Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon did a race math equation in an interview with Fareed Zakaria while discussing the H-1B visa and its effect on the tech industry. During the interview, which aired on CNN, Bannon claims the H-1B, which, according to him, is issued largely to those of Asian descent, is responsible for Hispanics and blacks not being able to obtain “high valuated tech jobs.”
Why are you giving Steve Bannon a platform?
— Ryan Knight (@ProudResister) June 2, 2018
H1Bsare abused. As are B1s. But don’t blame the lack of diversity on foreigners. Its not the problem.
— Karen López “ ” (@datachick) June 2, 2018
While it’s troubling that he left whites out of the equation entirely, as if to admit white jobs are secure regardless of what qualified individuals may be coming over or are already here, he doubles-down on his intolerance with an interpretation of the visa, which comes off as a means of pitting ethnic groups against one another.
@StephenBannon You'll be happy to hear a WHITE person like me also got an H1B visa – but, I'm a female Canadian working in IT!
— Marie Gravelle (@mariegravelle) June 3, 2018
Bannon’s breakdown of the H-1B visa is that they let people into the country “basically to take the jobs of American citizens.” He continues by stating, “The central beating heart of this is that Hispanics and blacks have to get into the high valuated tech jobs; we’re never going to do that as long as they have unfair competition.”
— Comeet (@ComeetCo) June 5, 2018
In an interview with Huffington Post, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice John C. Yang, said “I think what Mr. Bannon is clearly trying to do is race-bait. What he’s really doing is trying to limit opportunities for all minorities.” Yang goes on to admit that he feels Bannon is trying to gain support from the black and Latino communities.
— Kush Tandon (@kushtandon) June 2, 2018
Bannon’s greatest misstep with his comments, as Yang points out, is that his talking points aren’t about increasing “educational opportunities for minorities” but rather about which race is coming in and stealing jobs away.
Going back to the real root of the issue is Bannon’s comment about how “two-thirds or three-quarters of the CEOs in Silicon Valley are from South Asia or from Asia.” According to a study done by the Ascend Foundation, white men and women were 154% more likely to hold executive positions than their Asian counterparts. He touts inaccuracies while trying to create a racial divide and push his anti-H-1B agenda.
H/T: Huffington Post