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Jesse Jackson Demands ‘Diversity’ from Silicon Valley (Part II)
Townhall.com ^ | June 8, 2014 | Carl Horowitz

Posted on 06/08/2014 3:39:28 PM PDT by Kaslin

Editor's note: This column is Part II in a series. Click here for Part I.

The information technology industry long has been one of Jesse Jackson’s targets. Well over a decade ago Rainbow/PUSH established its Silicon Valley Project office. There is enormous money to be extracted on behalf of minority groups ostensibly “excluded” from tech industry employment. Whether such concessions benefit a particular company is immaterial. Jackson is a power broker. His specialty is confrontation. He disingenuously uses imagery of fairness and togetherness when it suits his needs, but his ulterior motive is anything but a “win-win.” The world of race-based shakedowns, by its nature, is one of zero-sum economics. If one group wins, another loses. And Jesse Jackson means for blacks (and to an extent, Hispanics) to win and for whites to lose.

Jesse Jackson took his moral theater this past month to three titans of Silicon Valley. First stop: eBay. The online auction and shopping website, held its convention in San Jose on May 13. And Jackson issued a statement urging company officials to raise the profile of racial minorities in hiring for the executive suites and in contracting. The next day, May 14, Jackson similarly hectored officials and shareholders of Google at company headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. And on May 24, Jackson brought his show to Redwood City, Calif., site of this year’s Facebook shareholder meeting. With Facebook Chairman/CEO Mark Zuckerberg, CFO David Ebersman and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg looking on, Jackson denounced the company for its “patterns of exclusion.

It’s worth quoting at length from his Facebook statement because it encapsulates the essence of his tour:

I speak to you today representing the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, about the need to open up a new era of growth and inclusion of African-Americans, Latinos and other people of color in Silicon Valley’s technology industry. Inclusion leads to growth, and when there is growth, everybody wins.

Facebook is uniquely positioned to lead this new era. We won’t know how good Silicon Valley can be until everyone can participate.

All we ask is that everyone plays by one set of rules, and that there is an even playing field for all. It’s the moral imperative.

We want mutually beneficial, two-way trade. We share consumer patterns together; pay taxes together; we serve in the military together to keep our nation secure. We should share in America’s opportunity and growth together. Bit today there is an imbalance; too much one-way trade, too many gaps. We have money market talent and location. You have technology, expertise and resources. We can all win. Let’s close the gaps.

African-Americans and people of color comprise a huge and growing part of your customer base. In a short period of time, minorities will comprise the new majority population of California.Technology is supposed to be about inclusion, but sadly, patterns of exclusion remain the order of the day. Let me state some facts:

ZERO blacks on boards and in the C-suites.

Tech powerhouses including Facebook, Apple and Google, and new media companies like Twitter – have ZERO blacks on their board of directors.

In the C-suites, Facebook, like Twitter, Apple and far too many other Silicon Valley and technology firms have ZERO African-Americans or Latinos on their senior executive leadership teams.

Just as women leaders are now making some headway – like Sheryl (Sandberg) and Marissa Mayer at Yahoo – companies like Facebook must build a pipeline wherein African-Americans and people of color to lean in and move up, too. The “we can’t find them” syndrome is a thing of the past. Who is looking? And where are “they” looking? We can find them, if we look in the right places. Facebook and other tech firms can find us when it comes to consumers of technology. You can find us – we are CEOs and CFOs and engineers and lawyers and ad agencies and investment bankers, too. Rainbow/PUSH stands ready to search with you to find qualified candidates.

The responses by these information technology leaders could have been predicted. Management at eBay had nothing to say – at least nothing that was reported. That amounted to tacit agreement. More telling was the response by Google, whose Chief Legal Officer David Drummond promised to release the numbers – and already has. On May 29, the company issued a report on workforce diversity showing about 60 percent of Google employees are white and 30 percent are Asian (apparently not all racial minorities arouse Jackson’s sympathies). Laszlo Bock, Google’s senior vice president for public relations, also wrote in a blog: “Simply put, Google is not where we want to be when it comes to diversity, and it’s hard to address these kinds of challenges if you’re not prepared to discuss them openly, and with the facts.”

