Today's lesson, Racism. If you see something written here that you’ve said or done, use it as an opportunity. Take it as a wake up call and make the decision to grow, change and be conscious of your own privilege. Remember, I am not a speaker for the entirety of a people. Use this blog as a reference tool, not as the one and only view on the topic.
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How many times have you heard “I can’t get a job because of Affirmative Action” or some variation of this line?
There is an ongoing rhetoric about how white men are the new minority. This idea that they, themselves feel the need to perpetuate. For the rest of the day, I am going to talk about that.
It’s not a law. That’s right, it’s an “Initiative.” What does that mean? Well, it means that companies have the option. Not just companies but states. There are actually a couple of states that say that they “Do not recognize” Affirmative Action. Yes, there have been several “Executive Orders” signed by a few different Presidents but…that was about “Diversity.” Which was also an initiative not so much a law. Yes, there are actual laws about discrimination in the work place. As a matter of fact, when people talk about “Affirmative Action LAWS,” that is what they mean. If someone were to sue because they believed that they were not hired or not promoted based on being “Diverse” it would be called an Affirmative Action Lawsuit. Tricky isn’t it? The wording in the Affirmative Action Initiative is “The standard of compliance is good faith.” Seriously, that’s what it says.
You only need one. That’s right! The companies that do have some sort of “Diversity initiative” within their company only need one to be able to call themselves “Diverse.”
One what? That’s the best part, the “One” they need can come from a very interesting list and still be considered “Diverse.” You may have known that racial minorities, women and the disabled were on the list, right? How about Veterans. Did you know about them? Well, it’s true. If you have someone who has served in any branch of the military, they can be your “Diversity hire.” Ever wonder why the question “Have you ever served in the military” is on every job application? Now you know.
Not All Companies Do it. When I say “Not All” I mean, very few. In America, EIGHTY PERCENT of companies DON’T have an Affirmative Action or Diversity Initiative. When you see that Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) sign, it means they are not allowed to NOT hire you because of your diversity. Now, EOE actually IS a law. That is an entirely different story. Although, EOE get’s filed under “Affirmative Action Law” as well. It tuns out that the most common companies that DO use the Affirmative Action Initiative are Fortune 500 companies. Affirmative Action or having a “Diversity initiative” is more of a PR tool than anything else.
“Every company’s got a quota.” Funny thing about people who say that, they don’t know what the hell they are talking about. While diversity is only an initiative, company diversity “Quotas” are actually illegal.
Let’s go to college. Now, if you are of the “Oppressed white male” population, you know that getting into school is super difficult for you, right? Except it’s not. Yes it’s true, there are many schools that once held a certain amount of seats for racially diverse students. Problem with your complaining is the actual number! In 2003, a lawsuit went to the Supreme Court. Two separate students claimed that they did not receive admission to a Michigan college because they were white. Their lawsuits were largely spoken about in the media. Not surprisingly, it was about how white people weren’t getting into college because of their race but there wasn’t a lot of time spent on any of the outcome. Hmm…I wonder why. They lost. Both lost for the same reason. They weren’t qualified under the schools guidelines. Keep in mind, although this tuned into a big discussion about race, at this time, “Diversity” had a large umbrella of things outside of race. Here’s my favorite part, because of the ongoing outcry of white people claiming they were being discriminated against, a study was done to see how Affirmative Action in college actually affected white applicants. It turns out, it does. Before you get to happy, Mr. White Men are Oppressed, let me finish! The nationwide study proved that yes, it did affect white applicants. If there were no “Diversity Initiative,” white applicant’s acceptance would go from 25% to 26.5%. Soooo….