Why Is Apple’s Chief of Diversity Leaving After 6 Months?

What happened?

Apple’s vice president of diversity and inclusion is leaving the company at the end of the year after assuming the role in May. Denise Young Smith has been at Apple since 1997 and most recently served as human resources chief; the abrupt announcement just six months after she took on the diversity chief role came as a surprise.

Wasn’t there some controversy about her earlier?

Yes. Young Smith was under fire last month after she made comments on diversity and inclusion that were viewed as controversial, and she has since apologized for her “choice of words.”

What did she say?

As part of a much larger discussion about diversity in the workplace, Young Smith said that diversity of thought and experience is valuable regardless of your gender or racial background.

“Diversity is the human experience. I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color or the women or the LGBT or whatever because that means they’re carrying that around…because that means that we are carrying that around on our foreheads.

“And I’ve often told people a story– there can be 12 white blue-eyed blonde men in a room and they are going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation.”

Is her departure related to the diversity comments?

Hard to say. Young Smith has reportedly been in talks about her future at Apple for a year, so she may have made up her mind to leave long before the backlash. Still, as Doc pointed out while standing in for Glenn on today’s show, it’s ironic that a black woman is stepping down as diversity chief after “controversial” comments and being replaced by a white woman.

Just 3 percent of Apple’s leaders in the U.S. are black, according to TechCrunch.

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

DOC: Some of this stuff deserves to be mocked. Because that's the only way it will be changed. Satire. Sarcasm. And mocking something this ridiculous. I'm not just talking about mocking people you disagree with. Although, if you want to do that, that's fine as well. I think it's nice to be able to engage in a civil conversation and try to find common ground, which we try to do, but when it's this silly, you deserve to be mocked for change.

The way you're going to change this is to mock people like this, to point out how ridiculous it is through humor.

That's the only way it's going to change. How many people on the left are calling this guy out? When they read it, even if it's crazy and they know it's crazy, are they going to be like, dude, come on? They're not.

KAL: Even there, they're like, you're stretching it a bit. You're reaching.

DOC: Right. In their heart of hearts, they know it is.

But they don't say it. It's either one of two things, they look the other way because he's on the team, or they know it's going to help push the agenda. By any means necessary. The end justifies the means.

And then some of them are likely crazy and believe it as well. But most people know it's ridiculous. That whites somehow have greater access to outdoors.

KAL: That's so ridiculous.

DOC: It's insane. So mock it. Share it. And it should be. A lot of people online mocking as well.

If you want to follow me on Twitter. It's @DocThompsonshow. Use the #whatIlearnedtoday. You can join the program. We have some calls coming up. It's 888-727-BECK. 888-727-BECK.

We'll get some calls in a couple of minutes. Denise Young -- Denise Young Smith, rather, was named Apple's VP of diversity and inclusion in May. Remember that?

KAL: Oh, that's good. Yeah.

DOC: Remember the big discussion we had in May because of the letter that was written? Remember the former CEO of Facebook, or executive at Facebook, or person who worked at Facebook -- we had that whole discussion.

KAL: Yeah.

DOC: And then at Apple, they had this brouhaha. Anyway, they appointed her as the VP of diversity and inclusion in May. She's stepping down.

KAL: That's only been, what? Like six months?

DOC: Denise Young Smith --

KAL: A little less?

DOC: Yeah. Not even. Yep. Stepping down because of something she said.

KAL: Oh, boy. What did she say? Was it allowed outdoors?

DOC: During a summit in Columbia, she said -- now, she is a black woman, mind you.

KAL: Uh-huh.

DOC: Apple's VP of diversity and inclusion. Apple's VP of diversity and inclusion said she likes to focus on everyone, and that diversity goes beyond race, gender, and sexual orientation. She said, there can be twelve white blue-eyed, blonde men in a room, and they're going to be diverse too because they're going to bring different life experience and life perspectives to the conversation.

KAL: Good. I like that.

DOC: She's right.

KAL: Yeah, she is. She got fired for that?

DOC: Well...

She is stepping down.

KAL: Which means she was asked to step down?

DOC: She was fired. That's likely what was meant. She said, diversity is a human experience. She said, I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to people of color or women or LGBT. She said, we're not representative have how I think about diversity or how Apple sees it. Those were her later apologies, that's when she later apologized.

She said, we're not representative of how I think about diversity or how Apple sees it. For that, I'm sorry. She was forced to apologize. And for what? She basically said --

KAL: Don't judge a book by its cover?

DOC: Well, she said something that I said over and over again: Your claim and maybe accurate claim that you have it worse off because of, fill in the blank. Your race, your gender, your religion. Even if it's true that you are either disadvantaged because of your race -- you walk in, there's more white people. Maybe there's a bias. Even if it's an underlying subconscious bias, fine. Let's go with it and say that you are at a disadvantage. There are many ways to advantage or disadvantage people. And, you know what, very few of them have to do with race. There are more ways that you can disadvantage people that have nothing to do with race or religion or gender. Economic situation.

And that could be all kinds of different things. You know what else disadvantages people? Stupidity. You're just dumb. You think you're going to get that job as the CEO if you're dumb?

KAL: Probably not.

DOC: No, of course not. Let's say you're average intelligence, but you don't have any common sense. Okay. That may actually help you, based on the bosses that I've had. How about fat?

KAL: Yeah.

DOC: How about fat? You're going to be seen the same way when you're fat?

KAL: No.

