Twitter Stock Down as Revenue Plummets and a Diversity Scandal Rises
Reverend Jackson on the scene
Twitter suffered a very dismal third quarter for 2015, with Twitter stock currently down 1.8 percent. And between Q2 and Q3, Twitter only increased its monthly active users by 1.25 percent.
Meanwhile, Twitter now also finds itself in the midst of a very public diversity problem. Following CEO Jack Dorsey's decision to lay off 9 percent of Twitter's employees, Rev. Jesse Jackson wrote a letter to Dorsey regarding the layoffs and expressed his concern that the decision targeted minorities, who are already severely underrepresented at the company.
"Twitter already has an appallingly low number and percentage of African Americans and Latinos working at your company, around 60 total in the workforce and zero in your boardroom and c-suite leadership," he wrote. "We are concerned that a disproportionate number and percentage of Blacks and Latinos were adversely affected in your recent layoffs."
Twitter's diversity problem begins right at the top. According to the company's leadership page, of its 10 executive team members, only two are women; the remaining eight are white men.
And the pattern continues all the way down. A blog post published to Twitter's website in August (incidentally, the post is titled "We're committing to a more diverse Twitter") shows that its overall workforce is 59 percent white. When broken down by tech, non-tech and leadership positions, whites always account for at least half of the jobs. Overall, Hispanics represent 4 percent and Blacks just 2 percent of the staff. In tech, Hispanics make up 3 percent of employees, while Blacks account for just 1 percent. Both groups represent 4 percent of employees in non-tech positions. This is compared to 56 percent in tech and 62 percent in non-tech for white employees.
When it comes to leadership, the only two groups represented at all are whites (72 percent) and Asians (28 percent).
Jackson made several requests for the company to disclose how many minorities were affected by the layoffs. Each time, a spokesperson told him minorities were not disproportionately targeted but did not provide specific numbers. Jackson believes the public has a right to the information.
"We will insist on it," he said. "So far, Twitter has been the most resistant to give us their data and then they are giving us resistance to giving us this additional data."
The fact that so many Black people use Twitter yet represent next to no one on the staff is another concern for Jackson. Black Twitter users have definitely made their presence on the social media site known, which has resulted in the creation of "Black Twitter," or #BlackTwitter. And a Pew Research Center poll this summer revealed that just 20 percent of whites said they use Twitter, compared to 28 percent for both Blacks and Hispanics.
"We over-index too much with Twitter for Twitter not to have a business plan or strategy for inclusion," Jackson said.
Meanwhile, at least one Black employee was laid off and went public with his story. Leslie Miley, who served as the only Black engineering manager until he was let go, wrote a detailed in a Medium post to describe experience working at the company for three years and advocating for diversity. He also explained why he believes that the company's stagnant user growth could be associated with its diversity problem.
"This is why Twitter is stuck at 320 million users," Miley said prior to the publication of his blog post. "It doesn't have people making product decisions who understand the use case of the most prolific communities on Twitter."
In 2014 and 2015, the percent of adults who reported using Twitter remained at 23 percent, according to a Pew Research Center poll. Meanwhile, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram all saw growth by at least 1 percent.
Miley also pointed out Twitter's repeated assertions that diversity is a top priority and the fact that there was never any progress made. "Leadership keeps citing the pipeline when the data does not support it," Miley said. "They continue to churn out ethnic and racial minorities and women but still claim a commitment to diversity."
Twitter is not the only company in the tech field with such an extreme lack of diversity among its ranks. Facebook and Google have also shown zero progress in diversity. And just last year, Microsoft's CEO said that women should rely on karma in order to move up in their careers.
NAACP says: While the state has hate crime laws, they're not often enforced.
A white teen, social media identified as a student at Southington High School in Connecticut, made a racist video that included threats of lynching Black people and claims that he "hung 12 Black men from a tree just this night."
SHE is charged with endangering a child.
Jasmine Headley, age 23, was carrying her child into a city agency building in Brooklyn where SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is located, and sat on the floor to wait as there were no more chairs. A bystander, Nyashia Ferguson, who goes by the name Monae Sinclair on Facebook, reported she saw a security guard confront Headley and the two got into an argument. Security called the police, and when they arrived, Headley tried to explain, but they cut her off. That's when things got ugly.
"We are tired of the abuse, the insults, the way he talks about us when he knows that we are here helping him make money," said a woman working at Trump National Golf Club.
As President Trump sends troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to "defend" (white) America against the caravans of Brown people and bar some from asylum in the U.S., the history of hiring undocumented workers at his properties in New Jersey and Florida continues to come to light.
