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I suppose it shouldn't have been much of a surprise, but after reading the July 24th issue of USA Today, an article pointed out the massive lack of minorities working at America's top-performing tech companies. Several of them included Twitter, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn; and I have to say I didn't think the statistics were this damning. All of these tech companies have black employees amounting to no more than 2% of its entire workforce, and the majority of them often comprise of white or asian employees, who also assume the managerial and executive roles of these companies. The article went further to point out the twisted irony that blacks and other minorities account for a large percentage of customers who use products and software that each of these companies produce on a consistent basis. But let's be frank... black participation in the business/corporate world has always remained minute, and more often than not there's a great deal of obstruction and bureaucracy that has slowed the progression of black participation within these industries. Without federal law enforcement, blacks will always remain beholden to infrastructures we have no control over to decide whether or not we'll be chosen for managerial or executive positions.

Now let's look at other tech companies for instance, electronic gaming... For many decades, millions of people have played arcade games and home consoles developed by Atari, Nintendo, Sega, and Sony; and its pretty safe to say that many of these games were also enjoyed by African-Americans as well. But has the point come up often enough, that not many of those companies or even game publishers, such as Electronic Arts and Activision, had ever employed a racially diverse workforce? Were they ever encouraged to actively participate in employing capable programmers, artists, or musicians who weren't their own "ethnic persuasion"...? It needs to be understood, that much of our society as well as throughout the world are very stubborn and unwilling to adjust to our changing times and will often choose to stick to their "ethnocentric" way of life. But it certainly doesn't mean, blacks would need to wait for them to come around and offer real opportunity within these industries. The African-American community needs to understand that our "task for prosperity" remains far more difficult and obstructive then we may realize, and we must be vigilant in our efforts to produce a capable infrastructure that can provide real jobs and chances for advancement for ourselves. We must see the American and World economies for what it truly is, and not take the matter lightly if we are going to achieve real progress for our people.

Originally posted to snau on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 07:49 PM PDT.

Also republished by Silicon Valley Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  These tech companies are filled with nerds (9+ / 0-)

    We need to find those black teenagers who are nerds and can be directed to colleges who can nurture them. If someone could put together the right program to identify the black nerd teenagers I bet the foundations established by the Google, Facebook and Microsoft founders would fund a scholarship program. How do we find the minority nerds?

    "let's talk about that" uid 92953

    by VClib on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 07:57:13 PM PDT

    •  There's lots of black nerds. Good luck getting ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      craiger, rduran, wu ming, mwm341

      There's lots of black nerds. Good luck getting the white and asian nerds already in place to accept them, though. They have it pretty rough.

      A thought: Diarist mentions the need for Minorities to enter the IT industry, while mentioning the presence of Asian-Americans in tech.

      Apparently Asians no longer count as a minority and have soared right past black people into "Majority" status.

      Very worrying stuff. It isn't fully addressed in the diary, but another underlying issue comes to light at this, viz., racism directed at Afro-Americans from Asian-Americans...

      •  Not a lot (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        craiger, Meili, nextstep, BachFan

        African Americans are already only 12 percent of the population from the jump.  Black students made up only 7-8 percent of the MIT undergaduates (going with the assumption that nerds are technical and most Black students at MIT go science/math/engineering).  The 7 percent figure seems hold throughout STEM education.  

        •  Obviously there aren't armies of black nerds. T... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wu ming, mwm341

          Obviously there aren't armies of black nerds.

          They are not, however, the Super Special Rare Unicorn Ponies, as is being put forward by the commenter in question.

          I am a black male with intellectual bent, I have met many other young black females and males like myself.

          We exist. We're exceptions to the rule, and, perhaps, if people stopped treating us like Rare Unicorn Ponies, there would be more of us.

          •  Well, I tried. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rduran

            You look at the response. My Diary here was all about volunteering to provide education and resources so people of any ethnic group or gender can get the skills for future employment or to get ahead now.

            Most of the comments were by friends here that I pimped the diary to.

            Lots of people want to complain, but give them the opportunity to pitch-in and they are nowhere to be found.

            I volunteer in my daughter's school once a month to run a basic computer skills clinic for primary school students so they can get a head start and all of the kids get it. Teach one and they tech the others. Once they catch an idea you cannot stop them.

