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Yesterday evening, I had an experience that I would like to share ...

My wife and I went out to dinner with some family friends. Ru & Brian are White and conservatives. They also own a small electrical contracting business with about 200 employees.

As usual, the topic of conversation turned to race and social responsibility. This led us to touch on Affirmative Action. Brian was doing his usual rant about AA, "How can I be held responsible for the sin of slavery when neither I nor any of my family was even in the US during slavery?" and "Accepting that slavery is at the root of many of the social and economic disparities between Black and White folk, the simple fact is, 'Two wrongs, don't make a right.'"

Well, I thought back to a post that I saw here (I think it was one of nmaginate's posts) and countered with, "In dealing with illnesses in general and cancer in particular, physicians often use medicines to treat the ailment that are toxic to the patient. However, the treatment is measured to address the ailment and not harm the patient. If it weren't for the ailment, the toxic treatment would not have to be applied. But because there is an ailment, there must be treatment or the patient would surely die. In the employment context, there is an illness, racism/discrimination. There is a protocal to treat the illness, AA. Although some may view the protocal as toxic, it's necessary to cure the body."

Both Ru and Brian understood and accepted the argument, but not to be outdone, riled against the government's involvement. He said that it is in private industry's interest to hire the best qualified person for any jobs on the market, without governmental interference.

I agreed with him, but asked, "If the government does not get involved, how would the protocal be applied? You have about 200 employees, how many are Black? Do you have any process for seeking out qualified Black electricians or helpers or even ditchdiggers?"

He said that he didn't and asked why should he. He applies the same process in seeking all employees. He puts an ad in the paper or accepts referrals from his employees.

So I went back to the medical analogy. I told him that putting a process in place to actively seek out qualified Blacks is like during flu season, getting a vaccination against the flu. You know that flu germs are out there, so before you catch it, you take steps to prevent it. We know that discrimination is out there, so before you suffer from it, you take steps to prevent it.

I then said that looking at the demographics of his company, maybe he is already suffering the symptoms of the ailment, but it just hasn't grown invasive enough to cause discomfort.

Brian thought for a moment, then asked what would an AA program look like and how much would it cost.

Changin' 'em one at a time.
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As always... THANKS FOR SHARING!

That medical analogy was from a link article about Reverse Discrimination and don't represent words of my own...

There's a serious treatment, I think, of how institutionalized and invisible the process is because it's so engrained.

I've been plugging it a bit here... the PBS series RACE: The Power Of Illusion.
It explores how so much of that kind of stuff is "socially engineered"...

Also, you might ask your friend a question HOW FAIR is it, in terms of being inclusiveness or making an honest attempt to find/hire qualified Blacks for him to hire by referral or suggestion of his White employees who will more than likely have mostly White friends... and what percentage of hirees come from referral vs open applications.

80% of jobs (nationally) are supposedly filled by that "referral" or who you know method vs (20%)open-wanted ads hiring.

I think your story about the Lay-Offs based on JOB PERFORMANCE that displaced mostly the "entitled" third generation White employees who wanted to scream racism showed how the WHO YOU KNOW game (my dad works there) has systematically worked against us.

THANKS!!
One other thing you should note Kewli is that intent does not have to be present in order for ones actions to be racist and discriminatory. Companies that hire using cronyism, may only be guilty of giving friends an family members of employees jobs, however if 70% of a company work force is white and the friends and family they recommend for the open position at said company is white, the end result would be the shutting out of qualified Black applicants. I am sure some of you have worked for a company that employed a whole family, including cousins, aunts and uncles. This kind of hiring is not intentionally racist and discriminatory; however the result of such hiring is racist and discriminatory.

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"We got to organize ourselves, We got to mobilize and there can't be no confusion in our collective solution, If not for ourselves, then for our kids, because we know who our enemy is!"

DPZ "for the hood"

More to come later!

