Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Jesse Jackson Silicon Valley Shakedown

Jason Riley writes:
"There's no talent shortage. There's an opportunity shortage."

That was Jesse Jackson's attempt to justify his current shakedown of Silicon Valley, where he's trying to impose de facto black hiring quotas in the name of expanding "opportunity" for minorities. Once again, Mr. Jackson has got it wrong.

According to USA Today, whites and Asians make up around 90 percent of the staffs of Twitter,  Google, GOOGL  Facebook, Yahoo  and LinkedIn. "Of Twitter's U.S. employees, only 3% are Hispanic and 5% black," reports the paper. Let's leave aside Mr. Jackson's bizarre notion that Asian people—Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Indians, Bangladeshis, etc.—don't bring racial diversity to a workforce. Are these numbers proof that something is amiss?..

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reports that "In 2005, Blacks earned 5.3 percent of all bachelor's degrees awarded in engineering. In 2012, Blacks earned only 4.2 percent of all bachelor's degrees awarded in the discipline." The Journal adds: "The news is slightly better in graduate degree awards in engineering. From 2005 to 2012, the percentage of all doctoral degrees in engineering awarded to Blacks increased from 3.7 percent to 4.1 percent."...

Silicon Valley's workforce does not reflect racial animus towards blacks. Rather, it reflects the rates at which whites and Asians are earning the requisite degrees from America's most selective institutions. Forcing Google and Yahoo to lower hiring standards in order to satisfy Mr. Jackson's definition of diversity would only slow innovation and make these companies less competitive. Let's hope they stand up to this shakedown.

If Jesse Jackson wants to impact the racial mix in Silicon Valley, he might try starting in places like inner-city Chicago, where he could devote more of his energies to convincing young black men to pull up their pants, finish school, take care of their children and stop shooting each other

Read the full commentary here.

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