            Teach them to fail and they might do that too, and that is too often the case, right?

            So, if you want to get involved, you can hit some of those links.

            And read the numbers in the info-graphics. Shortage of workers with skills.

            OPPORTUNITY

          •  Give me a intellectual basis for this: (0+ / 0-)

            "We exist. We're exceptions to the rule, and, perhaps, if people stopped treating us like Rare Unicorn Ponies, there would be more of us."

            I don't see it.  It seems rather self centered and I don't see how not recognizing the scarcity of blacks in tech would help get blacks in tech.

        •  Also note... (0+ / 0-)

          The graduate school percentage is 2% - the same as participation in overall tech workforce.

          How can you expect higher participation than the output from great schools...?

        •  Most IT workers don't attend elite schools (0+ / 0-)

          One thing I am reading here as a common theme is that you have to attend an elite school and/or high degree to get in the industry.

          The size of the industry seriously contradicts that.

          I went to Berkeley. My best friend went to Berkeley and then MIT. We both have PhDs, he is a double Phd. We both bitch about our poor relative wages and how oversold a PhD for elite schools is in the real world.

          PhDs spend years doing study and research for starvation wages while everyone else is on their career track or doing what normal humans do. Then, about 35 or so, we start dating and going to movies and stuff.

          The actual number of PhDs in any society is small. It's better than having no degree, but too often an "over qualification", and people hiding the fact on resumes is not unusual if you go outside the normal bandwidth of jobs where it is an asset or credential.

          More of the successful people I know, including my boss and my bosses boss, do not have PhDs, typically they have an BSc and a MBA or MSc and MBA to get in that management club.

          Personally, I think all of the discussion of PhDs is irrelevant.

          Bill Gates doesn't have a degree. Ditto, Steve Jobs. That's not against education (most of us do need that, as Gates is the first to say) but it's not everything.

          Actually, most tech jobs are skills & knowledge oriented, and a lot of this is OTJ experience as practitioners, not from school.

          BTW, in case it interests anyone, my boss is a woman with half my education and four times the pay, but she is very good at what she does - sell CEOs on ideas. Talented lady with a way with words I definitely lack.

      •  Re: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, Meili

        Asian communities have long since established not only niche markets and economies, but they've also successively incorporated much of Western infrastructure without being directly manipulated by them. China, Japan, and South Korea all have made vast accomplishments across a myriad of industries. And they have been successful in establishing large sub-cultures with their animation, music, and game related technologies in America for many decades.

        Asians have been more accomplished at being both subversive and securing an social-economic foothold in the US without being terribly political, unlike the chaos that ensued during the Civil Rights Movement. They never really needed to suddenly assume a "Majority" status to begin with, after all, they have been able maintain their sovereignty regardless of Europe's best efforts to control them. They've had a "centuries head start" in comparison to Africans...

        •  They are also ambivalent, if not in some cases ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          snau

          They are also ambivalent, if not in some cases (viz., Michelle Malkin) openly hostile to Africans and the African diaspora.

          It is not for nothing that the offensive against our Afro-American community from the IT sector, as you describe it, is now two-pronged - from the White and the Asians in control of the sector.

          With the East Asian nations grabbing up as much African land as possible, nowadays, we as a people will soon need to address these concerns.

          It's not like 1960 anymore. Prejudiced whites are not the only opponents of our people, any longer.

          •  "...the offensive against our Afro-American (0+ / 0-)

