How Silicon Valley Leaders Comments on Racial Inequality Exposes Their Own Hypocrisy

With virtually all of America gripped in one of the most dramatic social crises of the year, a sense of routine has begun to emerge. A big part of the reason why that is the case has to do with the fact that black people have been systematically disenfranchised as well as oppressed for centuries now, and even after the civil rights movement ostensibly won a great deal of equality for black people, the number of black individuals that are killed by police officers is much higher than that of any other race.

It seems like the big shots at Silicon Valley would like everyone to know just how much they care about this particular situation. The fact of the matter is that they have commented on it at great length, calling for an end to inequality as well as for an end to this systematic oppression that the black community continues to face. This is indeed a good gesture, but at the end of the day a lot of people are criticizing Silicon Valley because of the fact that while they may like to talk the talk, they hardly seem to be willing to walk the walk so to speak.

Over two decades ago, Reverend Jesse Jackson publicly criticized Silicon Valley due to its tendency to support the ventures of white people over those of black people. This level of inequality can be dangerous and it needed to be addressed, but nearly a quarter of a century later it seems that Silicon Valley has not tried to make things any better which makes their comments on the important of social justice ring rather hollow all in all.

If you look at the numbers, only about 4% of the employees in Silicon Valley are black when it comes to venture capital firms which are the ones doing all of the investing and thus have quite a bit of power. If you look at startups that are backed by venture capitalists, only 1% of them were started by black entrepreneurs. This indicates that there is a bias that is making it difficult for black people to get recognition for their own innovations, and at the end of the day this is the sort of thing that can be quite dangerous for the tech industry as a whole.

Some of the biggest tech companies are suffering from major issues in representation, and this tends to affect black people the most. Apple has only one black board member which is one more than it had two decades ago; not a lot of progress all in all. Only one out of the 123 top ranking Apple executives was black, and a total of only 3% of its top leaders are black which is the same number as it was 6 years ago when Apple first started releasing such statistics. Latinos represent more than double this number which is still quite low.

The same rings true for Alphabet, the company that owns Google. Around 3.7% of Alphabet employees are black, and the number is even lower for leadership positions. Essentially, people would like Silicon Valley to start putting its money where its mouth is and actually work towards elevating black communities as much as possible.

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