities in tech he needs to encourage said minorities to choose it as a career path. I doubt he's interested in that, though. He'd rather shame these firms into hiring underqualified minorities to increase the ratio.

H1Bs don't count? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528171)

I guess "diversity" only applies to black.

Re:H1Bs don't count? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528421)

Bingo! I don't see JJ extending his "black and Hispanic" net to cover "non-white." Hmmmmm, could be he'd be out of a job then. JJ needs to keep the blacks down so he can keep his power and wealth.

"insert-sport-here" league has the same problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528175)

I think "insert-sport-here" league should hire short, slow, weak players.

Re:"insert-sport-here" league has the same problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528507)

and forgot to mention what his group did with NASCAR.

For those unfamiliar, see http://www.nascar.com/ and http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/motor/nascar/2003-07-28-jackson-support_x.htm

Good. (5, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#46528185)

I think everyone should be subjected to this race baiting bullshit as consistently and aggressively as possible.

This is the solution to people like this... they exploit white guilt. And in exploiting it, they use it up.

Look at this very forum... look at all the people saying "f this guy"... exactly. Those are the people that are already tapped out of guilt.

I'm amongst them of course. But not everyone has gotten there yet. Let Al run rampant... Everyone he comes into contact with will be inoculated against his tactics.

Re:Good. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#46528249)

"Let the bigots speak their minds - they're a hell of a lot easier to avoid when you know who they are."

-- This guy

Re:Good. (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#46528397)

Are you suggesting I am a bigot or that Al is one? Its not entirely clear and while you might think its self evident, I've had people answer both ways in this context.

Does Jeese do as he preaches? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528189)

So do we know the diversity situation for Jesse's organization? Just curious, as I have no idea what the situation is.

Good for him - if he can solve the educational gap (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528197)

I've worked in high tech (computing) doing software close-to the hardware (assemblers/compilers/binary translators/binary instrumentation tools/some device driver work) since 1985. And in every single company, the primary hiring criteria has been skill set. If you had the right skills, you got hired.
In the companies I've worked for: SKIN COLOR IS IRRELEVANT. Small unknown ones, up through: DEC/HP, Cisco, AMD
To be blunt, if there were two equally qualified candidates for a job, and one was 'not a white guy', the 'not a white guy' got hired in order to improve diversity in the company.
The real gap occurs prior to the engineering hiring process. The real gap starts in grade school.
So if Jesse Jackson can make a dent in the supply of talent, I applaud him for that. He needs to put his money where is (large) mouth is and start some targeted science endowments

Wrong questrion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528215)

What percentage of Computer Science or Engineering graduates are Black or Latino?

Shakedown machine back in action! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528219)

Cracker-Jackin Jackson is at it again, let no company fail to donate to the cause lest they be labelled racist and boycotted. Rainbow Push must need more money to pay off another staffer he knocked up.

Re:Shakedown machine back in action! (1)

Iconoc (2646179) | about 7 months ago | (#46528291)

Mod parent up. He speaks absolute irrefutable truth.

"healing algorythm" not a dumb quota (4, Interesting)

globaljustin (574257) | about 7 months ago | (#46528243)

I dont have a problem with Jesse Jackson...

I **do** have a problem with this reductive, tone-deaf initiative of his...this program won't improve anything.

Just as with the lack of women in tech, the lack of racial diversity is a ***symptom of a greater problem*** and trying to hit some sort of abstract "number" is ridiculous.

The problem goes all the way back to middle school & all the way up through funding for graduate research. We don't know how to **teach technology**...partially because of misperceptions of how the industry works. Steve Jobs as "technology genius" is a perfect example. Jobs was a 'genius' at marketing & dealmaking. He applied innovation to opening new markets & had the vision to see potentials. These are great traits, but have ***nothing to do with actual computing***

The misperceptions influence organizaitonal decisions...which influences academia...which just reinforces the cycle of bad theory/practice.

Diversity is an evolutionary advantage, but it's **two steps** beyond fixing right now...tech's problems are systemic and hitting some artificial quota will not help fix things!!!

First step is to acknowledge we have a problem & start talking about refining + improving how we explain tech to non-techs and students...and integrating those improvements into our systems naturally.

It's sort of a "healing algorythm" that has to go throughout the whole system to optimize.

Re:"healing algorythm" not a dumb quota (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528389)

Absolutely the first thing I thought when I read the Slashdot blurb.