            community from the IT sector..." Really?
               Here's the deal: The tech industry is human capital intensive. Tech jobs require considerable specialized education, and the people who get hired there bring their human capital with them.
               The tech "nerd," as in the kid with minimal education who can hack the whole internet with five keystrokes, is pretty much a media myth. Certainly there are autodidacts in tech, but they get to where they are by intense study and focus.
               The big tech companies were founded by entrepreneurs who put their own money and time at risk. Look how Dell or Intel or Apple were founded. Bill Gates was a college dropout, but he was by no means uneducated.
              Many Silicon Valley firms have been started by graduates of the Indian Institute of Technology, the most exclusive and difficult tech school in the world.
               IOW: Tech is dominated by companies founded by white and Asian entrepreneurs who hire highly educated people who also tend to be white and Asian.
               It's no conspiracy. It's where the talent is, and who the management knows.
               Asian Americans, BTW, have nothing to do with China buying land in Africa. Asian Americans are "over represented" in tech because those who have those jobs have put in the time and effort to become experts in very specialized fields.
              Tech is as meritocratic an industry as is possible today. If you want to succeed in tech, look at the jobs in tech and systematically train yourself to be be a master of a particular job. Also, be prepared to keep up with almost daily dramatic changes in the field. Even then, the competition and pressure will be intense.
               The idea that the IT sector has mounted an "offensive" against African Americans is absurd.
               

          •  Please don't insult Asian Americans (0+ / 0-)

            By using Michelle Malkin as the political stereotype.

            And I promise not to use Allen West to stereotype blacks.

            Asian Americans are the second most loyal Democratic voters after African Americans, your assumptions about AAPI politics are mistaken.

        •  You are very mistaken (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          snau

          Asians, until very recently, were a very small group and highly discriminated against. If you are not familiar with things such as the Chinese Exclusion Act and related laws that disenfranchised American born Chinese, Japanese and Central Asians AFTER the Civil War and AFTER the turn of the 20th Century, then you a missing a lot of American history. Do you know WHY we were so "invisible"?

          Because we were locked out of the system and our numbers were so small, just those funny little folks running take-out and washing laundry, and cutting sugar cane.

          From the late 1970s things changed with the murder of Vincent Chin and when immigration laws and immigration quotas changed, increasing numbers.

          Any guess about who are the top ranked and most loyal Democratic voters by ethnic group?

          1. African Americans
          2. Asian Americans
          3. Hispanic Americans

          So what are you talking about?

          You are basically ignorant about Asian American history, and this pretty much says it all:

          They've had a "centuries head start" in comparison to Africans...
          This is so wrong I would not know where to start. But I'll try ...


          American Labor leaders calling for Chinese exclusion - just as they banned Blacks from unions .... because:

          Poor white guys over-run by those little yellow insects ...

          ... taking all the best jobs away ...

          ... and always a polite "thanks" ... and a chance to work with the boss ...

          Our "Century Head-Start" - kicked out to get kicked-up ...

          Maybe you need to study the US history you obviously missed.

          And maybe you need to rethink your assumption of Asian "privilege" and how they buy their way in because they are so rich.

          You have no idea what you are talking about. Zero.

          •  Re: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            koNko

            Just to be clear, my intention was not to be offensive nor naive of the extreme racism and prejudice against Asian-Americans. But I thank you, for your input and honesty in pointing out how important the struggles and triumphs Asians have made in order to establish themselves in America.

            In fact, its almost impossible to quantify the massive turnaround that Asians have accomplished not only in North America but throughout the globe as well. I would also like to say, that they are a people that I admire greatly; and would highly recommend to anyone to better understand their histories and culture.  Once again I thank you for honesty and candor.

            •  Well, that is the purpose of this diary, right? (0+ / 0-)

              We are all being frank and probably all venting a lot, but a good debate is an honest one and one where we all get challenged and learn.

              One thing about Asians non-Asians tend to forget: there are a LOT of us, so it's not actually that remarkable that some of us succeed.

              And we do tend to have extended families that push the eldest male to make money (responsible for parents), and the youngest male to be a fucking doctor/whatever (make the family proud). But most don't do either. We are as unremarkable as anyone else, actually.

              Do you know who I think is truly remarkable? Anyone of color who doesn't give up. And white males (and females) that understand their privilege and use it to help those who are not.

              Honestly, persistence is what I respect most, because the road is long. And generosity second, because we all need a helping hand sometime. No one does it alone.

              By the way, I happen to know another member of Daily Kos is preparing a diary on this same subject because we tend to correspond offline, and he is a Gay White Male tech worker (retired) who is a really interesting guy and usually writes great diaries, so if he does, I will PM you to participate.

              I think your diary is just a kick-off, lots of tech workers on this blog, each has a story and an opinion.

              See you.

