For years I’ve been pointing out that two bulwarks of Democratic Party campaign fundraising and prestige, Silicon Valley and Hollywood, don’t have to play by the Diversity rules that most of the rest of American business is supposed to play by.
Every few years since the 1990s, Jesse Jackson would try to shake down the Tech Industry and he’d be laughed out of town. Silicon Valley and Hollywood were too liberal, too rich, too powerful, too successful in the global marketplace (America can only wish we had as big a share of jetliners, much less cars, as Silicon Valley and Hollywood have of their respective markets) to let Jesse Jackson throw a wrench in the works.
But 2014 was the year in which liberal ideology overwhelmed liberal hypocrisy. From New York Times columnist Joe Nocera:
Silicon Valley’s Mirror Effect DEC. 26, 2014And were wildly unpopular dissidents on campus for opposing the regime of diversity worship that Jesse Jackson’s Hey Ho Western Civ Has Got To Go protests had imposed on Stanford. Obviously Thiel and Sacks were wrong because Science. Blacks and women (nobody ever seems to care enough about Mexicans to mention them, even though there are many millions in California) are just as likely to found successful companies once Jesse Jackson gets to revamp education. I mean, who are you gonna believe is smarter: Jesse Jackson or Peter Thiel?
“If meritocracy exists anywhere on earth, it is in Silicon Valley,” wrote David Sacks in an email to The Times’s Jodi Kantor.
Kantor was working on an article, published in The Times on Tuesday, about the Stanford class of 1994 — the class that graduated a year before Netscape went public, and, for all intents and purposes, started the Internet economy. She was exploring why the men in that class had done so much better in Silicon Valley than the women.
Sacks, meanwhile, was one of the most successful members of the class. At Stanford he wrote for The Stanford Review, “a conservative-libertarian campus newspaper,” where he befriended Peter Thiel, a fellow libertarian.
Then, in 1998, Sacks, Thiel and a handful of others — overwhelmingly white and male — founded PayPal, which made them all very rich. Since then, the PayPal Mafia, as these men are known in Silicon Valley, have seeded companies, founded companies and sold companies — in effect, financing another generation of (mostly) young white men.So, Sacks and Thiel have tested their discredited theories, using themselves as their test subjects, and …
… But, as Kantor pointedly asks in a short introduction to Sacks’s email, if Silicon Valley is truly a meritocracy, “why do mostly men prevail?”Why do mostly men prevail in the NBA?
This is a question that has become increasingly urgent. This summer, Jesse Jackson shamed a number of important Silicon Valley companies, including Google, Facebook, Apple and LinkedIn, into publishing a breakdown of their employees by race and sex. The numbers are appalling — something the companies were forced to concede once the figures became public. At LinkedIn, 2 percent of the work force is black, and 4 percent is Hispanic. Google is 70 percent male, with 91 percent of its employees either white or Asian. Facebook: 69 percent male and 91 percent white or Asian. When it comes to leadership positions or board seats, the numbers are even worse. Can this really be the result of “meritocracy?”Yes.
There aren’t many women or African-Americans working in Silicon Valley who would agree.Why the constant insensitivity, the microagressions against the missing Mexicans not working in Silicon Valley, Mr. Nocera?
“Silicon Valley’s obsession with meritocracy is delusional,” Freada Kapor Klein, the co-chair of the Kapor Center for Social Impact, told The Los Angeles Times in May.How did Freada Kapor Klein get to be the co-chair of the Kapor Center for Social Impact?
“Unless someone wants to posit that intelligence is not evenly distributed across genders and race, there has to be some systemic explanation for what these numbers look like.”I want to posit that intelligence is not evenly distributed across genders and race.
Her husband, Mitch Kapor, designed Lotus 1-2-3, the seminal spreadsheet program that helped to make the IBM PC famous,Question answered!