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March 29th, 1999

[3:42 PM] Observer Feedback Loud On Rainbow (Jesse Jackson) Editorial
by Staff
It is always interesting to read the myriad of responses that any editorial will bring, but we were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of mail we received on Apple's Rainbow Not Colorful Enough For Jesse Jackson by our Editor-In-Chief Bryan Chaffin. The vast majority of letters were from people who agreed with the sentiments in the letter, but there were some dissenting letters as well. The following is a broad cross-section that follows the general lines of all the mail we received.0 They are in no particular order. Thanks to everyone on all sides of this issue who wrote in!

Thank you! This guy cares more about getting his face and name in print and on TV and his $3000 suits than anybody's trodden-upon civil rights. He and Gloria Allred (and many others) are prime examples of the 'Civil Rights Industry' that has evolved from the true good will of the '60's. Kudos for your courage and ability to point out the emperor's new clothes.

Richard Kirkpatrick

I would have respected your commentary more if you had the respect to know the names of the people you are talking about, and spelling their names properly. As an Indian, I do not appreciate Mahatma Gandhi being called "Mohamet Ghandi." In my opinion, he was one of the greatest people of our time, and he led Indians, including my parents, to independence. If you are going to talk about him, you should not be spelling his name wrong. Also, it is Dalai Lama. I can't respect the opinion of someone who cannot even spell the names of 2 very important people, even if I agree with you. Next time, you might want to know about who you are talking about before you use them as an example.

Manish Vora

Very good article. You are 100% correct.

J. Allen (Pete) Seabolt

Bravo, I couldn't have said it better. I had the same feelings and reactions when I heard Rev. Jackson's comments regarding Apple Computer. What was he smoking?

Craig Washington
Dallas...63, Challenger...86, Windows...95

As a BLACK/African-American MALE, I really would like to know where this diverse HIGH-TECH work force is in America. I work in Silicon Valley and I am hard pressed to find someone of my skin color working around me in the same job capacity. Look at the National Labs. How many scientists there are Black? One maybe two. Diverse? I say 2 out of 1000 people at one job site makes a strong statement against diversity. And please don't be so ignorant to think there are not many GOOD/EXCELLENT Black Scientist and Engineers out there. The question is how many of those were recruited. Yet, you say skin color does not make a difference. The trouble with folk these days is that they confuse how they think things should be with how things really are. Usually the sum of those two functions is an EMPTY SET.

Answer these question. Why do you have a MACOS Web site? Why do you get happy when you find that company A or B uses Mac to do job XYZ and why are you upset when you find that company PDQ does not use Macs? Macs are the BEST. We can all agree with that. But if you make the best computer and simply stick it on the market then no on will buy it. It takes people (like Steve Jobs) being out there asking the public to please take a look at my computer and give it a try and "How come you can use my computer to draw pictures for your web site but you refuse to have any of my computers anywhere else in your company". Black Americans are automatically overlooked in this country for so many positions etc. that sometimes it takes someone out there to say "here we are.". I don't want anything I'm not qualified for. But I sure want an opportunity to prove that I can do the various Jobs I'm qualified for. In this country if you are white, or assimilate into white culture, there is really no need to prove ones self your. Your record gets you the Job. But be different (i.e. Black) and you have to prove yourself every single day. And most of the time you are alone in doing it. Not to mention It is hard to do science some of the people around you think you might steal something. As I sit here at my job (a job I EARNED) I have gone another day with out another Face that looks like mine to talk with. Yes, Dr. King's Dream is really alive. Everyone likes to look in the Mirror and see themselves. As a Black man who really Likes Apple I would just once like to look in the Apple's mirror and see myself. Is that too much to ask?

It is Not reverse discrimination to ask the question "Have you searched for any Black/Latinos/etc. to sit on the Board?" If the answer is yes and you have not found any qualified individuals, then fine. But what Jesse is saying Is have you even THOUGHT about the inclusion of a Black? The answer for most companies is NO. Just like the answer for most job positions is NO! The CEO from Intuit has really done a lot, I would say, sitting on the board. Where is my Quicken 99 and Quickbooks? What if Michael Jordan was to sit on the Board? Ask Nike what that might have done for the sales. The Black Community is one of the fastest growing areas of computer purchases. What has Apple done to capture that market? On the other hand Microslut (aka Microsoft) has been making deals left and right to get into the Black Community.

I have been a Apple Fan for almost 20 Years now. One of the high points of my day is reading the Macintosh news, looking for information about the P1 and such. Your articles have taken that little bit of joy away from me. Your sites has lost one, if not more, of its readers. There are Plenty of BLACK Macintosh owners (long term and devoted) that from this point on will remove your site from there bookmark list. But alas you don't really care about that do you.......