Facebook also gave in, adopting a feckless “we’re really, really trying” line. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg explained in writing: “We have built a number of great partnerships, groups like the National Society of Black Engineers, the Hispanic Alumni of Georgia Tech, Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, and Management Leadership of Tomorrow. And these partnerships have been great because they are really helping us get great candidates and reach out.”

Jackson’s IT industry gambit, in fact, has been all over the map this year. Earlier this year, he wrote a letter to tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Twitter, replete with his familiar hectoring style. In March, he showed up at the HP shareholders meeting to skewer CEO Meg Whitman and her company’s record on minority hiring. And near the end of last month, appearing on CNBC, Jackson denounced information technology firms for their lack of diversity.

It’s important to keep in mind that though major U.S. employers are not required to make employee demographic data public, they must furnish such data to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. And the numbers eventually can be used in a federal lawsuit against any company for its “disparate impact” upon minorities. In other words, even if a tech firm hasn’t willfully discriminated against minorities in any of its practices, it can be sued anyway because its actions had the effect of keeping minority representation below an ostensibly proper level. One can be sure that Jackson will happily facilitate an EEOC or Justice Department legal action against Google or any other Silicon Valley company.

All of this is depressing. Jesse Jackson’s targets in his latest campaign are among the largest and fastest-growing firms in the business world. If these corporations can’t summon the cojones to stand up to Jackson, one hardly can imagine small start-ups doing so. Most industry leaders are willing to succumb to people like Jackson if doing so buys time in the face of a boycott, lawsuit or other attempt to sabotage their company brand name. In business, image is everything. And nothing weakens a company image these days quite like a charge of “racism.”

Fortunately, there is one person in Silicon Valley who could serve as a model for resistance. That would be T. J. Rodgers, founder and CEO of the San Jose-based Cypress Semiconductor. Some 15 years ago, Jackson had embarked on a similar campaign to promote affirmation action in IT industry employment. But Rodgers wasn’t about to buckle. In March 1999, he authored an editorial for the San Jose Mercury News, “Valley Should Stand Up to Jackson’s Divisive Tactics,” in which he rebutted Jackson’s campaign. A few years earlier, he had referred to boardroom quotas as “unsound” and “immoral.” He was right then and he would be just as right today. And he suffered no ill consequences. Courage does pay.

Tech firms, whether their specialty is hardware, software, e-commerce or social media, don’t owe any reparations to a given class of “underrepresented” people. They are in business to provide customers with quality products and service. They should have the right to hire anyone who can help them fulfill this mission. Theirs is a ferociously competitive world in which even moving forward “too slowly” can mean obsolescence. One must be an innovation and marketing leader or risk being left in the dust.

If black, Hispanic and other minority-group tech entrepreneurs think they can succeed in that world then let them have a go of it. Nobody is holding them down. But it’s not the job of Google, Facebook or any other established firm to make amends for nonexistent wrongdoing on their part. They should tell Jesse Jackson to take a hike.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; US: California
KEYWORDS: jessejackson; shakedown; siliconvalley; technology
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1 posted on 06/08/2014 3:39:28 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

In the interest of diversity they should do something different and tell him to go pound sand.


2 posted on 06/08/2014 3:43:06 PM PDT by hometoroost
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To: Kaslin
Kicking off another fund raising campaign I see.Perhaps the courts have increased the amount of child support he's required to pay.
3 posted on 06/08/2014 3:44:10 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Rat Party Policy:Lie,Deny,Refuse To Comply)
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To: Gay State Conservative

How many “zeros” in “diversity?”


4 posted on 06/08/2014 3:44:43 PM PDT by ken5050 ("One useless man is a shame, two are a law firm, three or more are a Congress".. John Adams)
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To: Kaslin

I think he just made himself a target for the hacker nation.


5 posted on 06/08/2014 3:44:45 PM PDT by Tonytitan
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To: hometoroost

How many janitors can these companies hire?

