Friday, September 30, 2005


You can, if you like, totally ignore the rest of the story by Jack Shafer about how a New Yorker journo lost out on a job at the Washington Post because he was white and the follow-on histronics of the journalists who like to attack even their own. This money quote near the bottom of the article is worth embroidering just so you remember it.
Whether the claims are true or not, when diversity plays a significant role in hiring it makes race the prism through which folks start viewing their jobs.
Exactly. Which is why affirmative action at college campuses, in the workplace, and in newspapers leads to separateness in awareness and by implied fiat. If you are a gay journalist and are hired as such, you know without being told what is expected. You are there to promote gayness first and be a journalist second. (God knows where being human comes in.) Black journalists are expected to be loyal to blacks without question, liberal media notions of "liberalism as a liberator" without thinking, and if you do any investigation it ought to be framed accordingly. The same is true of women in the newsroom, chosen exclusively for their dedication to girlishness. Maureen Dowd comes to mind. A cheerleader in her own mind, she knows the score and stereotype and can flaunt dumb blonde thinking without being blonde.

Diversity hires can also shield middle management from criticism. In the newsroom it pays to hire gay copy editors so they can complain loudy about perceived insults. That way, when the section editor makes a decision, it's based on his sensitivity to diversity, and not because he's a flaming liberal with a mission to spike the reporter's work. This happened to Jeff Jacoby at the Boston Globe when two gay copy editors helped squash his freedom of speech. Diversity hires at universities serve the same purpose. They simultaneously prop up administrations that are incompetent and decidedly liberal and help pass along the defects to their students.

In the workplace, diversity hires function as apartheid markers, separate but equal -- but more separate than equal, if you follow the drift. No one even expects that they were hired for being, well, equal. Certainly not those who hire them. Management wants the cover, and if you demean people by thinking that they are inferior to begin with, and it is just your personal wonderfulness that wants to give them a break, it wasn't your intention to promote an ugly racial stereotype of incompetence. The side benefit, besides the implied "wonderfulness" and shield from criticism, is the personal loyalty that creates an instant shock trooper who will intercede for the manager. "Hey! That's my friend there!" Hire enough "diverse" employees and no one can criticize you for anything.

It's only a slight extension of affirmative action to multiculturalism. The principles are the same.

No comments: