The 50th anniversary for the march in Selma, Alabama, provides an opportunity to remember a dark period in history when black Americans were victims of outrageous acts of racism and hatred, including Jim Crow laws and lynching. While many Americans reflected on the heroic efforts of civil rights leaders of that time, a few used the media spotlight to hijack the event to advance their personal agenda – in tragic irony- by fanning the flames of racism and injustice.
The week following the Selma anniversary, Jesse Jackson attended Apple’s shareholder meeting in California to demand that Apple do more to help blacks. Apple CEO Tim Cook took the bait and gave Rev. Jackson an opportunity to address shareholders and the board of directors.
In his prepared remarks, Rev. Jackson referred to President Obama’s comments about the 50th anniversary of the march in Selma and noted, “In Silicon Valley, the march for diversity and inclusion is just beginning.”
He made several demands to Cook, including: electing a black individual to Apple’s board when new seats open up, annually releasing workforce and supplier diversity data, setting timetables to achieve Apple’s diversity and inclusion objectives (seeking full representation by 2020), and expanding minority participation to include management of your 401K retirement plan, cash management and stock repurchase programs.
Comparing a violent and bloody march over equal rights to Jesse Jackson demanding equal outcomes in corporate America is a slap in the face to the brave people who marched 50 years ago. Rev. Jackson talks a big game about racial equality, but the only color Jesse Jackson sees is green–the color of money.
Rather than celebrating the advances of blacks in all segments of American society due to hard work and determination since Selma, he exploited the anniversary to enhance his prominence and wealth.
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