Dr. L. Johnson
(Yes I figure there was someone "more qualified" than me out there, but they GAVE me the spot in graduate school according to your reasoning. I achieved, worked for the Top man in the Field, and now I sit on this mountain top alone!.)

There are also no muppets, (Kermit). I demand Apple cease its racist policy and add Elmo to its board!!! Either that or Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, or Mr. Snufflupagus.

John Bryan

Your point that Apple only appoints board members and CEO's according to their ability is patently absurd - witness the fiasco that went by the name of Gil Amelio. More often than not these appointments are made on the basis of friendships between white guys, "old school ties" and so on. I think the point that Jackson is making is that, on the whole, nonwhite people are very much "out of the loop" as far as the real decision making goes, and they have very little chance of getting into the loop until there is a real change of culture in the boardroom.

Your point that Jackson should have included Indians and others in his comments, and by not doing so was being racist himself, is frankly silly. I am Indian, and I realize that he was pointing out that Afro Americans, though enriching American Culture to the extent that they can help sell Apple computers by the use of their images, don't seem to be able to get their hands on the levers of power, even though they have been in America longer than many now fully integrated Americans.

I think your anger betrays a simple truth - that until white Americans can face up to their history and their present, serious concerns about the distribution of power and influence will not be taken seriously.

Harwant Bains, London, England.

While I agree with a lot of what you say I think the point Reverend Jackson may have been making, and one I agree with, is that Apple tries to appropriate the "good vibes" of the people it includes in its advertising and positions itself as a counterculture company. That being the case maybe there is a greater responsibility to live up to since they feel free to profit off the images they use. My question is what the hell do they great people have to do with Apple? Did they work there? No. So stop using other peoples fame and just make a better product at a good price. Image is nothing.

Mark F. Maddrey

Dear Mr. Chaffin,

I was stunned and petrified by your article on Jesse Jackson and I can recall one comment he made some years ago about "Hymietown", meaning a jewish area in NY. Although being European, I keep an open eye on US domestic politics and through the years I've discovered that this sort of backlash from people with african descent. This is to be expected, but in some cases as with Farrakhan and the shocking comment by Jesse (along with his recent attack on Apple) it is nothing but scary.

I wonder if you have so far received any comments on you article from Jesse Jackson himself.

Best regards,
David Igra, Sweden

I do not owe him or his brothers anything!!! Neither does Apple. Being BLACK, let me correct myself, AFRICAN-AMERICAN,jeez.. does not qualify one for special treatment in all cases concerning the work place, or anywhere else for that fact. This discrimination song has been overplayed! It's time for those select few to get off their butts and get on with life. Hey the wars over folks...get over it!!!

Booker Glover

All is well with your article , Except !!!! Jews are not a Race !!!! They come in more flavors then Imacs. There are Italian Jews, Chinese Jew's, German Jew's , African Jew's , American Jew's , French Jew's , Mexican Jew's , Spanish Jew's, Hawaiian Jew's , Arab Jew's. Need I go on ?????? Point made, me thinks . Hope you're now less confused then Jessie the biggot .

Hal Lester

As a black American and proud Mac user, I just shake my head in amazement about Jesse Jackson's calling Apple a racist company. Oh please! This is the same guy who during the Gulf War declared the US Army racists for sending black soldiers to the front line. Hello Jesse, EVERYBODY there was on the front line--those Scud missiles attacks reached as far as Israel. The Army is based on a volunteer basis, and people from all races still volunteer to serve. Steve Jobs spent a few years in India before starting Apple, and he has Gregory Hines and Sinbad attend the MacWorld expos every year.

Don't sweat Jesse...he lost his touch a long time ago, and he doesn't know Apple Computer from a hole in the ground..


Jesse Jackson is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. That you mention his pathetic attempt at headline grabbing only gives him credibility. If you want to get your point across, send him copies of your editorial with the question "How many colored people on Microsoft and IBM's board?" as the footer and header. Like many political blowhards, he probably won't dare respond because MS (even though it wouldn't bother troubling itself with such a mover/shaker nebbish) has a lot more dough to sink his reelection campaign than he does to keep it afloat.

Yuri Shukost

While I will agree with you that Jackson's comments are politically motivated, and therefore somewhat opportunistic, I have to admit that (despite my serious commitment to Apple) I have found the 'think different' commodification of true heroes rather nauseating.

To see the likes of Ghandi associated with a product (especially a product which is -- lets face it -- so unobtainable for the members of the third world) I found just a little too much.

Consequently, unlike you I am not going to loose a lot of sleep over Jackson's comments, especially when I usually do not pay too much attention to his grandstanding anyhow (and that is coming from someone that would certainly be considered left of center in the states).

Donald Duff-McCracken

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