Trump has a problem with undocumented immigrants seeking asylum, but not when they are hired to wash his clothes or make his bed.
The Trump administration is creating a narrative that refugees escaping violence and poverty in Central America and seeking asylum are dangerous.
Victorina Morales, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, reportedly crossed the border in 1999 and has worked at the at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J, since 2013, The New York Times reported Thursday.
According to a spokesperson for his business organization, she would be one of tens of thousands of people to be employed by Trump, and would be terminated if she was undocumented. Sandra Diaz, 46, from Costa Rica was another.
Both Morales and Diaz, during their stints, washed the Trump family's clothes in a special detergent, made beds and dusted.
"There are many people without papers," said Ms. Diaz, who said she witnessed several people being hired whom she knew to be undocumented.
Morales was initially pleased with her job because she was paid and tipped well, often times by Trump. But her sentiments changed when he ran for president.
"I'm tired of being humiliated and treated like a stupid person," she said in Spanish during a brief interview. "We're just immigrants who don't have papers."
During his campaign in 2016, when he referred to Mexicans as rapists and criminals, he promised to mandate E-Verify, a federal tool to verify employment eligibility, and requested $23 million in his 2019 budget proposal to expand the program for nationwide use. He also bragged when a new Trump hotel opened in Washington, "We didn't have one illegal immigrant on the job."
"The president has been half-serious about stopping illegal immigration by not taking away the jobs magnet," said Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, a group pushing to reduce immigration. Beck said Trump has "let us down in his promise to help American workers" because he hasn't "put his shoulder behind a mandatory E-Verify bill."
Trump signed a "Buy American, Hire American" executive order in 2017 restricting visas, but his Mar-a-Lago golf club also has a history of applying for H-2B visas for hundreds of immigrant workers. The H-2B visa is for "temporary non-agricultural workers."
Morales reports being driven to work by staff to hide the fact that she couldn't legally drive, and that after she presented fake papers for work, she was given another set of fake papers by the Trump Organization to keep her employed there.
Morales had a front row seat on the job to Trump meetings as she was cleaning his villa, even when potential cabinet members were interviewed and when he met with the White House chief of staff.
But that didn't come without experiencing verbal abuse from Trump's staff.
Her attorney Anibal Romero said in a statement Thursday that his clients were called racial epithets and threatened with deportation by a supervisor that ironically, "had employed them despite knowing their undocumented status and even provided them with forged documents."
"We are tired of the abuse, the insults, the way he talks about us when he knows that we are here helping him make money," she told the NY Times. "We sweat it out to attend to his every need and have to put up with his humiliation."
Reader Question: Do we need any more proof that he's a liar about everything?
The indictment claims that several of the officers talked about their "disdain" for protesters.
Four St. Louis police officers were indicted on Thursday on federal charges. The indictment indicates that three of them beat an undercover colleague during protests last year and all four of the officers involved covered it up.
A Black man who was unjustly convicted because of Raimundo Atesiano's actions was deported back to Haiti.
UPDATE: Nov. 28, 2018
Raimundo Atesiano was sentenced to three years in prison for a conspiracy in his department to frame Black people. The former Biscayne Park police chief was allowed him to remain free for two weeks before surrendering to care for his mother, who is dying of leukemia, according to the Miami Herald.
"When I took the job, I was not prepared," Atesiano told a federal judge. "I made some very, very bad decisions."
As racial disparities continue to plague the criminal justice system, a former police chief in Florida admitted to purposely sending Black men to prison. Former Biscayne Park Police Chief Raimundo Atesiano acknowledged at his plea hearing in Miami federal court that he told his cops in 2013 to frame three Black residents, one of which was a 16-year-old, for a series of unsolved home and vehicle burglaries in order get a 100 percent clearance on the department's property crimes record.
"The Second Amendment was not made for Black folks," said Noah.
Jemel Roberson, a Black hero shot dead by police, was laid to rest last weekend as was Emantic Bradford Jr., an innocent Black 21-year-old male mistakenly identified as a mass shooter in an Alabama mall and also shot dead by police.
"How does this shit keep happening?" Trevor Noah, host of "The Daily Show," asked after discussing the incident.
"The cops are called into a situation. They see a Black person. And then immediately they shoot."
Byron Ragland calls for a boycott of the shop. To "punish white supremacy and anti-Black behavior – you hit it hard and you hit it fast right in its pockets," he said.
In response to public backlash on social media, the Kirkland Police Department, which serves the Seattle suburb, offered an apology to Byron Ragland almost two weeks after he was told to leave Menchie's, a frozen yogurt shop, because the owner called 911 as women workers said he "looked suspicious."
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The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said it was a "hate incident."