      •  Nonsense (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snau

        I'm an Asian techie and while we do have more opportunities than blacks, if you think AAPIS have "majority" status you obviously haven't lived the life.

        Most often, we get to do the heavy lifting jobs at lower pay, and usually need at least a Masters or PhD to get hired for jobs white males take as fresh grads.

        And then, the thanks we usually get for doing the shit work is Chinese or Indian bashing, a lot of which has happened on this site. Of course, you're pretty new around here so maybe you missed the liberals ranting about "401"s, the dog-whistle of choice.

        And as for prejudice, it goes in all directions. Spike Lee has covered the territory well, suggest you watch some of his early films.

      •  Distinction: Poor/Disadvantaged minorty (0+ / 0-)

        Asians have a median income exceeding whites.  No other ethnic group (Jews perhaps if counted seperatly from whites) has done this.  They don't need a hand up to get out of the cycle of poverty or become highly educated as a demographic.   This is not cause for concern.  Asiains remain a valid disadvantaged group where relavant like media reprsentation. They are after all half the human population and their cultures and peoples should be known beyond the shallow stereotypes hollywood created for them.

    •  A Study Mentioned a Few Years Ago on NPR Found (9+ / 0-)

      when the young kids in a weathy family asked a question, around 80% of the time they were engaged, answered and nurtured. In poor families it was the reverse, about 80% of the time they were told to quit pestering. And that's ethnic independent.

      Where do you think nerds come from? You're not going to get a high percentage from poor people, only the very few who can push through the suppression of intellectual curiosity.

      Take a population that's under 15% of the total, now give it a high poverty fraction, now we're talking some seriously small nerd generation rate.

      Nerds show up around middle school. People who aren't both talented and largely immune to suppressive environments are pretty much wrecked by that age.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 08:48:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hey, let's pull aside the fig leaf. Aside from ... (6+ / 0-)

    Hey, let's pull aside the fig leaf.

    Aside from education in IT being virtually unnattainable for struggling black people - sure, there's the UNCF and student loans and such, but let's get real, it's super hard for the average black person to get their foot in those doors to begin with.

    Places like MIT and Berkeley have mostly whites and asians attending their classes because their affluence allows them entry.

    The Silicon Valley enclave purposefully shuts out black people. They make no effort to reach out to the black community. Why? Probably because they don't want to see them around or interact with them in any way.

    I see a lot of people talking about how IT and the technocracy will "destroy" racism...even Obama repeats the tired old line qbout how Tech Offers Opportunities For Black People.

    It doesn't, because the whites and asians in Tech do not want to open their circles to black people. It's that simple. The Tech sector is ridden with prejudice. It's pretty bad.

    •  Silicon Valley will have to look (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      craiger, Meili, mwm341

      well beyond feet trying to get into the door.

      You're getting close with the observation about whites and Asians dominating STEM education, but it's not just MIT and Berkeley.  It's damn near everywhere.  MIT and Howard both have around 10,000 students; Howard is 95 percent African America, MIT is 8 percent.  MIT graduated 11 African Americans out of 174 SBs in CS according to College Factual (take this with a grain of salt, as MIT combines EE and CS into one department and splits it three ways).  Howard University? 17, out of 17 degrees awarded.

      •  Certainly! I was only using MIT and BC as examp... (0+ / 0-)

        Certainly! I was only using MIT and BC as examples; it really IS like that everywhere.

        I live nearby Stony Brook University; there are almost no black students there. It is inundated with white and asian students.

        And, oh, the haughty looks of superiority and dislike they give us mere mortals, when they leave campus to shop in our outlying town. You can immediately identify them by their race and their rude behavior.

        Even if you guys gave me a few hundred thousand to attend Stony Brook U, I would not do it! I refuse to be around that kind of prejudice! Even if it's one of the most highly-lauded unis in America.

    •  My former employer, a large Silicon Valley comp... (5+ / 0-)

      My former employer, a large Silicon Valley company not named in the diary, flew me to Alabama for three days to recruit engineering students at Tuskegee. I got as many candidates to second interviews as I did when I recruited Caltech. It's remarkably easy and rewarding to pursue a diverse workforce. Do or do not; there is no try.

