BCC Demands “Diversity”
Collects Piles of Cash, Free iPhones, iPads, Macs, PCs
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus traveled to Silicon Valley to deliver a message: Technology companies need to hire more black Americans. AFTER THAT – they shamed Silicon Valley executives for millions of dollars and took home truckloads of free PC’s and electronic gadgets. Member List
Caucus members met with some of the industry’s biggest employers — Facebook, Apple, Google, Intel, SAP and Pandora — to seek an accounting of how these companies plan to achieve their stated goal of a more diverse workforce.
U.S. Rep Maxine Waters said she skipped Facebook for obvious reasons:
I didn’t even go to Facebook, I don’t know what the hell they doin’ over there! 65 genders? OMG! I got my Apple watch the other day and it asked me if I was a “male” “female” “other” or “not set”. I am all set to whupp someone’s ass if they don’t get their head screwed back on straight, if you pardon my use of the word straight. This will mess up our affirmative action budget for sure – we got money for black men and women only – we have no money for black “gender fluids” and “non-binaries” Please! A “non-binary”? What in the hell is that?
Political pressure has been building on the technology industry to improve its hiring record. Though these companies tout the value of inclusion and diversity, they remain dominated by white and Asian men. Blacks account for just 2 percent of the workforce at Google and slightly more — 7 percent — at Apple, but they make up about 13 percent of the total U.S. population.
Apple issued a statement, saying it believes diversity is critical to making great products. That’s why it has contributed $100 million worth of iPads, MacBooks and other equipment to support President Obama’s ConnectED initiative to bring high-speed Interent access to America’s classrooms.
U.S. Rep Charlie Rangel was not impressed:
I know Apple is committed to what we are doing, but click wheel iPods, titanium Powerbooks, and “Blue Dalmation” iMacs? WTF? The mouse is completely round, looks like a hockey puck, doesn’t work worth a damn. My staff was playing with the new iPhone 7 they shipped over and I about lost my mind. “iPhones don’t have click wheels” I told them. That Phil Schiller shipped us iPod Classics and marked iPhone 7 with a Sharpie outside the damn box! Everything they sent has a thirty-pin connector. I was down at Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School in West Harlem and the kids told me “we like the new iPad mini Mr. Rangel – but the styluses are all missing” Child, did you say styluses??!! Some of the children were sobbing and had to go see Miss Simpson, the nurse. So Apple had “donated” over 100 Newton Messagepads – damn things are 20 years old – lookin’ all beat to hell! Big as a brick and as stupid as they are heavy. It’s a computer for fools . . . Children started hitting each other with them – it was terrible.
Apple has issued this statement:
Apple gives away free, out of date computers and accessories from time to time. We also employ hundreds of thousands of Chinese for $1.50 an hour; sell $5 of flash memory for $100; cut down entire forests to give our customers a more pleasant “unboxing” experience; and hold $200 billion of profits offshore to evade US corporate income taxes. And we love the Earth. Other than that, we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.
Mr. Pichai was not happy with the treatment he received when the BCC came calling:
I was prepared to defend Google and our hiring practices as I have never been through a congressional inquisition. We had huge cartons packed with Chromebook Pixels, and Nexus 6 phones to offer as tribute. Then I did a simple Google search about this group before the meeting – I am from India and was not fully aware of who they are or whom they represent. They are all black!! Every damn one of them! Member List No Whites, Latinos, or Asians. No Eskimos, no Native Americans. I was horrified – diversity is critical to making a great search engine (see above). How can the BCC operate when they all think and look the same? They told me that Google needed to “look like America” This group was straight outta Compton! The meeting did not go much better. U.S Rep John Conyers, Jr. kept touching all the best equipment. When I asked him to stop, he said “what are you, one of those Untouchables?” Then U.S Rep Sheila Jackson Lee kept apologizing to me. “I am so sorry about the buffalos” she said. I am not that kind of Indian you moron! It was the worst day of my life.
Facebook issued a statement, saying it believes diversity is critical to making a great social media network (even though it is about machine learning and algorithmic equations). Facebook’s primary shareholder and owner is Mark Zuckerberg.
Mr. Zuckerberg recalls his meeting with the Black Congressional Caucus:
The meeting was brief. I told them that “race” was not part of our growth strategy for 2015. Gender was! We have entire staffs working on new genders and we will be launching 100’s of new genders in the coming months ahead. I showed U.S Rep Cory Booker our current list (see below) and he threatened to “beat my ass”. You are “one crazy white boy” he said. “Give me my computers so I can get back to New Jersey”. I told them we don’t make computers, we make up genders. They all left and the meeting was over. I think Mr. Booker might be a gender nonconforming Two-Spirit . . . not that there is anything wrong with that.
Last year we were proud to add a custom gender option to help people better express their identities on Facebook. We collaborated with our Network of Support, a group of leading LGBT advocacy organizations, to offer an extensive list of gender identities that many people use to describe themselves. After a year of offering this feature, we have expanded it to include a free-form field.
Now, if you do not identify with the pre-populated list of gender identities, you are able to add your own. As before, you can add up to ten gender terms and also have the ability to control the audience with whom you would like to share your custom gender. We recognize that some people face challenges sharing their true gender identity with others, and this setting gives people the ability to express themselves in an authentic way.
The expanded custom gender option is available to everyone who uses Facebook in US English.
Female to Male
Male to Female