The problem starts with the government and the fact that as long as the government gives "hand-outs" to "minorities" (even though everyone is anymore), it keeps them slaves to the system.

If your first step is to go backwards in income by getting an entry level job, chances are you will never take that step.....

Re:"healing algorythm" not a dumb quota (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528545)

You don't think there's a place for role-models and better economic status for disadvantaged people? Preferential treatment like that helps to break stereotypes and encourage society to accept disadvantaged people into traditionally majority-dominated positions.

You're right when you say that this won't solve the problem, but you have to attack the problem from every angle possible, and this is a legitimate angle.

Re:"healing algorythm" not a dumb quota (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528643)

Jesse is correct in calling out the tech industry. I do not see why, the tech industry does not set up training programs of the economically disadvantaged area of this country, instead of pushing for more immigration. Please wake up people and take note that illegal immigration is killing entry level jobs for a wide swath of US citizens.

should go after outsourcing and H-B1 they are (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 7 months ago | (#46528247)

should go after outsourcing and H-B1 they are the real killers of work.

Obligatory Comment (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528259)

Asians are not the "right kind" of minority because they spend their time working and have no need for troublemakers.

FTFY

Education (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528275)

How many black/latino students are 1) attending college and 2) studying CS? (Or 3, self-taught programmers). How many apply for jobs in tech, and what's the acceptance/rejection rate? Are there a significant number of people who decide not to study CS in the first place because of a perception of not being welcome in the workplace? Are there relatively few black/latino tech workers in senior positions because of some adverse selection or simply because there are fewer of them in the industry to begin with?

Similar questions apply to women, who make up roughly 50% of the population but also have low numbers in tech.

Raw numbers don't tell the whole story, although they help direct the questions that we should be asking.

Color Blind (1)

cob666 (656740) | about 7 months ago | (#46528281)

My experience has been that IT is more color blind than many other departments in large companies I've worked at. The problem is lack of qualified job candidates. Hiring somebody or giving them preferential treatment in the hiring process based on their race or skin color is discrimination.

Stop affirmative action.

Re:Color Blind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528485)

Well, it's true that it's discrimination. However, you've been advantaged your whole life in comparison to minorities. Preferential treatment may be discrimination, but it's certainly doesn't balance out society's discriminatory attitude towards them.

You're right, in a vacuum affirmative action is essentially just bigotry. But it's not in a vacuum, white men (the majority of IT in america) have a much easier time getting a college degree, and getting a tech job. You can't apply standards to minority employees that you use for yourself, because minority folks are de-facto treated differently (and less favorably) by our society.

And frankly, it's really easy to have that "treat everyone the same" attitude when you've never had to worry about being treated differently based on your race/gender.

I am an Indian American.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528283)

...and I am going to take a delegation to the NFL board meeting to talk about under-representation of south asians in NFL.

Other proportions (1)

ender9441 (1358347) | about 7 months ago | (#46528345)

I wonder what percent of the US population is Indian or Asian. Wikipedia shows 4.8 % Asian American. I work with a disproportionately high number of Asian Americans and Russians at my current job. Previous jobs have had disproportionately high numbers of people from India and Pakistan.

I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528347)

Which is more likely?

Global conspiracy to prevent blacks from having and keeping jobs.
or
Blacks in general are less predisposed to being intelligent and employable.

Dearth of Applicants (2)

Dimwit (36756) | about 7 months ago | (#46528377)

I've worked in tech for 15-20 years now. Since about 2005, I've sat on interview panels.

In all that time, I've interviewed maybe three black people (two of whom ended up getting hired). Same with women. It wasn't that we were intentionally ignoring resumes we thought were from black people or women, we just simply did not ever get them.

I went to college at a school that had a large black student body (although it wouldn't be classified under the "Historically Black College" scheme). Looking at their website, the college is 52% white, 27% black, 10% hispanic white, 3% Asian. However, in my CS101 class (~50 students), it was all white and Asian guys and one white girl (who ended up changing majors).

The high school I went to was roughly 50/50 black/white, but my AP Computer Science class in high school was 100% white. There was actually a pretty good split of girls and boys, though (it was the only "computer" class that offered honors credit, so there was an attraction to people who wanted high class-placement even if they weren't interested in CS).

So yeah. While I don't doubt some corporations are biased in their hiring practices, there also just aren't a lot of black of female applicants, and not a lot of black and/or female CS graduates. I don't know how to address that end of the problem.

