@Chipmonk: three cheers, a whoop and a holler! WELL SAID, as susan Rambo also echoed my sentiments.
The comparison with Asian immigrants (that Cheapmonk was making) is not a fair one. How ever, I must also point out that there are many Asian immigrants who come from very poor and under-educated backgrounds to the US but a big difference is they don't carry the baggage coming from discrimination and deprivation that inner city people in the US do, no where close.
I believe in another generation or so we will see less of these discussions about racial diversity. IMHO, the ability to learn has NOTHING to do with one's racial background, it is the opportunity to learn in a safe and affordable environment that enables it.
@Mike Field: I just keep seeing america's racial divide everywhere.
I'm not disagreeing with you -- but it generally behooves a visitor to smile a lot and not say much until he/she has the full lay of the land. If I were to visit Australia, for example, I doubt my hosts would be delighted if, as soon as I stepped off the plane, I started waffling on about how the Aborigines are treated as second-class citizens. Similarly, if I ever make it to New Zealand to do the "Lord of the Rings" tour, I probably won't commence my visit by holding forth on how the Maori are held in such high esteem by the Pakeha.
Sorry, I don't mean to be baiting anybody... it was an honest impression based on actual events encounted during my first 36 hours.
I must have missed Rush's humor... either that or the joke relied on a shared cultural frame of reference that I am not part of. I just found it crass enough to be memorable.
It was on the local news radio channel that the rental car was tuned to when I pushed the 'on' button before driving for an hour from Atlanta airport. I really wasn't listening that hard I was trying to concentrate on driving the the other side of the road for the first time in 10 years.
The pamplet incident most probably wasn't by the syndicated host but during the local news segment. A three word google was enough to find an related news article that seems to be the same events:
- "Goodluck Jonathan - what where his parents thinking? Did they just..."
I listened to Rush's show the day he was picking on Mr. Good Luck's first name. He's not the first one to do so (Sen. McCain) but I would implore you that to understand Rush's humor you need to listen for a long while. It's more sophisticated than you might think. And funny, I didn't hear anything about the KKK in that segment, or in the last 20 years. Why in the world would you lump those two together? Hmmm, very suspicious indeed. Make all the comments about our diverse, non-socialist culture that you want, but please leave out the race-baiting.
I have tried to be open-eyed about racial issues while I am visiting the USA, but I just keep seeing america's racial divide everywhere. Every time I see a janitor/service worker, every time I order a Subway, walking round in a Sears store it seems all these places staff are African American. About the only exceptions I have seen are an elderly chinese women who was on the cleaning crew at the airport, and a latin american cleaner here at the hotel (who appears to be the shift leader).
Maybe it is an Atlanta thing, but I'm starting to think that it isn't. The racial splits of those in front and behind of the counter at airline check-in have pretty much put the nail in the coffin. And I've learnt that if you are at a check-in assistance counter and there is only one white guy out of a dozen staff then you better hope you don't get the white guy.
I listen to the radio and the KKK have been handing out pamplets in Atlanta, What made news was that somebody challenged them and asked them to stop. WFT! I just can't beleive it - the KKK are still active? And then the host is making fun of the Nigerian President's name - "Goodluck Jonathan - what where his parents thinking? Did they just..." or something such drivel like that. Would he be beating up on Faith Hill for the same reason?
A very strange land indeed. I am not surprised that the USA has diversity issues in tech. It has enough diversity issues to keep it busy for a very long time.
I think that the USA's "everything is a competition, and you have to be on the top of the pile" isn't helping. If you have the option to advance "your team" in the game (be that based on race, religion or politcical views) then is seems you do it, maybe without even knowing.
Perhaps if the culture as that you don't judge yourself by how financially rich you are, but by how the well the poorest and least advantaged lived it would be fairer society and these racial issues would disappear. It might also help with homeless people - it shocks me to see all these people living out on the streets.
What the USA should be worring about is that there will come a time when Asian tech workers won't want to come here because of diversity issues and develop a premium IT industry at home.
Does the USA make any PCs, tablets, cell phones, laptops, hard drive, LCDs, TVs on shore or is it all imported from offshore? Do large S/W companies (MS, Oracle, SAP...) do the majority of their development offshore now? No wonder why there is a race to get "your team" to the top of the heap, leaving the other teams to flip burgers and clean floors for minimum wage.
One welcome trend is reduced stereotyping in TV. I may be wrong but Women and African Americans in the roles of scientists/engineers seems to have increased. This by itself is not going to ameliorate the situation but at least is one less source of negative images. I will be quick to add that roles for women have increased far more compared to African Americans.
And as another poster pointed out, pulling in Asian immigrants is very unfair comparison. The vast majority of the Asians start with a golden spoon relatively speaking. And Inians in particular often come with families with strong engineering background. A lot of immigrants in the 90s onwards tend to be second generation engineers. I myself am a 3rd generation engineer (One grandpa a self taught engineer and the other with a Master's in Math, Dad with a Master's from Rutgers). When I got fresh of the boat, I had 6 cousins working in the Valley. Could fit in within a couple of days and knew where I needed to find my gadgets at Fry's by the 3rd day ! I am not an exception. So it is extremely unfair to use Asian immigrants as a yardstick. On the contrary I would suggest, that given their advantages, Asians are underachievers.
Dalits or the folks lowest in the caste ladder in India face situations a lot worse than African Americans. Their trajectory in the tech sector has been similar. But unlike he US, a services industry boom in India ensured that prejudices had to be dropped to get the headcount up. A hiring boom in the US would help but does not look likely in the near future.
I agree with you, Chipmonk. Well said -- you have to consider the history. Also it's important to get as many talented kids exposed to math and science. It's as good a tool as any to help improve the people's lives and it's fascinating.
@ chEApmonk : imitation is not always flattery, in business it is counterfeit / fraud
if you are going to post such unbalanced drivel then kindly stop mimicking my Username ( chIpmonk ) and use whatever originality / imagination you have to get yourself a different handle.
as to the content of your post : comparing African Americans to recent Asian / Indian immigrants is sheer IDIOCY no matter how self-serving it is. You are ignoring 200+ years of Slavery, domination, subjugation, institutionalized discrimination and deprivation ( including separating Families, denying dignity, motivation, self respect, education, an income) with Fresh Off the Boat bright eyed immigrants many of who are already well educated.
And in case your limited horizon did not inform you why these immigrants can come unchecked you need to know that the Civil Rights movement led by MLK etc. is also behind the 1965 repeal of the '20s era racial law in the US that kept Asian immigrants out.
If you are a non European immigrant in this country then the least you can do is to publicly thank African Americans for breaking down racial barriers. You can start by posting on this board - and THEN CHANGE YOUR USERNAME
No mention of all the Asians and Indians who are doing extremely well ; they're even over represented in all the top universities and in the top research scientists. Many are CEOs of their own company. Apparently, they don't need any help.