Fwd: Beggars in Spain

Thu, 8 Jul 1999 08:01:52 EDT

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From: Grlygrl201@aol.com
Full-name: Grlygrl201
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Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 08:00:17 EDT
Subject: Re: Beggars in Spain
To: ibell@cisco.com
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In a message dated 7/8/99 5:20:06 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ibell@cisco.com

<< My argument is that the root causes of crime are also the dividends of
socioeconomic inequities. Give people care, education, safety, and most
of all.. HOPE. All things are NOT equal in America. Only by restabilizing
growth can you create enough "good neighbourhoods" and a healthy environment
for nurturing development. That means robbing the rich to give to the poor.

"Jackson scoffs at the idea that the Valley is a true meritocracy. 'Everybody
tells that lie,' he says."

Business Week Online (you need a paid subscription for this article, so I
can't post the url)

Jesse's New Target: Silicon Valley
High-Tech Land claims it's a meritocracy. So where, Jackson asks, are all the
blacks and Hispanics

Jesse Jackson has seen the future of his push to win a bigger piece of
prosperity for people of color--and it's in Silicon Valley. Whether this
self-proclaimed meritocracy needs the sort of pressure for minority inclusion
that Jackson has brought to bear on Wall Street and elsewhere is debatable.
But there is no question that Jackson is taking his economic road show to the
vibrant heartland of the New Economy, where whites command more than 90% of
the CEO jobs and board seats at the top 150 public companies.

Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition has bought about $100,000 worth of stock in
50 of the biggest high-tech corporations. That gives Jackson entree to annual
meetings--a tactic he has used before. Later this summer, Jackson plans to
open a staffed office in San Jose. He is recruiting an advisory board of top
Valley executives to suggest ways to increase black and Hispanic
participation in the region's high-tech work force-- currently at 3.7% and
8.4%, respectively. And this fall, again mirroring his efforts on Wall
Street, Jackson intends to host a conference that will address ways to better
educate blacks and Hispanics for jobs in high tech.

UNABASHED. But the pragmatic culture of Wall Street, which at least appeared
to respond to Jackson's exhortations, is a far cry from the bootstrap
mentality of High-Tech Land. More important, Silicon Valley already has a
diverse work force. Some 31% of the tech industry's engineers and
professionals are Asian, and the Valley is a major employer of immigrants.
Several have gone far in the Valley, such as Sun Microsystems co-founder
Vinod Khosla, a native of India and now a venture capitalist.

Jackson acknowledges this but is pushing for corporations to reach beyond
their traditional networks to tap minority-owned businesses--as money
managers, lawyers, ad agencies, and vendors, thus widening their pool of
money and talent. The peripatetic cleric, however, has little experience in
the ways of the Valley. Here, among rolling foothills and million-dollar
tract houses, financiers pumped $4.5 billion into 786 ventures last
year--numbers that dwarf startup investments anywhere else on earth. And the
region is unabashedly proud that it has generated more than a third of the
country's economic growth since 1995.

To its denizens, techdom thrives precisely because it is such a free market.
Unfettered competition reigns; big government, regulation, and affirmative
action are disdained. T.J. Rodgers of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. and Ronald
K. Unz of Wall Street Analytics Inc. were among the biggest backers of
California's Proposition 209, the anti-affirmative action law passed in 1996.

Jackson scoffs at the idea that the Valley is a true meritocracy. ''Everybody
tells that lie,'' he says. But Valley execs are fervent. Says John T.
Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems Inc.: ''We don't care what your sex is, how
old you are, who your parents are, or your country of origin. If you're good,
we love you.'' Rodgers of Cypress contends that Jackson's race-based demands
are ''striking at the heart of what makes the Valley successful.'' Told that
Jackson is focusing on the Valley precisely because of its unparalleled
prosperity, Scott G. McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems Inc., says: ''If that's
the case, it's terrorism.''

But not every Valley exec agrees that Jackson should butt out. Frank S.
Greene, CEO of New Vista Capital; Robert E. Knowling, CEO of Covad
Communications; Roy Clay of Rod-L Electronics; and Kenneth L. Coleman, a
senior vice-president at Silicon Graphics Inc., are all African
Americans--and all part of Jackson's inner circle in the Valley. ''There's
big denial,'' says Knowling. ''It's all about public image and big egos.''
Blacks, he adds, ''have not had representation and won't get a part of the
value creation unless they're sitting in board of directors seats.''

