The color of outsourcing

Some U.S.-based Indian techies have a big concern: a possible racial backlash against foreign-born workers.

I've received several private e-mails from Indians working in the U.S. since we began publishing the offshore outsourcing special on Tuesday. Their big concern: a possible racial backlash against foreign-born workers.

To their credit, the hired help in Washington has refrained from playing racial politics--so far, at least. But with more Americans worried about losing their jobs, all it takes is one demagogue to ignite an uproar.

Admittedly, my antennae aren't as sensitive to the nuances of this issue as someone from, say, Bangalore, working in San Mateo. But you have to ask whether there isn't some linkage between antiforeigner bias and the uproar over outsourcing, or the H-1B and L-1 visa programs. I don't recall a similar dust-up when U.S. computer companies opened up call centers and expanded their operations into Northern Europe a few years back. I'd be interested to hear your take on the topic.

Tech Culture
About the author

Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.


Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
Uber's tumultuous ups and downs in 2014 (pictures)
The best and worst quotes of 2014 (pictures)
A roomy range from LG (pictures)
This plain GE range has all of the essentials (pictures)
Sony's 'Interview' heard 'round the world (pictures)
Google Lunar XPrize: Testing Astrobotic's rover on the rocks (pictures)