I find that it is always useful, when considering the legality of a practice, to put the shoe on the other foot--that is, to ask what the reaction would be if a measure being proposed to advance "diversity" were, instead, being used in a way to tilt the scales in favor of whites and men. I'm not asserting that the two will always be morally equivalent--although I think they usually will be--but it is a helpful way to determine whether or not what's going on is discrimination. That, after all, is the issue for civil rights law-enforcers, because discrimination is almost always illegal.Speaking of the EEOC, rumor has it that the EEOC's own workforce doesn't look like a America.There seems to be an underrepresentation of white people at the EEOC.
Thus, for example, we can dismiss the common suggestion that, so long as the beneficiary of a preference is "qualified," then there is no problem. The question is whether the person hired or promoted is the best qualified. No one would allow a company to defend a pro-white or a pro-male preference by saying that it was afforded only to "qualified" white men.
Nor does it matter that race, ethnicity or sex is "just one factor" that a company considers. Would it be all right if being a white man were "just one factor" that weighed in an applicant's favor? Of course not.
Nor is it sufficient to assert that "no quotas are used." Would a "goal" to hire more white guys be acceptable? Again, of course not.
In my written statement, I collect many examples of the kinds of discrimination that are going on--and then I explain why they lack logical, empirical, moral, and, especially, legal justification. Here are some examples.
If the president of a company tells his middle managers that if they fail to meet their "goal" of hiring or promoting a certain percentage of this or that group, they won't be getting a year-end bonus, that is discrimination.
If a company tells its outside legal counsel that it will be fired unless it fields a suitably "diverse" legal team, that is discrimination.
If the company announces that referrals of women are more welcome than referrals of men, or that applications from "underrepresented minorities" are more welcome than those from other minority and nonminority groups, that is discrimination.
If an internship or a mentoring opportunity is set aside for certain racial groups, that is discrimination.
America is becoming an increasingly multiracial and multiethnic society. That can be a source of great strength, but it can also be a source of division if people know that they aren't all being held to the same standards. The only way to enforce the antidiscrimination laws in our multiracial, multiethnic society is by playing no favorites.
We cannot say that Latinos are more protected than whites, but less than blacks, and the same as Asians, unless the Latino is Mexican (but not if he is Cuban) and the Asian is Saudi (but not if he is Filipino). The way that Title VII is written plays no favorites, and that is the way it should be enforced.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Here's some testimony Roger Clegg was supposed to give to the EEOC before they decided is was too "politically incorrect" to give:
Posted by Steve Bartin at 8:45 AM