CC


6 posted on 06/08/2014 3:44:51 PM PDT by Captain Compassion
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To: Kaslin

It must be embarrassing when you make a public demand and then nothing happens. As much as I disagree with the politics of probably 90% of the denizens of Silicon Valley, it is almost a pure meritocracy out there. If you are talented and you deliver the goods you will be rewarded. Affirmative action is probably more alien to the tech industry than any other.


7 posted on 06/08/2014 3:47:00 PM PDT by clintonh8r (Can Juan Williams possibly be that stupid?)
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To: Kaslin

I demand he STFU


8 posted on 06/08/2014 3:47:02 PM PDT by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period. PALIN/CRUZ 2016)
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To: Kaslin

I remeber when I had to find my first job. I had to reach out to companies, no companies came to me. I do remember the huge signs at the personnel departments of places like google that said “coloreds need not apply”, i thought at the time it was racist, but it turns out it just meant that they need not go through the effort of applying, the company woud come to them


9 posted on 06/08/2014 3:47:14 PM PDT by dsrtsage (One half of all people have below average IQ. In the US the number is 54%i)
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To: Kaslin

Jesse Jackson: “We can grow your diversity footprint is the price is right.”


10 posted on 06/08/2014 3:47:24 PM PDT by Huskrrrr
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To: Kaslin
Jesse must be low on funds--or maybe he is just lusting after more face time. I have been sick of this pretender for years. he pretends to love his people and help but he loves celebrity, bucks and himself.

He is also a racist's racist.

vaudine

11 posted on 06/08/2014 3:49:06 PM PDT by vaudine
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To: Kaslin

rev. Jess, How about blacks focus on education and bettering themselves a little more? They might get some of those jobs if that were the case.

How about black men showing they care about their own children by being in the home? No one would keep me away from my children. It’s a moral issue, Jess. If revs. like you would just acknowledge the importance of God in the family, black families might would be a lot better off. But then again, Jess, it’s not about black families ..... it’s about you.


12 posted on 06/08/2014 3:49:13 PM PDT by boycott
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To: Kaslin
Yes, that's what we need - more diversity !


13 posted on 06/08/2014 3:51:53 PM PDT by Iron Munro (Black skin has morphed into Teflon.)
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To: Huskrrrr

Google gives $100million to Newark schools. The students are mostly black. How many blacks in google? 2%. The technical field? 1%. What did google get for it’s $100million? Absolutely nothing.


14 posted on 06/08/2014 3:53:04 PM PDT by DIRTYSECRET (urope. Why do they put up with this.)
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To: clintonh8r
As much as I disagree with the politics of probably 90% of the denizens of Silicon Valley, it is almost a pure meritocracy out there. If you are talented and you deliver the goods you will be rewarded.

That's exactly right. They don't care what color you are, who you sleep with, or what you pray to. Just get the job done.

The Rev and his ilk just can't accept that it is THEY, themselves, who bear the responsibility for failure by coddling and condoning mediocrity.

15 posted on 06/08/2014 3:53:51 PM PDT by workerbee (`)
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To: Kaslin
listen aunt Jamima, how bout you siphon off $1million each from all the negro ball players in this country and start your own silicon valley business that hires nothing but affirmative action hires and see how long it lasts???
16 posted on 06/08/2014 3:54:10 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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One other thing I remember about the early IT days, any company would hire anybody with a blank check if you merely implied you had computer skills, you could be on camera eating dead babies, and it would not matter. And this was generally the generation that was uncommon to have computers at home, so they had to have taken the initiative to learn them somewhere. Yet, at that time I was working in a fairly large “minority” area, and I cannot recall a single “minority” applicant...(minority specifically meaning one and only one shade of minorty as asians and indians don’t count)


17 posted on 06/08/2014 3:54:22 PM PDT by dsrtsage (One half of all people have below average IQ. In the US the number is 54%i)
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To: Kaslin

Is his bank account getting low again ?


18 posted on 06/08/2014 4:03:19 PM PDT by molson209 (Blank)
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To: Kaslin
Sure.. get Jackson's jet, home computer and bank accounts to be programmed by this young lady who had an offer for a free college degree. She just needs to learn to read and maybe add... hire her Jesse, ya racist.