    •  Why is education in IT "virtually unattainable?" (0+ / 0-)

      Is there no Kahn Academy? Is there no Microsoft Virtual Academy? Are there no community colleges? Are there no scholarships or student loans?
         Affluence helps, but most whites and Asians aren't rich.
         If you're waiting for businesses to reach out to you, you're going to have a long wait.
         Gain the expertise and then reach out to potential employers - or start your own business.

    •  Wow, you are really incredible (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snau

      Do you honestly think Asians buy their way in to MIT and Berkeley because they are so rich?

      Or anyone does for that matter?

      That is completely wrong-headed. No one gets into those schools without academic ability and most of us go deep into debt for years to get educated.

      Most definitely prejudice exists in the IT sector, but some of what you are saying here is simply wrong.

      By the way - full disclosure - I'm an Asian Berkeley alumni (the photos I posted above are from the Berkeley Library, in fact) and:

      - I got a scholarship
      - I was a poor immigrant
      - I worked night to survive
      - I left school in debt that took 15 years to pay off

      No one handed me anything but a chance. And my return is to hand others a chance.

      Sounds to me that you assume Asians are very against Blacks and that we have some magic ticket in the door.

      You are quite mistaken.

      We work hard. Even "too hard" if you ask some people "then" and "now".

      Look at my post up-thread with the old cartoons. Same old shit: Chinese working hard and getting kicked in the ass for doing so, and accused of taking someone else's job.

      Maybe you should check you own attitude. Seriously.

      Well, you said to pull aside the fig leaf, so there you go.

  •  Before the Crash the #1 Employer of Blacks Was (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, geekydee, wu ming

    government, because the private sector as an entirety still just doesn't like them.

    This problem gets multiplied as we shift to small numbers of immense enterprises globally constructed. A Black owned regional baking franchise could compete with a white one, at first within ethnic circles but we can envision a marketing and growth path out into the white dominated mainstream.

    But what's a cell phone or software company, often they're huge.

    Microsoft just nuked Nokia, which really advanced the cell phone sector. There went Finland. You can't get any whiter than Finns, but there's an entire nation state that's just too small to field a corporation that can't be swallowed and shit out in pieces by big global industry. How is a domestic US minority owned business supposed to grow its way into such a market?

    I don't think it can. Stay small and very niche; grow a little and sell out; or be an individual who gets hired into a global giant. And if the global giants aren't taking brown people, go back to step one, work for the government.

    OOOPS, conservatism is ending government as a path of opportunity.

    This is just one more problem that is intractable or nearly so with our "advanced" and "efficient" economics.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 08:41:11 PM PDT

  •  There's a similar problem with women, and they (7+ / 0-)

    don't have the economic barriers that many African Americans face. I know someone who recently left Google who could give you an earful about why, but that will have to wait until she has a safe position to speak from.



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 08:42:17 PM PDT

    •  Yeah my husband could tell stories (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama, snau, mwm341

      He's told me about several women who have quit his tech company because of the way men at all levels treated them.

      Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

      by moviemeister76 on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 08:52:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Or anyone over 50 for that matter (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama, Deward Hastings

      Look around your IT shop and see how many grey hairs you can find.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 07:27:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Problem is a hell of a lot deeper (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, mwm341, Greyhound

    than simply digging up unemployed or underemployed Black programmers and engineers.  There aren't a lot of us in the first place.

    •  The HuffPo article wringing its hands about the... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mwm341

      The HuffPo article wringing its hands about the Mystery of The Vanishing Black PH.D owners?

      It's elementary, Dr. Watson. PH.Ds cost money. Underprivileged black youths simply cannot afford them.

      We could funnel money into the black community or make University education free...oh, but that would be Socialism, wouldn't it?

      •  Re: The HuffPo article wringing its hands about th (0+ / 0-)

        ... we shouldn't care too much on negative thinking like that from other people. But we should pay a lot of attention to their actions though.

      •  Meili - Not all black youths are underprivileged. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rduran

        Here's a realistic comparison between the white and black populations: http://blackdemographics.com/...

        46.7% of African Americans are middle class or upper middle class vs 60% for whites.

