Fake controversy over Twitter diversity figures

Twitter is being hit with criticism, and promises to “do better” over an absolutely bogus controversy. The company is “guilty” of having many black and Hispanic customers, but few b&H employees. Oh, the horror! The company hangs its head in shame:

We are keenly aware that Twitter is part of an industry that is marked by dramatic imbalances in diversity — and we are no exception.

By becoming more transparent with our employee data, open in dialogue throughout the company and rigorous in our recruiting, hiring and promotion practices, we are making diversity an important business issue for ourselves.

This USA Today story, picked up widely by other media, contains a tell on how fake the whole “controversy: is:

In the U.S., nearly 90% of Twitter's workers are white or Asian. And more than 90% of technology jobs in the U.S. are held by whites or Asians.

In what universe are whites and Asians the same group?  The customary practice is to lump Asians in with “oppressed” minorities. And in fact, Asians have experienced official discrimination in the past, up to and including the evacuation of Japanese-Americans into concentration camps within living memory, at the hands of California Governor Earl Warren, later to become a liberal icon as the Chief Justice.

In fact, if you consider Asians a minority (as they are!), the company’s nonwhite employment stands at 41%, higher than the percentage of the general population.

But in today’s America, as in Apartheid-era South Africa, Asians are suddenly “honorary whites” when it is convenient for the ruling elites.

Tim Worstall of Forbes makes many of the same points I would:

…there’s a significant correlation between aptitude at engineering and the autism spectrum so it’s no surprise that men are over-represented in both not just the one. And the appalling state of urban schools (not to say the disproportionate effect of the idiocy known as the War on Drugs) means that largely urban African Americans are going to have difficulties entering a profession like software coding.

Just take a look at the computer engineering and applied math graduates of any major university, and you will see a good reflection of the Twitter and other high tech companies’ workforces. They just don’t have much need for majors in soft subjects like sociology or ethnic studies, they need hard core nerds.

I’d love to see more b&H kids taking up computer sciences. That’s where more has to be done, not in posturing and pretending over the workforce at Twitter, Google, or anywhere else.

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