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Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the opportunity-shortage dept.

Businesses 514

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.

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Silicon Valley shakedown (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568419)

Follow the money.

RACIST! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568451)

Posting as A. C because you are afraid to face the Black Man.
 
Comander Taco, Now is the time for a -1 RACIST moderation to put these peope in there places!

Re:RACIST! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568581)

Posting as A. C because you are afraid to face the Black Man.

Comander Taco, Now is the time for a -1 RACIST moderation to put these peope in there places!

And that's EXACLTY how the Jesse Jackson shakedown works.

"Do what I say or I'll call you a RAAAAAACIST!!!"

Jackson really should patent that. It's a hell of an effective "business" method.

Re:RACIST! (4, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | about 5 months ago | (#47568805)

And that's EXACLTY how the Jesse Jackson shakedown works.

"Do what I say or I'll call you a RAAAAAACIST!!!"

Jackson really should patent that. It's a hell of an effective "business" method.

Well, I have seen racism in dev shops before, to be sure, but not the sort that Reverend Jackson wants shakedown money for. I've worked for more than one place where "white men born in America" were about 2% of engineers. Normally, it's just not an issue, but at one place the racism was so bad that everyone not of the preferred race left over the course of 6 months after a shift of management. (Not saying what that race was, as the problem was just a couple of assholes, and not a more general problem).

I've also seen straight-up redneck racist at the first dev shop I ever worked at, back when we rode dinosaurs to work, but that company was so exploitive that racism only makes the middle of its list of abuses.

What Jesse wants (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568665)

Hate to say it, but a shakedown is EXACTLY all you'll get out of Jesse Jackson and other racial hustlers like him. They want:

1) Publicity for themselves
2) [a distant 2nd] No-show jobs that they can hand out as patronage
3) Businesses to feel an obligation to hire a mandatory percentage of *certain* minorities (Asians not included, of course), whether the people they're hiring are qualified or not. This will of course lead to great resentment among the whites and Asians who ARE qualified, and resent that Tyrone and Nakeesha get paid to basically sit in a corner and do nothing all day (on days they bother to even show up) because the company doesn't want to be called racist.

Posting AC because you're all a bunch of politically-correct liberal pussies who mod down anyone who doesn't hold blacks and women as the perfect creatures and dares suggest that white men and Asians might actually have any redeeming qualities.

Re:What Jesse wants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568831)

Jesse, Jr. will need a job when he gets out of prison. Jesse, Sr is often referred to as the "King of Beer" around Chicago. He got another son a protected Budweiser distributorship when he did this to Anhueser-Busch a couple decades ago.

Stop the idiocracy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#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:Stop the idiocracy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568489)

Preach it brother, freedom ain't free.

Re:Stop the idiocracy (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568515)

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: Stop the idiocracy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568657)

I interviewed someone today who had a 3 year degree in electronic engineering. He did not know Ohm's law.

Re: Stop the idiocracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568849)

By which I meant that you can't tell who is qualified by just looking at a piece of paper. Nothing to do with gender, age or nationality/origin.

Re: Stop the idiocracy (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568891)

Ohm's law is handled on 4th year.

SLASHDOT IS A RACIST! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568427)

White background. A little text here and there dotting the ceiling like fly specks. (That's a literary reference...any takers?)
 
This man has no credibility, and you IDIOT submitters and editors are giving him the spotlight. No wonder everyone left.

He just doesent' get it.. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#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.

Mod parent DOWN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568545)

Mods, please ban the user Anonymous Coward for racist comment!

Re:Mod parent DOWN (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 5 months ago | (#47568609)

It's not racism to point out the fact that most H1B scab labor in IT is Indian. It's also not racist to point out that "lowering the bar" is bogus.

If Jesse wants to wage the next race war, he should start by getting more black kids interested in STEM and education in general. He can fight against the pervasive drug and gang culture that keeps black kids away from any means to better themselves.

Perhaps he could even get a bunch of athletes and rappers to just read to kids.

Re:Mod parent DOWN (5, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 5 months ago | (#47568673)

Who's going to read to the athletes and rappers?

Re:Mod parent DOWN (5, Informative)

John Jorsett (171560) | about 5 months ago | (#47568703)

If Jesse wants to wage the next race war, he should start by getting more black kids interested in STEM and education in general.

Jackson isn't interested in waging race war, he wants to shakedown businesses for money for his organization and those of his cronies. Making it about race is just his form of extortion. Notice that whenever he goes after some company, it's suddenly made all better when it makes a donation to his cause and/or hires one or more people of Jackson's designation. I really admire the way the CEO of Cypress Semiconductor refused to knuckle under to Jackson back in 2001 after Jackson labeled Cypress a "white supremacist hate group.’” I hope every Silicon Valley target of his does the same.