Re:Dearth of Applicants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528509)

I don't know how to address that end of the problem.

Easy: Stop. Because it is not a problem.

We should certainly encourage people who are interested in technology - no matter their color, gender, sexual orientation, or desire to sell humanity into bondage to kittehs - to follow their passion.

What we shouldn't be doing is telling people that they're full of shit and should shut the hell up and take CS classes and work in a job they hate because numbarz and quotas.

Re:Dearth of Applicants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528665)

Quick! Hide they kittens! They know!

hate to be racist, but indians are racist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528385)

I had an Indian supervisor recently who was racist. He rode me like a horse for two years. I did everything he (it) expected but it kept riding me. Indians are racist against Whites. Get them things out of my face!!

startups (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528405)

There have been a large number of tech startups started by small shops (2 or 3 founders). Nothing prevents anyone who is talented enough from starting up a small software shop. Race, gender does not matter; talent and execution does.

Oh please (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46528411)

You're kidding me, right? If there is one industry that is by its very nature not racist it's IT. Xenophobia simply doesn't work out if half your coworkers are hailing from abroad. You have all sorts of people working together, the whole thing reeks of favoritism.

Or, in other words, Mr. Jackson trying to play the race card in an attempt to guilt-trip.

Re:Oh please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528511)

And what makes you say that? The fact that IT gets outsourced? The fact that it's science? Every other kind of science is color-blind by default.

Furthermore, it's really easy to have a color-blind profession when there's virtually no color in it to speak of. Shocking that a bunch of white men are going to say "Whoa! There's no discrimination here! Larry is half Mexican!".

Society disadvantages huge portions of our society, that's just fact. Huge disparities in high-paying fields like IT and CS result from a lack of available education, and cultural biases.

Re:Oh please (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46528611)

Well, the main reason it's "color-blind" is simply that you often cooperate with people you never met. I've worked together with people for years and don't know to this day what they look like. So I can't even remotely be prejudiced to their "race", I simply don't know and frankly, I don't care. I care about the work they do.

That portions of society are disadvantaged for various reasons is true. No doubt about that. But you can't solve that problem by telling industry to hire people who lack the education, the solution has to be to put education on equal grounds.

umm (1)

buddyglass (925859) | about 7 months ago | (#46528423)

Here [cra.org] is data for C.S. and C.E. bachelors degree recipients in the U.S. See page 5. About 8.7% of degrees were awarded to blacks and Hispanics, which is about one out of 11. So Silicon Valley isn't far off what one would expect based purely on # of degrees awarded. A significant portion of bay area tech workers are likely immigrants to the United States and got their degrees elsewhere. This group likely contains very few blacks and Hispanics. So, if the discussion were limited to Silicon Valley workers born in the United States the the percentage of blacks and Hispanics may well line up with expectations.

Here we go again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528425)

Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton are classic shakedown artists.

Exclusionary zoning (1, Interesting)

Ichijo (607641) | about 7 months ago | (#46528431)

To this day, many cities continue to use exclusionary zoning [wikipedia.org] to keep minority groups out of certain neighborhoods. In Silicon Valley, is density tightly controlled? Are minimum parking requirements in place? If so, this could help explain Silicon Valley's lack of diversity.

Re:Exclusionary zoning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528671)

That's better than Seattle that has actual bans on deeds that state you can't sell to a minority in a lot of neighborhoods. See:

https://depts.washington.edu/civilr/covenants.htm

They're no longer enforceable, but the state makes you sign an agreement stating that you will enforce them and require the next buyer to enforcement in order to buy property. Washington state is so racist that it required a me to sign paperwork agreeing to not sell my apartment to "negroes or any person or persons of negro blood," and I'm black! The guy I bought it from was afraid to sell it to me because the state had made him sign that. The Republicans that rule this state have done nothing to fix this horrific thing. The covenants are still on titles. Seattle is a shithole of racism. It's so conservative that we are building billionaire tunnels for cars while dropping bus routes so quickly that it is hard to keep-up with their destruction.

Re:Exclusionary zoning (1)

metlin (258108) | about 7 months ago | (#46528699)

What lack of diversity? Just because it's not diverse in the way he wants it (blacks and Latinos) doesn't mean it's not diverse. It's got plenty of racial diversity -- Indians, Chinese, Koreans, even South Americans and Eastern Europeans.

