Recently there has been significant attention to immigration and jobs in the news. Appirio has been a part of a couple of great pieces I’ve been fortunate enough to contribute to. First is this article in the Economist, “The Jobs Machine”, that talks about our office and expansion into Indianapolis (as well as startup immigrants and jobs).
Second, I was just on CNBC Asia to discuss immigration and jobs. It was an interesting discussion that I thought was going to be much more on Appirio versus broader immigration. Its funny how a foreign station focused so much on how it impacts the economy where most of the domestic discussion is about a more xenophobic set of issue.
I wrote the answers to these on an iPhone running through an airport and it shows ! Humbled to be named one of the 40 for this year, attributable to my association with two amazing organizations, Appirio and the Sikh Coalition, and a couple of folks on my team making me sound a little more interesting than usual :-) Thank you !
My first startup was not Appirio, but the Sikh Coalition. I was a co-founder and remain on the board of directors. For more than a decade this amazing organization and a team of people that have given up more lucrative careers in order to make a difference. The impact of that was felt during the aftermath of the tragic killings at a Sikh gurdwara (house of worship) in Oak Creek by a Neo Nazi this summer. Their work with the community, media and government was inspiring.
In addition, the Coalition passed a law in California, introduced the fly rights app and impacted millions of people with their work this year. Yet because of all this, and Hurricane Sandy (we are headquartered in New York) we got a very late start on fundraising this year. So we need the help more than most. visit the links below and learn more, and if you are moved, please donate to this great organization.
My question was basically on how we could have a more nuanced discussion on jobs and economy vs. course grain things like offshore and trade is the enemy. His response that we cant while things are not going well leaves me unsatisfied. There will always be segments that are struggling. We can have a more substantive dialog and still be empathetic with their plight.
I was fortunate enough the last couple of days to have some great interactions on my day job - cloud computing and innovation. I got to be part of panel with New York Times columnist and author Tom Friedman and to announce Appirio’s opening a high tech presence in Indianapolis with Governor Mitch Daniels. Pictures and links below.
With all the events in the world, it felt like a good time for a reminder from Secretary Powerll during the last Presidential election.
“I’m also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, “Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.” Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no, that’s not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, “He’s a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists.” This is not the way we should be doing it in America.
I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son’s grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards—Purple Heart, Bronze Star—showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn’t have a Christian cross, it didn’t have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith.
And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life. Now, we have got to stop polarising ourselves in this way. And John McCain is as non-discriminatory as anyone I know. But I’m troubled about the fact that, within the party, we have these kinds of expressions.”
Lauren Green was very gracious and felt like she was interested and concerned. Hope that the media will be as engaged, not just with Sikhs, but on understanding the diversity in our country and getting beyond the surface analysis going forward. We need a media that tell the story I believe America wants to hear - about people and what they share as human beings, not one based on ignorance and intolerance that is focused on the surface criteria that make us different.