Re:Mod parent DOWN (3, Informative)

PseudoCoder (1642383) | about 5 months ago | (#47568793)

Perhaps he could even get a bunch of athletes and rappers to just read to kids.

That's assuming these athletes and rappers can even read. http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/07/... [cnn.com]

Re:Mod parent DOWN-they have CS degrees (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568937)

He doesn't need to.
          Black Computer Science graduates essentially reached parity in 2006, capturing 12.4% of CS degrees. no longer can they be dismissed as an “under-represented minority”.

       

Re: Mod parent DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568645)

Bugger off race baiter.

Re:He just doesent' get it.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568593)

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

Ah, yes. The good ol' meritocracy. The dream of capable men and women everywhere. No more having to put up with coworkers that are incapable of doing the work. Just like not a single profession anywhere, ever. (Except maybe prostitution, but even that could be up for debate.) The fact is, being smart has very little to do with it. Getting the job done is what matters.

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

You think. Or maybe there's racism in areas that aren't directly part of the job, but are part of getting the job. Like education (check) or HR (check). Of course, then it needs to be said that Mr. Jackson needs to focus his efforts elsewhere, and there's just not any money in that, so good luck.

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.

We already have to work with those that can't carry their own weight. I've worked with plenty of Indians, and fully half of them were below average. The other half were good enough to get their work done (which is what matters). I've never worked with any Chinese. But of the mix of white and black (yes, black!) people I've worked with, there was always only a 50/50 chance of any single person being good at their job. These people were from various nationalities and environments. Some had years of experience, others were so green they needed mowing. And they were always a mixed bag. 50/50 is about the best you can hope for.

Re:He just doesent' get it.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568811)

I've worked with plenty of Indians, and fully half of them were below average.

I know, right? And 40% of the days they take off are either Mondays or Fridays.

Experience outside the valley (4, Informative)

Whorhay (1319089) | about 5 months ago | (#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:Experience outside the valley (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568527)

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 (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#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.

Re:Experience outside the valley (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568859)

As a former government worker, I can tell you: no. Its far and above closer to the 75% mark in the public sector. With so many in the workforce getting automatic preference points, paths for advancement as a white male are practically nonexistent... which is why I'm back in the private sector. Even in an office full of H1Bs, the workplace is far more equitable than with the Feds.

Re:Experience outside the valley (2)

tofu2go (727555) | about 5 months ago | (#47568737)

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?

Re:Experience outside the valley (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 5 months ago | (#47568789)

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!

Experience outside the valley (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568803)

My momma always said, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."

Re:Experience outside the valley (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 5 months ago | (#47568915)

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.

Experience outside the valley (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568917)

I'm in Cambridge MA, and in 15 years I have interviewed exactly two African American (out of hundreds of interviews) tech workers and both were not close to qualified for the jobs they were interviewing for.
There's a shortage of candidates!

Confusing position (5, Informative)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 5 months ago | (#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.

Re:Confusing position (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#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:Confusing position (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568523)

>> 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/

Re:Confusing position (4, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 5 months ago | (#47568547)

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!

Re:Confusing position (5, Informative)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | about 5 months ago | (#47568747)

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.

Re:Confusing position (4, Interesting)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 5 months ago | (#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?

automatic turn-off (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568631)

Jesse Jackson is a master at crying out racism. This skill resulted in his family getting the beer distribution rights for Bud at Wrigley field and other venues. I would see his cries about silicon valley for what they are, a shakedown.

Programming/software development is a field that does not tolerate sub-par performers, while for the most part recoginizes exceptional performers.

Re:automatic turn-off (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 5 months ago | (#47568855)

Yar, I think he also misunderstands the work involved as well.

If he were to look at an area with a high percentage of blacks, who were under-represented in low-skill, decent wage jobs (think detroit/rust belt 40 years ago) then he might have a point. IE, there's a large number of people *capable of doing the job* who aren't being hired. And that's fishy.

IT though, is not anything at all like applying rivets on an assembly line. (despite what PHB's think.) It's a line of work that you actually have to be interested in to succeed. The certifications or degree programs don't guarantee a capable person. And that's what he's missing. Either it's a good-ole boy network that seems to favor indians and asians (and sometimes whites), and specifically excludes the mass of blacks who are good at/interested in coding. OR perhaps it's that there just aren't many qualified people who happen to black.