Edward W. ''Ned'' Barnholt, the white CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co.'s
soon-to-be-spun-off test-and-measurement unit, who has met with Jackson,
says: ''He's putting the spotlight on [the diversity issue] and...I hope that
will bring about change.''

Certainly, the demand for qualified workers is huge. Currently, some 30,000
jobs in the Valley--out of about 480,000--are unfilled. And a great many
positions are being taken by foreigners: Congress raised the limit for
temporary work visas from 65,000 in 1998 to 115,000 in 1999 largely to
accommodate high-tech demand. The ceiling was unexpectedly hit in June, and
tech execs want to raise the limit to 200,000 for the year 2000.

That infuriates minority advocates. They point to Bureau of Labor Statistics
data that show more than 300,000 African Americans and Hispanics hold
engineering and scientific jobs. ''That blows away the whole argument that
there aren't enough qualified blacks,'' says John Templeton, director of the
Coalition for Fair Employment in Silicon Valley, which promotes minorities in
business. Maybe. But while recruiters concede they visit state and
predominantly black schools less often than top-20 colleges, just 7.2% of
engineering and computer science degrees went to blacks and 5.9% to Hispanics
in 1996, says the National Science Foundation.

STREET VICTORIES. How Jackson aims to bridge the high-tech education gap of
African Americans and Hispanics beyond raising awareness of the issue remains
unclear. In fact, one of the frequent criticisms of Jackson's techniques is
that they are heavy on showboating and light on follow-up. For example, the
long-term effectiveness of other Jackson initiatives, such as the Wall Street
Project, is open to question though he can point to several victories.

Two years ago, for the first time, the New York Stock Exchange closed on
Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, in part because of pressure from
Rainbow/PUSH. And Jackson's jawboning has gotten a handful of his favorite
minority investment banks--such as Blaylock & Partners--signed up as
co-managers of high-profile debt and equity underwritings, including AT&T's
$8 billion bond offering and initial public offerings by Pepsi Bottling Group
and Goldman, Sachs & Co.

On the Street, however, Jackson enjoys the backing of Sanford I. Weill, the
co-chief executive of Citigroup, and Richard A. Grasso, chief executive of
the NYSE. They have opened doors for Jackson and co-sponsored two
high-profile conferences attended by Bill Clinton. The President says he
''strongly supports'' Jackson's efforts to get Wall Street and now Silicon
Valley to hire more minorities. ''I think he deserves a lot of credit,''
Clinton says.

In Silicon Valley, Jackson has no guardian angels like Weill and Grasso,
though he is making high-level contacts. Intel CEO Craig R. Barrett has
agreed to meet with Jackson in coming weeks. And in a mid-April visit to
Apple Computer Inc.'s headquarters, Jackson says he pressed CEO Steve Jobs to
include minorities on his board. When Jobs said Apple had a color-blind
approach to business, Jackson says he countered: ''The price you pay for
blindness is not being able to see opportunities.'' Apple declined to comment
for this story.

As Jackson sees it, corporate executives' ''cultural blinders'' prevent them
from recognizing markets. For example, African Americans spend $3.8 billion
on computer and consumer electronic gear, according to Target Market News, a
Chicago report on black buying power. ''We're trying to stop companies from
boycotting the market,'' Jackson says. ''They're the ones building the wall.''

Is Jackson calling Valley execs prejudiced? ''We can't be prejudiced or we'd
be out of business tomorrow,'' fumes Rodgers. ''When Jesse makes a
generalization about business, it's the same kind of stereotyping that he's
done in the past. He's screwing with my company, and he's screwing Silicon

For his part, Jackson vows that ''we will not rest until the boards and the
money managers and the employees look like the customer market.'' In Silicon
Valley, that promises to be a long, hard slog.

By Roger O. Crockett, with Andy Reinhardt and Peter Burrows, in Silicon
Valley, and Leah Nathans Spiro in New York

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