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Apple and the Black Executive

Khoi Vinh points out that Apple doesn't have a black executive posted on their executive profiles page.


Reader Patrick responds:

I have followed your blog for several years and always appreciate your writing and opinion, but this is ridiculous. Whoever is on that page most certainly deserves to be there on the basis of merit and performance. I can think of plenty organizations in which this might apply, but Apple isn't one of them. This is nonsense. I know that you worked at NYT but give me a break. Anyone who achieves that level of success in an organization like Apple did so on their ability to do the job. The fact that there's no black person on that page simply means that none of the people who performed well enough or worked hard enough for that job happened to be black,, and that's it. Save the PC bs please.

Khoi responds to Patrick:

What I mean is not that Apple should hire some black people for the sake of having black people. Rather, Apple, which is by some measures the most successful company in the world, should not just blindly accept the fact that the people who are qualified to be on their executive team just happen to be entirely white. Rather, I hope that they would have the wherewithal to invest in more aggressive diversity initiatives and create conditions which would allow black people—or any underrepresented minority—to attain executive positions at the company through merit.

My reasoning is that it simply can't be true that, given fully equal opportunity, that there are absolutely no black men or women in the first world who are qualified to be part of this executive team. That defies logic.

Sorry, but that doesn't make any sense. Particularly the last paragraph. It doesn't defy logic. The best people were likely chosen for the jobs. It just so happens that they're white dudes. So?

This comment says it well too:

Who would you suggest be removed from this page and who would you recommend replace him?

I don't care if you have 100 positions and all 100 are filled by white dudes - if they're the most qualified 100 people to fill those positions, then the one who points out that it's a problem that they're all white dudes (and not black females, I guess) is the one who is behaving stupidly.

P.S. I did learn, from reading this post, that Tim Cook is gay. That fact doesn't surprise me at all - I'd quite literally never once thought about it. And, now that I know it to be true, I can return to that state of not thinking about it.