Which basically boils down to the fact that If blacks in silicon valley have such an institutionalized sense of inability, that they aren't even trying to learn the skills needed -- then it's hopeless for them anyways. (And there simply is no excuse, the information is out there, for free, or very low cost. There isn't a guild or certifying body to exclude them.. it's as much as a meritocracy as anything in the US.)

Playing the race card just serves to damage one of the most competitive and functional job markets in the country.

He's not wrong (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568447)

Libertarians are all for equality -- as long as those equals are also white men.

Here we go again..... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568455)

We need to stop teaching people that their skills and abilities matter and that the color of their skin is what is important right? That'll get rid of racism right? Effing liberals.

Computers are Racist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568457)

Rakim, Oakland: "See, computers are racist because they make them too hard to use. They need to make them easy like TV, so people in the community can have good jobs. Computers are made by whites and Chinese, and they don't like it when we try to get ahead.

http://joyreactor.com/post/566176

Probably going to get flamed for this (5, Insightful)

TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) | about 5 months ago | (#47568465)

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.

Re:Probably going to get flamed for this (0)

Immerman (2627577) | about 5 months ago | (#47568591)

Absolutely. And if only 1% of your staff is black you've got to suspect that something else is already in play...

Re:Probably going to get flamed for this (2)

powerlord (28156) | about 5 months ago | (#47568663)

I would hope its mostly disparity of education and experience.

Re:Probably going to get flamed for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568887)

Right. An "opportunity shortage" would lead to this. That's exactly what he is talking about.

Re:Probably going to get flamed for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568837)

And if only 1% of your staff is black you've got to suspect that something else is already in play...

How many blacks are intelligent enough to do do the job? How many blacks are competent enough to do the job? How many blacks are interested in doing the job? How many blacks that are intelligent, competent and interested didn't get better offer from someone else?

Re:Probably going to get flamed for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568853)

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.

I'd like the NBA to release race statistics, how many Indian's (the Asian kind, not the Native American kind) are in the NBA? Or the NFL for that matter?

Re:Probably going to get flamed for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568927)

US Civil Rights Leader?

More like known racist.

right (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568471)

barack obama has proven once and for all there are no white people holding blacks back from anything. jesse jackson is just a failed attempt at maintaining the racial divide in the US. it is not white responsibility to make sure these various colors of people get ahead in our country. all they have to do is exactly how us responsible do; get your shit together, dont let crack or a joint distract you from your long term goals. no more excuses. and stop emulating people like snoop dog and others that brag abt drugs.

nothing is keeping you in 'the hood'. i am dirt poor and have lived in a middle-class neighborhood for over 30yrs. i rent a tiny one bedroom apt in a rental house, and im disabled. yes, i get less than 1k/mo, just like most of the blacks out there whining abt 'i only make min wage'. shut up, i have less income than you. just get your shit together n stay out of my hood.

Re:right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568809)

Barack Obama isn't from the "hood." He was raised by affluent whites. You think he would be in the White House today if he were raised in some shithole ghetto where you get more respect coming back from prison than from college and no one knows their father? Hell, he wouldn't even be able to put together a coherent sentence.

And how about a real tax on wealth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568473)

Income from labor is heavily taxed while income from wealth is taxed to a much less extent.

There are a lot of rich "progressives" in tech that call for higher taxes on the rich but it's always higher taxes on income from labor that get put into law.

So how about a national property tax on assets, too, while we're fixing all the hypocrisy in IT land?

Re:And how about a real tax on wealth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568763)

ah yes, nothing like having the government decide the value of assets and what portion they deserve because you had the audacity to work for it and purchase the property. Gotta make the the government gets their "Fair share", and in that case, a 100% share of all assets.

And how about a real tax on wealth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568901)

When was the last time higher taxes on income from labor got put into law?

There's no talent shortage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568475)

It's greed.. there are a lot of Americans with the skills... corporate america is greedy so they outsource.

soon outsourcing is going to bite them in the ass. who's going to buy corporate america's products ??? no americans and not anyone on an H1B visa.
lmao. what goes around comes around.

Re:There's no talent shortage (3, Insightful)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 5 months ago | (#47568701)

Like Microsoft laying off 18,000 and simultaneously arguing for more H1B visas?

Is Jackson arguing against diversity? (4, Informative)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 5 months ago | (#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.

Re:Is Jackson arguing against diversity? (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 5 months ago | (#47568577)

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

Re:Is Jackson arguing against diversity? (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 5 months ago | (#47568683)

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."

