Companies like Uber are getting raked over the coals for collaborating with the Trump regime. And rightly so. But IBM’s new statement on the Muslim ban might be the weakest yet from any tech company. IBM may as well have put out a statement saying “puppies are good; we like puppies, don’t you?”
IBM has long believed in diversity, inclusion and tolerance. As we shared with all IBMers this weekend, we have always sought to enable the balance between the responsible flow of people, ideas, commerce and information with the needs of security, everywhere in the world. As IBMers, we have learned, through era after era, that the path forward – for innovation, for prosperity, and for civil society – is the path of engagement and openness to the world. Our company will continue to work and advocate for this.
IBM’s CEO Ginni Rometty is on Donald Trump’s advisory council, but I’m still astonished at how they were able to squeeze so many meaningless platitudes into a statement in order to make it the least controversial thing ever written down. As Matthew Green said on Twitter “I’ve read technical manuals with more content than this IBM statement.”
The company may as well have written it on a soggy slice of Wonder Bread, wrapped the entire thing in a wet towel, and hurled it into the Pacific Ocean. Which is to say, this is weak shit that accomplishes nothing.
But I guess we shouldn’t expect a moral backbone from the company that assisted the Nazi regime in genocide. IBM collaborated with the Nazis in the 1930s, providing computers to tabulate German census data to see who should be slaughtered. You know those numbers tattooed on Jews at Auschwitz? They started as numbers issued by IBM. One hopes that as we see the rise of fascism in our own country, companies would take lessons from history in the face of discrimination.
If you’re going to bother to put out a statement, you may as well take a stand. It’s getting worse every day in the United States as the Trump regime continues to flout the rule of law and destroy everything that we love about the country. Yesterday, Trump fired the Attorney General for refusing to uphold his unconstitutional executive order. This is no time for hedging and meaningless corporate missives about “the responsible flow of people” around the world and “the path for engagement.”
It’s time for everyone to say something of substance, if you’re going to bother saying anything at all. Otherwise you’re just wasting our time.