Mr. Zuckerberg! Action required now


Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan with their newborn baby Max. PHOTO/Los Angeles Times

There is a new fad among the utmost rich people to announce a donation of most of their wealth at some future time. A number of factors can be behind that: publicity, tax evasion, gaining more business, and so on. With the dangerous and uncertain times we are living in, and the speculative nature of business corporations, one can’t predict how the future will turn up. Most probably, personally none of the rich ones are going to be out on the street to survive, but who can tell with certainty that their wealth figures will show the same or more zeroes and not less? They are gamblers of the global casino where things can go sour as a result of a small incident.

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, via a letter to his newly born daughter Max on his Facebook site, announced that he and his wife Priscilla Chan “will give 99% of our Facebook shares — currently about $45 billion — during our lives” to fulfill their ideas of “advancing human potential and promoting equality.”

The capitalist system in the United States (and also elsewhere) allows a handful of people to accumulate wealth, through any means, to such an extent that they can influence government policies which could affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

These filthy rich people are the real Caesars of our globe. None of them wants to concentrate on the country they belong to; they eye the world. Zuckerberg is one of those Caesars who can call President Barack Obama when he wants to.

Zuckerberg writes, “While headlines often focus on what’s wrong, in many ways the world is getting better.” Yes! 80 wealthy people have control over as much wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population. Zuckerberg belongs to the group of 80.

He then says in the letter:

“As you begin the next generation of the Chan Zuckerberg family, we also begin the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to join people across the world to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation.”

The Black population in the US is 13.2% and Hispanic population is 17.4%. How many Blacks and Hispanics are employed by Zuckerberg’s Facebook? 2% Blacks and 4% Hispanics! Both figures have remained the same as last year.

The no. 2 executive at Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, when pressed by civil rights leader Jesse Jackson to explain the under representation of women and minorities, said: “We know we have a long way to go.” This is the usual crap one regularly hears from corporate people.

Facebook’s current demographic data IMAGE/Facebook

Talking of promoting equality worldwide sounds hollow when there is so much inequality within the US. Why not first give equality to the Blacks, Hispanics, and Indigenous people (1.7% of the US population) in the United States and then concentrate on creating equality worldwide. All three groups have been victims of the white European conquests of the Americas, slavery, and racist domestic policies. To eliminate criminal inequality and to produce genuine equality requires that Facebook should hire more than 13.2% of the Blacks, more than 17.4% of Hispanics, and more than 1.7% of the Natives.


More than half of Facebook’s revenues are generated outside the US and so all this talk of “advancing human potential and promoting equality,” because basically the world for Zuckerberg is a planet full of consumers.

B. R. Gowani can be reached at

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