Hey, great idea, Jesse (4, Funny)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about 7 months ago | (#46528477)

But, before hitting Silicon Valley, why not make a stop by the NBA?

I mean, asians and whites are dramatically underrepresented there. I'm sure you see this as a big problem, too.

Right, Jesse?

Um, Jesse?

When niggers get smarter (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528479)

we'll see. Until then they're mostly underwear-showing, cell-phone-music-blasting in the bus thugs.

Re:When niggers get smarter (1)

cyberspittle (519754) | about 7 months ago | (#46528635)

Has nothing to do with being a "nigger". Fact is the culture in the inner-city has a social norm of intimidating kids who want to learn. Just look at the poor kid who got beat up in Chicogo. Jessie should focus more on inspiring inner-city people to get educated. He can then focus on educational institutions to offer more than an athletic scholarship (which is where education makes money - colleage sports is a money racket). Jessie should also focus on black-on-black deaths. More blacks are killed by other blacks than "whitey" lynchings. Jessie is a bad case of the pot calling the kettle black. Let's refrain form the word "nigger" as it only adds ammunition to Jessie, that everyone (AKA "white people") is against them. Personally, I think there are more problems *socially* in the intercity that need to be addressed. IMHO, the only thing holding them down is their own culture. As long as they can blame others, one won't fix themselves first. I have known and worked with many minorities and can only say, that the successful ones succeeded in spite of the jacked up community they came from (I had same problem myself in a way).

That's Not a Spotlight, It's Stupidity (3, Insightful)

organgtool (966989) | about 7 months ago | (#46528483)

Everyone in the article keeps saying that Jackson is "shining a spotlight" on the problem. Is he really? He pointed out the lack of blacks and latinos in the tech industry and did fuck-all to state what he believes to be the problem and what we can do to resolve it. If he had come out with figures that showed that there were tons of unemployed or underployed blacks and latinos in the tech industry and that the underlying problem is due to discrimination, then that would give us something to work with. But that doesn't seem to be the case at all. What does he expect these companies to do? Hire underqualified people just to get the numbers to match?

This sounds like what my dad was telling me the other day. He used to work for the federal government and they had very detailed lists of minorities in each department. Every department was often under stress to get their numbers to match percentage of populations. But what population do you go by? National? Regional? Many of these departments were more focused on meeting these quotas than hiring the most qualified candidates, so overall these systems are counterproductive.

And if we're so focused on quotas of fairness, should we put a quota that only 13.9% of NFL players should be black? The fact is that Mr. Jackson did a lot of good when qualified black people couldn't find work due directly to discrimination. And while discrimination may not be completely gone, it is a lot better than it used to be and not every case of underrepresentation today is due to discrimination. So keep fighting the good fight against discrimination, but if you're going to complain about underrepresentation and completely fail to show that it is a result of discrimination rather than a lack of interest or qualification, then you can kindly STFU.

what gives??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528487)

I am not feeling any LOVE at all for Jesse or DIVERSITY.
Shame on you people. Cmon, lets get with it. :-D

I see where this is going... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528527)

In, before Affirmative Action strikes again !
As someone w/ Asian background - they've already made it hard for us academically. Now this - yeah keep em coming.

Jesse's been doing this for decades (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528537)

Nice business you got here, be a shame if something happened to it...
Pay him a tidy sum and he'll move on to the next company.

http://calwatchdog.com/2014/02/22/shakedown-street-jesse-jackson-targets-silicon-valley-again/
http://www.cypress.com/?docID=17901

everyone knows why. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528589)

We all understand how the bell curves go but are afraid to say the truth.

Sleazy extortionist (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528593)

Has Jackson forgotten what happened 15 years ago when he brought his extortion racket to the Valley and tried it out on T.J. Rodgers over at Cypress. Didn't work out too well as I recall. Jackson is the worst kind of opportunist there is. His political capitol these days is greatly reduced, so I see no reason for the current crop of execs to even give him the time of day. There are serious people working on racial justice in this country, but Jackson has never been one of them - he is just in it for himself.

Genetics is a Bitch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46528785)

When the IQ of non-Hispanic whites is normalized to a mean of 100 and SD of 15, the African American mean falls at about 85 with an SD of about 13.5. The black IQ distribution both lags behind and is narrower than the white. The small difference in width manifests itself significantly at the bell curve extremes, reducing both the numbers of retarded and exceptional blacks.

Simply put those with the require intelligence to work IT jobs are more of a rarity in the African American population.

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