Your Brother Faheem
It can also be asked, when African men and women face all those WMD's for this country in foreign countries, when we DIDN'T come here VOLUNTARILY, you know, how do those weapons act before they shred African AND Caucasian bodies into a million pieces. Where's the discrimination then????? Mixing's A-OK then, isn't it??? Now I ask, 'WHY'?? If there's no problem during WAR, why is it a problem any other time? What's different then??? Does the "N" factor lessen???

Let me just take this opportunity to tell All of America's parents, African, Caucasian, Hispanic, what the damn ever, my heart goes out to all of you who've lost and are losing your babies in this WAR. Seems we lose 6 or more every day. Must have lost zillions since I've been born. It just never stops. brofrown
Well let me ax you a question?

You're a Black business owner, you have 5 jobs to fill in your company. 5 blacks, 5 asians, 5 latinos, 5 whites, and 5 felons (25 applicants in all). All have equal education, equal experience in the industry, and equal amounts of positive references. You have a policy of diversity in the workplace. Who do you hire?
I would hire based on the goals of the company. If the goal of the company is to diversify the staff then I would hire those who will help me reach the goal the company has set forth.

Simple huh!?

-------------------------
"We got to organize ourselves, We got to mobilize and there can't be no confusion in our collective solution, If not for ourselves, then for our kids, because we know who our enemy is!"

DPZ "for the hood"

More to come later!

Your Brother Faheem
Isn't that an argument for diversity when applied to larger companies with multi-ethnic accounts?

Kweli's example had 200 employees...

Companies, communities, capital didn't just appear overnight.... they all reach back into the more visibly checked past and set this system in motion.

Blacks didn't have a foothold then and can't get much of one now (in terms of uplifting whole communities) because YOU defend favoritism! while at the same time defend the UNCHANGED system itself.

CHANGE the system... then favoritism as I see it is not a problem...
The financial goals of the company do not negate or go against the hiring goals of the company. The company has a standard that must be met in its hiring practices, and no company will set a goal or make a policy counter their financial goal. The hiring goal is to hire the best qualified man or woman and to meet the company's diversity goal. It does not matter who the targeted customer of this company will be, any qualified man or woman will be able to make the sell. Any bias and affinities the customer may have like a Latino man or woman preferring a Latino man or woman selling them real estate is independently exclusive from the hiring practice of the company. The company has a hiring goal and those who are qualified and help the company reach that goal should be hired.

Simple Huh!?


Are you suggesting that because the customer is Latino that it would be in the company's best interest to hire Latino men and women to service them? This again is part of the problem in this country, this kind of thinking infers that non Latino men and women will be incapable of selling real estate to Latino men and women, secondly it also assumes that having a Latino or whom ever you hire in relation to your customer base will be able to close the deal because of their race alone. There is no social implications in the hiring of real estate agents, now if the Job was for a teaching position at a school with 98% Black children, I would then say the applicant ability to relate to the customer far outweighs the hiring goals of the Board of Education because in the educating of Black children there is social implications and our children I believe would be better served by the Black teachers if all applicants are equal in qualifications.

If now you want to discuss the seemingly contradictory stance on the two issues, I would be more than willing to get deeper into why Black teachers teaching Black children is in the best interest of our children versus why the demographics being served by a real estate company is irrelevant to the actual real estate agent race.

-------------------------
"We got to organize ourselves, We got to mobilize and there can't be no confusion in our collective solution, If not for ourselves, then for our kids, because we know who our enemy is!"

DPZ "for the hood"

More to come later!

Your Brother Faheem
Well, Watcher, let me tell you how your scenerio has plays out with the owner being White ...

S/He hires 4 of the white candidates without regard to their qualifications, only considering do I like them and can they minimally do the job (or be trained to do so).

S/He then compares the qualifications of the remaining 21 candidates. If the most qualified of the remaining candidates happens to be the one (or two) remaining White candidate (depending on the races of the ex-felons), s/he doesn't think twice about the process. It was a fair process and they hired the most qualified candidate.