Re:Is Jackson arguing against diversity? (2)

DamnOregonian (963763) | about 5 months ago | (#47568907)

Americans first.

Re:Is Jackson arguing against diversity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568923)

I'm a Democrat. Americans first. Also: the second amendment guarantees a personal right to bear arms. Also, also: bring back public executions.

We're not all the pinko pansies you've been lead to believe.

Representation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568497)

It's my understanding that many minorities are already over represented in the tech field when compared to how many get related degrees. If anything places like Google and Apple are disciminiating against white people with their hiring practices.

Fix the degree issue and the rest will work itself out.

FTFY (-1, Troll)

argStyopa (232550) | about 5 months ago | (#47568501)

Jesse Jackson: "I desperately need a new cause to trumpet, or I'm no longer going to be able to afford my lifestyle. Therefore, I shall identify a desperate need for my community, for which I shall naturally be named the spokesman. By this method I shall articulate a set of vague, impossible goals such that we can once again identify an entire culture as 'victims' of the nebulous (but nevertheless nefarious) forces that keep us "down". I shall continue attach myself to this I-hope-ever-growing-movement, in order to be able to pay for my cars, mistresses, and if I'm lucky, even the lawyers needed to keep my son out of prison. Perhaps I have finally found the cause celebre that will even allow me to ride into media sinecure, like that dirty sellout bastard Al Sharpton."

Well, that's what I heard, anyway.

I'd call his plan for IT diversity the Nationwide IT General Graduate Effectiveness Resource System. Come up with your own acronym as required.

The real question, for the IT community is, of course, does his plan ensure enough vaginas in IT departments? If not, then his victim train will have to wait until that one leaves the station.

Re:FTFY (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568777)

Nationwide IT General Graduate Effectiveness Resource System

Insightful?

Re:FTFY (2)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 5 months ago | (#47568871)

While I think that Jackson is an opportunistic jackass, resorting to racial epithets is completely unnecessary and only serves to undercut your message. Be better than this. You owe it to your society and yourself.

The problem isn't color of one's skin... (5, Insightful)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 5 months ago | (#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.

Jesse Jackson (3, Insightful)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 5 months ago | (#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.

The "equal opportunity" employees (1, Insightful)

mi (197448) | about 5 months ago | (#47568509)

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 (4, Interesting)

roc97007 (608802) | about 5 months ago | (#47568517)

> 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.

Re:Good for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568893)

it's clarifying the issue to the average American. they don't understand why their friends and family--of all stripes and colors--don't have jobs in tech despite their degrees, training and experience.

dazzled by cutting edge gadgets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568539)

Oh good grief. Compare companies profit lines by diversity breakdown. I'd love to see if they compete in the market place.

I'm so tired of the hire - me - for - my - race crowd. Hire me because of my intelligence, creativity and work ethic. Geez.

Those liberal companies don't necessarily follow what they preach. Apparently Jackson hasn't received his annual check so it's time to remind them.

Re:dazzled by cutting edge gadgets (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568921)

So we are supposed to allow companies to hire white, heterosexual cis males just because of intelligence, creativity and work ethic? Check your privilege!

Can't force diversity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568551)

Mr. Jackson maybe your focus should be on Black's getting a better education and actually going to college for technical degree's. Maybe then these companies could actually hire a more diverse group of employee's. I myself have had enough of how many breaks people get in the US and yet you have Mr. Jackson crying foul at every little degree of unjust as he see's it in racial hiring. I would remind Mr. Jackson of how little American's in general focus on getting degree's in science, engineering, or any kind of technology. If you want those stats to change you have to convince the minorities to stay in school and not just get by on a token degree. That's the only way employer's can have the proper mix of people as workers.

Are only black people "diverse"? (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 5 months ago | (#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.

Re:Are only black people "diverse"? (2)

Reason58 (775044) | about 5 months ago | (#47568617)

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.

Re:Are only black people "diverse"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568677)

But... but.. no, if he brings that up, then the whole "minority = victim" argument goes out the window.

What?! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#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 don't see how Jackson isn't a racist.... (2)

rat9 (1910944) | about 5 months ago | (#47568579)

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?

Re:I don't see how Jackson isn't a racist.... (1)

Tharkkun (2605613) | about 5 months ago | (#47568843)

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?

Most tech companies do. What they may not have is more black/african american people. Big tech companies are rolling with individuals from china, asia, japan, india, russia and africa. But the majority of new highly skilled workers are coming from china and india.

Location, location, location (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 5 months ago | (#47568587)

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.