        Note that if the AA population is 15% of the entire population, middle class and upper middle class blacks make up 7% of the US population. rduran says that blacks make up 8% of the student population of MIT. IOW, MIT's AA student body mirrors the proportion of middle class AAs in the genral population.

        So, the difficulty seems to be not discrimination at the college level, but the relatively high percentage of African Americans who are working class or poor.
           That's a whole different issue.

        •  Re: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dallasdunlap, rduran

          I would like to say that you raised a lot of valid points on this issue. And over the years, African-Americans (AA) have made significant strides in participating and taken advantage of the many opportunities that are afforded today.

          But clearly, there's more work to be done, not only of the AA community but for many other African people throughout the world. But there's no question that they are outmatched and outperformed in almost every category by sheer numbers based on affluent statistics and "other" factors...

          Individualism and Free-Market thinking are all the wrong lessons AAs are learning. They must understand the importance that working towards establishing businesses, banks, and other niche markets must be geared toward the advancement of the African people. The sooner this happens en masse, the sooner there will be a self-sustaining infrastructure that can match the whites and the asians. That way, we wouldn't necessarily be depending on so many white/asian owned silicon valley companies for jobs and advancement.

          •  snau - There's nothing particularly wrong with (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            snau, rduran

            the free market. But you're on point re "individualism." The upper middle class is heavily networked. They have entire networking conferences. If a manager is in a position to hire someone, he/she probably already has a few people in mind. Likewise, if one of them needs a job, she probably will probably have several offers or referrals from people she knows.
              African Americans (and middle class whites and other ethnicities) need to copy that behavior.

          •  For real STEM work (0+ / 0-)

            (not the BS, borderline data entry shit often lumped in), you need to tinker and tinker young.  It's not much different from say automotive work, carpentry, the trades, etc.; you build expertise early on and develop a taste for the work.

            That experience almost always comes and goes when you're a kid, and it's increasingly difficult to come by and cultivate when you reach majority.

            I don't give a damn about individualism and the free market; the public's first job before it goes around rearranging my industry is to show me it can produce tinkerers that look like me.  That should be an easier problem, seeing as almost all of us already in public schools and it's not like we're going anywhere unless you bore us to death.

            •  I remind you, I'll have very little confidence (0+ / 0-)

              in a government interfering heavily in with how I hire and contract in science & engineering if it can't competently eliminate the formative and educational disparities underlying this problem.

      •  Very few people can afford a PhD or have one (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snau

        Most PhD candidates:

        - are on a scholarship or a working stipend
        - get loans that take years to pay off
        - personally struggle to stay in school
        - give up the sort of personal life most people take for granted
        - have poor job prospects because we'e "over qualified" and "theoretical" and "impractical" even though we manage to tie our own shoelaces and work nights

        And if you check your facts, a PhD is a very poor return on investment, a very small minority of the population, and not something the average person is at al motivated to attain, probably for very good reasons.

        If you think a PhD is any kind of ticket to success, you have not checked the line of unemployed or under-employed PhDs in this world.

        And it is never something "bought", it is years of work.

        But I'll agree, that any poor kid - and a disproportionate number of Black kids are poor, face very long odds to ever get that degree because of their economic and social class, but the ones who do usually have the same characteristics; thirst for knowledge, positive outlook, strong work ethic.

    •  Re: Problem is a hell of a lot deeper (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      la urracca

      I really appreciate the web page you've linked to your comment, its very important to gather as much of this information as possible. Simply because it can better illustrate the massive work that stands before the African communities.

      Being more aware of this teaches us not to take our lives and our livelihoods for granted... and the fact that so many of us are motivated by making money will only allow us to be easily manipulated further!

  •  the problem isn't that there aren't any blacks (5+ / 0-)

    or latinos or women or older techies to hire, the problem is that the people hiring just don't think of those people as "the sort of people who might fit in" and "be best for the job" (ie. "people who look like me").

    i mean, yes, there are systematic reasons why some groups of people tend to go into science and technology majors in college at lower rates than others (poverty rates, lack of family experience with higher ed., vast differences in quality of k-12 education, prejudice from teachers/fellow students, internalized prejudice from all sorts of sources), but the key thing is who is hiring and how do they feel about hiring people who aren't exactly like them. there is a tremendous amount of racism in our society, this should not be a surprise to anyone here. we've all seen the studies done with identical resumes with different ethnic names on them, etc. etc.

    the internal belief that silicon valley is a pure meritocracy just makes things that much harder.