If the most qualified candidate happens to be one of the Black or Latino candidates, and to a lesser degree, one of the Asian candidates, s/he proclaims loudly that s/he respects diversity in the workplace and holds up this candidate as an example of his/her magnanimity. Thus, setting up this most qualified candidate to be viewed as merely "another AA hire."

Oh yeah, and don't forget about the one (or two) unsuccessful White candidates, who call in to the Rush Limbaugh or Mike Savage radio shows to lament on how AA has, once again, stolen a job from a deserve White person.
Kweli, I don't mean to suggest anything by saying the company's customers are mainly Latino.

In a "perfect" world that embraces true diversity the most qualified person from each of the groups that applied would be hired. We all know that this doesn't happen in white businesses or "minority" owned businesses. "Minorities" have a "good 'ol boy" network too...the whole system stinks no matter from which angle you look at it. Wether it's the Def Jam headquarters or your friend's electrical contracting business. People always talk about diversity, but rarely does it occur...I don't know how to solve the problem, but accurately identifying the perpetrators is a start...
Subtly suggesting that Def Jam is discriminating against whites as a means to justify discrimination by white businesses and without providing any proof by way of law suits or even allegations of discrimination by Def Jam only shows your own racist thinking that white racism is somehow reactionary and not proactive. There are no Black good ole boy networks, because there are very few businesses run by Black men and women that only cater to Black men and women that could survive allegations of discrimination and not have their bottom line affected by it.

-------------------------
"We got to organize ourselves, We got to mobilize and there can't be no confusion in our collective solution, If not for ourselves, then for our kids, because we know who our enemy is!"

DPZ "for the hood"

More to come later!

Your Brother Faheem
I didn't subtly suggest anything. I'm not justifying anything, I'm not endorsing white racism or black racism. Discriminitory hiring practices happen every day from every race...discrimination is not a "white" thing....If you're gonna call people out, call everybody out...While you're making sure that the white man isn't discriminating, make sure that the black, brown, and yellow man aren't doing it either....we need to change more that a white man's perspective on hiring practices...
quote:
Originally posted by Kweli4Real:
...Both Ru and Brian understood and accepted the argument, but not to be outdone, riled against the government's involvement. He said that it is in private industry's interest to hire the best qualified person for any jobs on the market, without governmental interference.


I'm confused. What, exactly, is the government's involvement in Affirmative Action? I thought AA was something an employer decided to pursue. What government mandate is there to have an affirmative action plan?
But again, what do quotas and remedial hiring goals have to do with the government? It sounds like your white associates were saying that these things are somehow put forth and forced upon employers by the government. These things are put forth by the employers themselves (which, of course, can include the government in their own hiring practices). But the only thing the government has to do with these things is that government courts have generally found them unconstitutional. So I'm not sure what your friends were talking about.
Okay Vox, but there are instances where the government (the courts) uphold and/or enforce AA programs. For example, in cases where a company has been found to discriminate in the past, e.g., the trade unions, the courts support remedial hiring goals that are the result of litigation. There are other instances where the government refuses to award contracts to companies that have a history of discrimination, unless the company institutes some sort of AA programs.

In both cases, the Conservative spin is that government is forcing AA programs on private industry.
quote:
Originally posted by ThaWatcher:
Well let me ax you a question?

You're a Black business owner, you have 5 jobs to fill in your company. 5 blacks, 5 asians, 5 latinos, 5 whites, and 5 felons (25 applicants in all). All have equal education, equal experience in the industry, and equal amounts of positive references. You have a policy of diversity in the workplace. Who do you hire?


I wouldn't hire anyone. I'd send them all the State-operated job service and have them tested -- first with a drug screening, and second with tests applicable to the industry. I would hire the top five. Running a plant is not about rehabilitation.

I know that sounds "cold." I've done it the "preferred" way. It cost me "an arm and a leg." If you are running a small company, you can't afford to do it "by the seat of the pants." A small mistake, in a small operaton, and the whole thing can go into disarray.

By the way, 200 employees is small only in the defintion of the U.S. Dept. of Labor. They call 500 employees "small."

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.

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