DOC: Of course not. Let's say if you're fat with less control of it than other people. Some people, myself, you're fat because you're a little bit lazy, you're eating too much. You know, whatever. You're not taking care of yourself. You're not doing the hard work. Your metabolism slows a little when you get older. Fine. There are a lot of people though that are fat because of underlying circumstances. They also just generally have a slower metabolism. It's more difficult for them.

All things being equal, guy walks in the room who is thin, guy walks in the room who is fat, who is getting the job?

KAL: The thin guy.

DOC: How about ugly? Ugly.

KAL: Oh, yeah. You can't control that.

DOC: You cannot control ugly. And guess what, it's going to advantage you if you're pretty.

KAL: Absolutely.

DOC: All things being equal, good-looking guy walks in the room, bad-looking guy walks in the room. Who is getting the job? The good-looking guy. Right? All things being equal. Good-looking woman walks in the job. Ugly woman walks in the job. Who is getting it?

KAL: Good-looking.

DOC: No. The one with the large breasts. That's usually how it goes.

No. Seriously, but that matters too. Even if it's subconscious. We like certain things. Individuals, you're constantly making millions of calculations all the time.

Every time, sizing everything up, in every situation. On levels you don't even know about. And you are attracted to things that are attractive to you. You are drawn to things that are like you. Things that you appreciate.

And that's okay. It's human nature. It's not to say, well, welcome in, Bill, can't give you the job because you're black. Have a good day. I'm not justifying that. That's wrong. I'm saying that you can't control some of this. And, by the way, that's not just to say that white people are saying it. It happens with every race. Right?

You're an Asian guy and you're doing some hiring, you're going to have some biases, based on your race. But then, beyond race, religion, and gender, there are other ways you could be disadvantaged or disadvantaged.

I grew up near Cleveland, Ohio. How do you think that helped me out? Versus the guy who grew up in Malibu or Florida or whatever. A lot of places -- is it a small advantage or disadvantage?

Sure. But still, those things matter. Who is more interesting at the party? Right?

The guy who was from Key West, the guy who was from Manhattan, or the guy from Cleveland.

KAL: Hey. It's all about life experiences.

DOC: Well, these things all add up who you are and what you present. Another thing, your name. And I'm not talking about ethnic names which, by the way, those biased people as well. They've done studies where if you have certain ethnic names, it could bias you or whatever. But really bizarre, goofy, bad, whatever name, versus seemingly more traditional name.

There are countless ways you're advantaged or disadvantaged.

And yet, these Black Lives Matter groups, the people who constantly tell you that they're getting the worse deal. Meanwhile, they live in America, in 2017, where it is impossible to starve.

KAL: Yeah.

DOC: The only way you're starving is if you are simply -- if you're not willing to pick up the food and put it in your mouth. And sometimes, we even put it in your mouth for you.

Seriously, there's food everywhere. We throw out better food than some people eat on a regular basis.

KAL: Oh, absolutely.

DOC: This is just how it is. There's food banks everywhere. There's welfare. There's like 16 federal government plans to give you money and food.

You live in America in 2017. It's impossible to starve. You've got protections like nowhere else. America, the most diverse country on the planet, to check out that last Olympics.

KAL: Uh-huh.

DOC: In walks the Chinese team. How many white people do they have on it?

KAL: None.

DOC: All righty then. That team from Mexico, how many black people and Asian people do they have on it?

KAL: None.

DOC: No. Probably not a whole lot. You see the American team. Blacks, whites, Asians, Hispanics.

KAL: Yep. All kinds.

DOC: We are the most diverse country. And yet we let people lie to us and promote the fact that we need help with diversity. Screw that. The rest of the world needs help with diversity. If it matters so much. How come you're not bitching about China for not having more non-Asian people? Because they're Chinese. It's who they are. It's different. And it's acceptable.

KAL: That's a great point. I wonder if the rhetoric in these other countries is the same as it is here, about diversity.

DOC: The Chinese people going, you know, it's all these Asian people. I don't get it.

KAL: But, I mean, are there different levels of Chinese?

DOC: Of course. There's classes. There's regions. There's classes.

KAL: But do they cry for equality in the same way --

DOC: It's more economic. See, but we have allowed people to tie economic inequality to racial inequality. And they'll use it back and forth, whatever benefits them. So when Denise Young Smith, the former now VP of Apple, heading up diversity inclusion says that diversity goes beyond race, gender, and sexual orientation, she's right.

What we have allowed people to do is walk into a room, see white people, and say, "It's not diverse."

KAL: Yeah.

DOC: No, it may be. You could have all black people, and it could be diverse. It's all about life experiences, what you bring to the table. All of these things that aren't easily measurable. But they want to look, ironically, at the color of a person's skin and size up the situation.

KAL: It's incredibly racist, ironically.

DOC: It is incredibly racist. Stop. Knock it off. There's no way you will ever get to true diversification in all things. Okay. We have picked these 14 people to head up our whatever department and we've got exactly the same number of people from this region of the country and this person who is this weight. And this person who is this height. How about height? You don't think the tall guy is going to get the job? Of course he will. So we got to make sure we have proportionate people that are short, middle, tall, whatever. There's no way to go down the list and check every box and make sure it's even across-the-board.

How about this? We start judging people on their character.

Not if they're from Cleveland. Or short. Or fat. Or rich. Or white. How about the content of their character?

KAL: Whoa, whoa, whoa.

DOC: It's crazy, I know.

KAL: Crazy. Step it back some.

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.


It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.