    •  You've nailed it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming

      Throw in consideration of the generic nerd themselves. Who as a group, is more fearful than the nerd?

      Racism, ageism, sexism, classism, it's all about fear.

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

      by Greyhound on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 04:34:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Re: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming

      I came across an Atlanta-Journal Constitution (AJC) article that focused on that very same subject with respect to K-12 education; and more importantly, the lack of equal enrollment of African-American (AA) students involved in gifted student programs.

      But despite the persistent and obstructive bureaucracy that exists for K-12, College, and Jobs-related institutions (not all keep in mind), gun violence, poverty rates, and the judicial system all play a part in essentially obstructing the AA community from performing at its maximum potential, there's still a great task ahead of them, and it should not be taken lightly.

    •  There are both problems (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snau

      Overall, there is a dearth of qualified people of any color.

      That's why I wrote this ignored diary. Try to get people off their asses to do something.

      But then, who gets hired, for what jobs and what pay is another story.

      Anyone of color - including Asians - is going to get the shit jobs for lower pay or passed over, and white guys who are less qualified are going to get a better shot at the good jobs because "us". I think that is fairly well-documented by the numbers.

      But I read a lot complaining here about "Asian" privilege. News to me.

      This is really bullshit. Most (not all) of the Asians (including East and Central Asians) working in the IT sector have high academic qualifications, and most get put into technical jobs other people can't take or don't want, given a choice.

      If we are so damned privileged, why are there so few in the upper ranks, and why do they have to fund their own start-ups instead of getting venture capital?

      I would like the people saying this to show me the facts, to give me a list of all these very privileged people.

      One thing here I agree with; there are definitely barriers to blacks and women; they have to be very lucky or very good to get past the color line.

      But there is another prejudice at work too: the assumption is made that Asians will work harder and longer for less, and in many cases it's probably true (at least for immigrants) because that is our situation. It is also our culture - for generations.

      And it really gets out of control, particularly, in prejudice toward Indians, who get bashed in every direction, particularly by older white IT workers who have plateaued or got stuck on the "contractor" treadmill and don't have the status of the upwardly mobile earning they once had, and tend to blame it all on Indians.

      Well, there is some truth it that too, but it's kind of funny how the people who work hardest for the lowest pay always take the blame for fucking-up the system.

      And then there is the Chinese PhD "getto". I swear, every Chinese PhD I know in the states, and even myself working in a foreign company in China, have pretty much the same situation; we all went to school until we were about 40 (or close to it) and all work for middle class wages under a glass ceiling we can never break unless we start our own company and get real lucky. We all serve our bosses well, because the alternative is "educated & broke", and plenty of us in that situation.

      I mean it's actually a running joke:

      PhD in EE - Chinese
      PhD in Materials Science - Chinese or Indian
      PhD in Computer Science - Chinese or Korean

      Why? White guys got recruited for 150K with an undergrad degree while we worked in restaurants to get through grad school.

  •  Can't speak for the whole company (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snau

    but The Sims division of EA (including the Sims Store) has had a fairly diverse workplace; one of the more popular world designers, Lisa Smith, was African-American (she left the company last year when her husband took a job out of the area). I know there are a few other African Americans on the staff (I saw a picture of a couple of them at the recent Creators Camp for the upcoming The Sims 4) and also a good representation of women, another group that's underrepresented in game development.

    Of course, many young people get interested in gaming and game design when they're teenagers...and if you're in an area without reliable Internet access or where access is out of reach financially, it's going to be hard to develop that interest as gaming goes more online.

    There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by Cali Scribe on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 02:51:53 AM PDT

  •  It's not just IT (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mwm341, Greyhound, snau

    African Americans are quite rare in science and engineering as well. In my 35-year history as a geologist, I've encountered three African-American geologists. One of them was a recent African immigrant who grew up and went to school in Nigeria. Another was an exchange student from Uganda. Only one was raised in America.

    Anecdotal, to be sure, but it's sad and not unusual for the sciences.

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