Re:Location, location, location (1)

powerlord (28156) | about 5 months ago | (#47568741)

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?

Tech Diversity (2)

nitsew (991812) | about 5 months ago | (#47568597)

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.

Re:Tech Diversity (1)

bdcrazy (817679) | about 5 months ago | (#47568691)

But is is a hard drive, a hybrid drive, an SSD, a floppy....

lack of diversity? (3, Informative)

roc97007 (608802) | about 5 months ago | (#47568605)

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".

Ageism (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568611)

Sadly, Silicon Valley's rampant ageism goes on unchallenged. Not everyone is affected by race, but eventually everyone is affected by age.

Trying to stay relevant and rich (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568621)

Jesse needs a strawman to stay relevant and keep the cash flowing in. Nothing more to see here.

Sometimes I wonder just WTH is up with SV (3, Interesting)

Rinikusu (28164) | about 5 months ago | (#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).

Racial guilt was so 20th century... (2)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47568661)

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.

At an interview (1)

tyggna (1405643) | about 5 months ago | (#47568693)

I was once told that I'd be working primarily with white males, because only one out of every 200 candidates that apply to work there fit that demographic.

Out of sync (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568697)

Whenever I hear about stuff like this I sometimes think that they'll succeed in getting more minorities into tech--just in time for the economic focus to shift someplace else.

People who have education and wealth will always be on the leading edge of the curve. Whatever the next economic focus is, they'll find it. Jackson would better serve his community by giving them the tools they need to be aware of opportunity. He can't give them wealth in any meaningful way, so he should just focus on fixing education.

Yes, overt racism needs to be addressed. If tech companies were deliberately refusing to hire people just because they don't fit a category, that needs to be addressed. This isn't the real problem though. I've worked alongside a few Blacks and Hispanics in techs. They were just as qualified as the Whites; just fewer in number. There was no racism problem, just the *legacy* of prior racism that lead to the lower numbers.

You can't fix these problems overnight, and you'll make it worse if you try.

No It's Not An Opportunity Shortage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568699)

When I went to university there was no shortage of blacks there in general, just a shortage of them studying for STEM degrees.

I rarely agree with Jesse Jackson (1)

fritz1968 (569074) | about 5 months ago | (#47568717)

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.

HANG THESE SICK LEFTISTS ALREADY (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568721)

Shut up you idiots. Just shut up and die.
Stop destroying the world.
You deserve to die and be tortured before you do.
You are sick people.
You are idiots.
Just fucking die already or we will help you.

Jackson is Supporting the Right to Compete (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568799)

Companies with job openings on U.S. soil must allow all qualified candidates to compete. That's what EEO law says. It governs corporate behavior. If the corporation's hiring results don't represent the domestic workforce, they are blocking qualified candidates in their recruiting and hiring.

As 3 tech advocacy groups show, Manpower, IBM, and Infosys are blocking qualified candidates. Jackson is right. We white-collar workers should have the first crack at job openings on U.S. soil--just like blue-collar workers do.

Congress requires companies with blue-collar job openings to seek and hire Americans first before recruiting abroad. However, all white-collar visa programs are missing this requirement--and verification.

This is what we want fixed, and what Jackson wants fixed. Blocking qualified candidates with visa programs just exacerbates race, age, gender, and national origin discrimination.

Donna Conroy, Director
brightfuturejobs.com

As an African American, this pisses me off (5, Insightful)

x_t0ken_407 (2716535) | about 5 months ago | (#47568829)

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.

Great! (2)

Cardinal Biggles (6685) | about 5 months ago | (#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.

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568929)

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

it wasn't quite because you are white, but because you are white AND did not possess an h1-b visa.

Professional Sports Need Diversity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568881)

The fact that almost all professional atheletes are Black is Racist!

Some emphasis (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47568895)

As a retired executive of a small east coast engineering services firm (and familiar with numerous other execs over a twenty some year career who all felt similar), all it takes is the right skills at the right price to get the job. I'd hired you if you were black, white, brown, or purple if you had the skills we needed at a price we could afford. Our biggest customer was the federal government, and when asked by a minority manager at that goverment agency why we didn't employ more of HIS minority members I noted that the firm was already about 25% total monority hiring. I then asked how I should choose between two equally qualified job candidates; one a member of the manager's minority group, and the other not a minority. The manager stammered and stuttered and was unable to provide any answer. When I suggested I would chose the candidate who would cost the business the least (salary and benifits) you would never have believed the dumbfounded look on the manager's face when hit with the realization that there might be more to hiring than race.

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