Diversity At Google

Google recently felt the need to “go public” by posting some employment numbers showing the gender and racial/ethnic makeup of its workforce (see here). As it turns out, 30% of Google’s workforce are women, 2% are black, 3% are Hispanic, and 30% are Asian. Google claims that this is not “where we want to be when it comes to diversity” and seemed apologetic for the numbers, although it’s hard to see that it has done anything wrong.

The Associated Press (see here) and other news organizations reported Google’s numbers and the general tone of the stories is that Google, not to mention all of Silicon Valley, is racist. The AP actually quotes Jesse Jackson (evidently he’s still around) who claims there is a “culture of exclusion” in Silicon Valley. According to Jackson and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Google is showing nothing more than an “old pattern” of exclusion of women and people of color.

Okay, but the problem with liberals’ racism story is that 30% of Google’s workforce (34% of tech employees) is Asian. This fact completely undercuts the liberals’ racist argument or at least it should for anyone thinking rationally.

But liberals prefer to ignore this inconvenient fact rather than address it. For example, several mainstream news organization edited the story to omit the Asian reference, including Reuters, the Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune. Each of them published the story without the key statistic, and in doing so, each acted more like an Orwellian Ministry of Truth than a legitimate news organization.

Minorities make up less than 25% of the American population, yet they account for 35% of Google’s workforce. Obviously, the company’s hiring decisions are not discriminatory and its record is praiseworthy, although by hiring competent people it is only doing what it must. If Google didn’t hire on merit, competition would eventually force it from the market.

But somehow liberals find Google’s record unacceptable. No one explains why it should be unacceptable, but we might guess the idea is that Google must for some reason employ minorities in the same proportion as the groups are represented in the population in general.

In the real world there is no basis for insisting that employment among gender, ethnic, or racial groups at Google reflect the general population. No matter how liberals ignore reality, the fact remains that disparities between racial and ethnic groups naturally exist, caused by various demographic, geographic, and cultural reasons that have nothing to do with discrimination (as explained many times by economist Thomas Sowell).

As Google has pointed out, there is a shortage of qualified African-Americans in the high-tech sector. In one recent year, Google hired one of only two African-Americans with new doctorates who were on the job market (Microsoft hired the other). So there appears to be a lack of interest in high-tech among many African-Americans.

It also doesn’t help that some African-American students have adopted an unfortunate attitude about “acting white” (see here). This certainly contrasts sharply with the strong emphasis that Asian-American families place on education, especially in high-tech areas. Given the level of achievement of Asian-American students, perhaps the better phrase is “acting Asian” rather than acting white.

But none of these considerations will have any effect on liberals’ views. In fact, anyone who even raises the cultural issues relating to African-Americans, other than Jackson’s “culture of exclusion,” will be attacked as a racist, as Paul Ryan recently discovered.

Google seems unwilling to even defend itself, and so we can expect that liberals eventually will succeed as they reorganize society in the most abnormal and artificial ways.

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