Editor's note: This column is Part I in a II Part series.
Jesse Jackson Jr. is a man who doesn’t like taking ‘no’ for an answer, especially when it comes to badgering corporations to boost their commitment to diversity. That word, ‘diversity,’ as one knows all too well, is Newspeak for forcing companies to give preference to nonwhite minorities in all aspects of operations, especially hiring and promotion. Last month, Silicon Valley, the heart of the nation’s information technology industry, got the full
Jackson, or Reverend Jackson, as he is known, this past May inflicted himself upon shareholder meetings of eBay, Google and Facebook, where he challenged company leaders to aggressively step up hiring of blacks and other “people of color,” especially for management and executive board positions. Two months earlier he had brought his campaign to Hewlett-Packard shareholders.
This gambit already has yielded results. David Drummond, chief legal officer of Google (who, like
Reverend Jesse Jackson, now 72, more than anyone in this country this side of Al Sharpton, embodies the spirit of intimidation that passes for “civil rights.” Through his Chicago-based nonprofit organization Rainbow/PUSH,
As Jackson sees it, a company has a choice: 1) expand hiring, marketing and other activities in ways that favor nonwhites; or 2) get ready for a boycott, picketing, a lawsuit or other bad publicity. Typically, his targets fold like a cheap suit, agreeing to increase their minority hiring and outreach. In addition, they make sizable donations to Rainbow/PUSH (thus facilitating future shakedowns) and/or set aside a certain portion of their contracting to minority-owned firms that pay
Jesse Jackson’s style can be called affirmative action with a clenched fist. And because of the timorousness of white executives, ever afraid of being called “racist,” that style gets results.
By this year, however, Jackson seemed to have gotten rusty. It had been a long while since his brand of brinksmanship had delivered results like these. And unlike Al Sharpton, he isn’t tight with President Barack Obama. So he had to get creative. Fortunately, for him, he knew where to go. It was a long string of affluent communities along and near
Silicon Valley, here we come.