19 posted on 06/08/2014 4:11:17 PM PDT by Dick Vomer (democrats are like flies, whatever they don't eat they sh#t on.)
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To: Kaslin

http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg%20Subject%20Index%20Files/J%20Disk/Jackson%20Jesse/Item%2018.pdf
20 posted on 06/08/2014 4:15:37 PM PDT by Iron Munro (Black skin has morphed into Teflon.)
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To: Kaslin

Ole “shakedown” Jesse sees a lucrative target. I guess ole Jesse will continue to extort money from whitey till the day he dies, and then his son will take over the family business, when he gets out of jail that is.


21 posted on 06/08/2014 4:17:47 PM PDT by ImNotLying (The Right To Bear Arms: Making good people helpless won't make bad people harmless!)
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: Kaslin
Jesse Jackson Demands ‘Diversity’ from Silicon Valley

I believe the title is incorrect, shouldn't it read: Jesse Jackson demands 'Tribute' from Silicon Valley?

23 posted on 06/08/2014 4:23:47 PM PDT by Mastador1 (I'll take a bad dog over a good politician any day!)
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To: vaudine

The proof is in the pudding. 4-5 decades later, the ghetto is still the ghetto. They just don’t call it that anymore. The inner city public schools? Oh please.

People who still believe in this POS and companies who let him thru their doors are idiots. He hasnt been right about anything. Not to mention a hypocrite of the worst degree.


24 posted on 06/08/2014 4:28:03 PM PDT by A_Former_Democrat (Shame on Sam The Sham . . . Michael ScAM . . .$$$ grab all planned by this "handlers")
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To: Kaslin
In business, image is everything. And nothing weakens a company image these days quite like a charge of “racism."

Really? I thought substance might be something too. Neglecting it by hiring less capable people may not weaken a company's image much but it will surely weaken the company in time.

25 posted on 06/08/2014 4:39:04 PM PDT by Vanders9
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To: Kaslin
Silicon Valley needs to hire people from the end of the Bell Curve to satisfy JJ’s need for diversity. The left end.
26 posted on 06/08/2014 4:39:51 PM PDT by vetvetdoug
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To: Kaslin

I demand that innovative ideas come equally from all skin-color/racial/gender groups!

Any white male who comes up with an innovative idea should CHECK HIS PRIVILEGE!

(What a moron Jesse is. Really.)


27 posted on 06/08/2014 4:44:44 PM PDT by samtheman
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To: Kaslin

Tech rewards those who can.

You can’t fake engineering/innovation.

It is as simple as that.


28 posted on 06/08/2014 4:58:30 PM PDT by DB
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To: Kaslin

I’m sure there’ll be a march and his son (when he gets out of jail) will get a dot.com out of this. Perhaps Amazon or eBay. Nothing for the common black folk though.


29 posted on 06/08/2014 5:00:24 PM PDT by thepatriot1 (...brought to you courtesy of the Red, White and Blue)
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To: Kaslin
"ZERO blacks on boards and in the C-suites."

I imagine that silicon valley firms have plenty of blacks, browns and other persons of color. They just don't have ones that look -- and think,and speak -- exactly like Jesse Jackson.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/apr/11/powerful-indians-silicon-valley

30 posted on 06/08/2014 5:01:46 PM PDT by Sooth2222 ("Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself." M.Twain)
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To: Iron Munro


31 posted on 06/08/2014 5:15:06 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Dick Vomer
damn, at first glance, that looked like drool...
32 posted on 06/08/2014 5:16:56 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Kaslin

Diversity? how many more IT jobs does he want filled with H1Bs?


33 posted on 06/08/2014 5:36:41 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Kaslin

As TJ Rodgers said, he’s a seagull...


34 posted on 06/08/2014 5:45:32 PM PDT by sasquatch
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To: Chode


35 posted on 06/08/2014 6:07:29 PM PDT by Iron Munro (The Obamas' Black skin has morphed into Teflon thanks to the Obama Media)
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To: Kaslin

I thought he’d fossilized by now.


