Jesse Jackson does Silicon Valley

Jesse Jackson follows the money, and Silicon Valley is rolling in it. Thus the self-ordained Reverend yesterday began a shakedown cruise through the San Jose metropolitan area. The Mercury-News reports with a straight face:

The Rev. Jesse Jackson is bringing a strategy borrowed from the traditional civil rights era playbook to the age of social media and a booming tech industry known for its disruptive innovation.

Jackson led a delegation to Hewlett-Packard's annual shareholders meeting Wednesday to bring attention to Silicon Valley's poor record of including blacks and Latinos in hiring, board appointments and startup funding.

For very good reason, Jackson is avoiding the term “diversity” because Silicon Valley is full of non-whites, people of a Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ancestry. The necessary condition for success in the high tech industry is engineering and math education, period. People of any race who get the necessary education can and do succeed. Talent and effort are all that are necessary.

White racism as a factor in the comparative lack (not absolute) lack of blacks and Latinos in the Valley is laughable. If whites were racist and controlled hiring to favor other whites, the Valley's workforce would look very different than it does.

Underlying the effort is a doctrine that is very dangerous for everyone:

 Earl "Butch" Graves Jr., president and CEO of Black Enterprise magazine, said Jackson is shining a light on the fact that technology companies don't come close to hiring or spending what is commensurate with the demographics of their customers.

By this standard, the NBA would have to fire many of its players and recruit balding, overweight white guys. And the rap music industry would have to hire disaffected suburban white boys.

Silicon Valley is one of the most meritocratic places in earth. Of course, meritocracy is now under attack as well.

If Jackson wants to add blacks and Latinos to Silicon Valley’s workforce, he needs to urge young people in those groups to shun ethnic studies majors and focus on math and engineering. Of course that would put many of his academic allies out of work so it will never happen. 

Jesse Jackson follows the money, and Silicon Valley is rolling in it. Thus the self-ordained Reverend yesterday began a shakedown cruise through the San Jose metropolitan area. The Mercury-News reports with a straight face:

The Rev. Jesse Jackson is bringing a strategy borrowed from the traditional civil rights era playbook to the age of social media and a booming tech industry known for its disruptive innovation.

Jackson led a delegation to Hewlett-Packard's annual shareholders meeting Wednesday to bring attention to Silicon Valley's poor record of including blacks and Latinos in hiring, board appointments and startup funding.

For very good reason, Jackson is avoiding the term “diversity” because Silicon Valley is full of non-whites, people of a Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ancestry. The necessary condition for success in the high tech industry is engineering and math education, period. People of any race who get the necessary education can and do succeed. Talent and effort are all that are necessary.

White racism as a factor in the comparative lack (not absolute) lack of blacks and Latinos in the Valley is laughable. If whites were racist and controlled hiring to favor other whites, the Valley's workforce would look very different than it does.

Underlying the effort is a doctrine that is very dangerous for everyone:

 Earl "Butch" Graves Jr., president and CEO of Black Enterprise magazine, said Jackson is shining a light on the fact that technology companies don't come close to hiring or spending what is commensurate with the demographics of their customers.

By this standard, the NBA would have to fire many of its players and recruit balding, overweight white guys. And the rap music industry would have to hire disaffected suburban white boys.

Silicon Valley is one of the most meritocratic places in earth. Of course, meritocracy is now under attack as well.

If Jackson wants to add blacks and Latinos to Silicon Valley’s workforce, he needs to urge young people in those groups to shun ethnic studies majors and focus on math and engineering. Of course that would put many of his academic allies out of work so it will never happen. 

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