Apple’s VP of Diversity apologizes for heresy on 'blue-eyed, blonde men'

Let’s make this clear: “blue-eyed, blonde men” cannot contribute to diversity, and it is offensive to state that they might “bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation.” That is the upshot of the reaction -- a letter of apology -- to what I termed a “stunning” statement last week by Apple’s VP of Diversity and Inclusion at a conference in Bogota, Colombia,

“I’ve often told people a story – there can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blonde men in a room and they're going to be diverse too because they're going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation.”

The reason for my selection of the term “stunning” had nothing to do with the reasonableness of the comment -- of course, it is obviously true. I can think of  all sorts of white males who differ a lot. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, to name two front-of-mind examples that everyone knows.

The sole problem was that it contradicts the fantasy that animate racial bean-counting, the idea that skin color, sexual orientation, or gender identification are the most important factors in determining one’s ability to contribute to a corporate mission. And that every such demographic slice should be represented in every sort of job at the same level of its share of the population (except when groups identified as victims are more numerous in highly paid occupations such as professional athletics).

It also dangerously humanizes white males in their most objectionable variety: “blue-eyed, blonde men.” At the heart of the diversity gospel is the notion that they are to be “otherized” – a term the left likes to use when describing the fate of their favorite victim groups.  When a group is otherized, its thoughts and feelings can be dismissed. If white males can be diverse, then there is no point in granting preferences to other groups.

Thus, it was only a matter of a couple of days before the VP in question, Denise Young Smith, recanted her heresy.  Matthew Panzarino of Tech Crunch reports:

Stuart Isett/Fortune Brainstorm Tech

Apple’s Denise Young Smith sent an apology to team members at Apple today over comments she made at the One Young World Summit in Bogotá, Colombia. (snip)

As the company’s Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity, Smith has been the tip of Apple’s D&I spear…

[Wow! What an image! Diversity is a spear that penetrates the flesh of what must be called “diversity-deficient people” – i.e., white males, especially “blue-eyed blonde men” who may ever bring negative diversity, I suppose.]

…during an era of increasing pressure on big tech companies to improve their inclusiveness. Smith came under fire from diversity advocates and commentators over a specific statement she made during a panel she was on alongside activist DeRay Mckesson and Michael Hastings, which was moderated by Aamna Mohdin of Quartz.

TechCrunch obtained Smith’s email to her team, which reads as follows:


I have always been proud to work for Apple in large part because of our steadfast commitment to creating an inclusive culture. We are also committed to having the most diverse workforce and our work in this area has never been more important. In fact, I have dedicated my twenty years at Apple to fostering and promoting opportunity and access for women, people of color and the underserved and unheard. 

Last week, while attending a summit in Bogota, I made some comments as part of a conversation on the many factors that contribute to diversity and inclusion. 

I regret the choice of words I used to make this point. I understand why some people took offense. My comments were not representative of how I think about diversity or how Apple sees it. For that, I’m sorry. 

More importantly, I want to assure you Apple’s view and our dedication to diversity has not changed.  

Understanding that diversity includes women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and all underrepresented minorities is at the heart of our work to create an environment that is inclusive of everyone. 

Our commitment at Apple to increasing racial and gender diversity is as strong as it’s ever been. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made, but there is much work to be done. I’m continually reminded of the importance of talking about these issues and learning from each other. 



This is as vague an apology as I can imagine. Exactly what the offending words were is left unsaid. Perhaps that is because such a detailed discussion would expose the vicious animus toward “blue-eyed, blonde men” that lurks beneath the surface of multiculturalism.

Do you think that if Young Smith has used “Asian males” instead of “blue-eyed, blonde men,” that the reaction would have been the same? In fact, Asian males are far more overrepresented at Apple in terms of their share of the population than blue-eyed, blonde men.”

But it is clear that the gospel of diversity is not to be questioned, and that white males, especially the Aryan-looking among them, cannot be regarded as contributing to diversity.


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