36 posted on 06/08/2014 6:21:05 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (ObamaCare IS Medicaid: They'll pull a sheet over your head and send you the bill.)
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To: Iron Munro
100%
37 posted on 06/08/2014 6:23:57 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Kaslin

Won’t that require Jessie’s people to “act white”? Or Asian?


38 posted on 06/08/2014 6:29:20 PM PDT by Old Yeller (Anything is possible, if you don't know what you're talking about.)
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To: Kaslin

I love it when the fruitcake libs get it on the chin using their own beliefs.


39 posted on 06/08/2014 6:56:32 PM PDT by bestintxas (Every time a RINO bites the dust a founding father gets his wings)
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To: Kaslin

What he is really demanding is shakedown money to go away.
Jackson has made a career of shaking down businesses for money.


40 posted on 06/08/2014 6:59:40 PM PDT by tennmountainman (Just Say No To Cochran And Boss Hogg.)
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To: hometoroost

You know, technology has been a great equalizer of opportunity. For example, if you are reading this on a desktop or laptop computer and attached to the Internet, and a $70 tablet (optional), you have the equipment, access to the tools (free), and the opportunity (Google Store, trialware) to make a large amount of money writing The Next Big Thing with the next Great Idea. So...these kids all have these things (by the way, the computer and development system that I used in the 70’s to write sofrware cost the equivalent today of about $20,000). Photos and names of the authors are not required on Google Store. So...where is the discrimination here? If there is discrimination going on here, it is the force of capitalism discriminating work, drive, and vision from sloth.


41 posted on 06/08/2014 8:09:56 PM PDT by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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To: Vanders9

The sickening thing about this, is that the few black software and hardware engineers I’ve worked with told me that they had to live with their white co-workers assuming that they were inferior, because they “must have gotten there” pushed along through school or planted as window-dressing (they weren’t). If discrimination is ugly, this perverse type of discrimination is even uglier.


42 posted on 06/08/2014 8:15:56 PM PDT by The Antiyuppie ("When small men cast long shadows, then it is very late in the day.")
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To: Gay State Conservative

“Kicking off another fund raising campaign I see.”

My bet is that the $500k that JJ Jr. just ponied up as part of his prosecution for illegal use if campaign funds has tapped out daddy.


43 posted on 06/08/2014 8:29:34 PM PDT by vette6387
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To: clintonh8r

“As much as I disagree with the politics of probably 90% of the denizens of Silicon Valley, ...”

Wonder when Jessie’s going to come out with another “Hymietown parable?”


44 posted on 06/08/2014 8:31:28 PM PDT by vette6387
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To: dsrtsage

“One other thing I remember about the early IT days, any company would hire anybody with a blank check if you merely implied you had computer skills,...”

Or implied that you knew how to implement SAP!


45 posted on 06/08/2014 8:33:51 PM PDT by vette6387
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To: The Antiyuppie

Jackson is a shake-down artist who should be kicked in the nuts everywhere he shows up and tries this stuff.


46 posted on 06/08/2014 9:30:11 PM PDT by hometoroost
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To: ken5050

DIVERSITY … Forcing the dominant Culture to submit to the intolerances of all other cultures.


47 posted on 06/08/2014 9:39:24 PM PDT by Pompah
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To: Kaslin
Jesse Jackson Demands ‘Diversity’ from Silicon Valley (Part II)

Legally sanctioned extortion has been tolerated for decades.
But only from certain protected classes.

Shakedown

48 posted on 06/08/2014 11:08:28 PM PDT by publius911 ( Politicians come and go... but the (union) bureaucracy lives and grows forever.)
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To: Kaslin

Yo cuz, ya know I be coding up map reduce t’other day and I couldn’t get the compiler to cut me a break no way no how.


49 posted on 06/08/2014 11:13:09 PM PDT by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
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To: The Antiyuppie

Yes but whose fault is that kind of discrimation? Why would you expect people to feel any differently, when they know that substantial numbers of blacks get where they are by affirmative action?


50 posted on 06/08/2014 11:44:30 PM PDT by Vanders9
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