Friday, October 09, 2009

Incidents of discrimination I have witnessed: I can't resist a note on personal knowledge of discrimination. I know I should stick to data, and I plan to show at some point that the research supposedly documenting how rife the country is with racism is mostly crap. But indulge me.

I've witnessed white people up close and personal for four decades. I have had conversations with hundreds of these folks. Of course, people talk more frankly about race with people of their own group, and I'm the kind of guy that people open up to. I've chatted with employers--the people who actually matter on the question of discrimination. In four decades, I am aware of one objectionable incident, and this was related to me by my wife.

She was working in an office at the time, and her boss had advertised some position. She (the boss) was going through a stack of resumes, saw one with the name "Shanneequa" or something like that, said she had seen enough, and threw the resume in the trash.

The other incident I can recall was not discrimination against a minority, but it is relevant. While in grad school, I was having a conversation with a white security officer. He told me that his career goal was to be a cop. About two years before, he had gone through the long application process, had learned that he had one of the top scores on the written examination, but subsequently found out that he was being dropped because the department needed to make more room for minority officers. The guy told me that as a kid he had never had any problem with blacks, but after losing his chance to go to the academy, he was looking for a white sheet.

Here is my personal experience with discrimination against white men. In my career, I have sat on nine faculty search committees. In every case, our ad strongly encouraged minorities to apply. This is the 21st century's way of telling white men they "need not apply." In three cases, we were told by the dean that she didn't want to see any white men sent up to her. In eight of nine cases, someone other than a white man was chosen, although they were roughly 40% of applicants.

Discrimination against minorities, my ass.


RobertHume said...

A white friend of mine had a very nice son who had dreamed all his life of being a parole officer in California.

He discovered in the 80's, I don't know the details, that there was no chance that he could be accepted, the jobs were reserved for minorities.

Luis said...

There's no need to make up stories to prove a point --- just get on with the data

Anonymous said...

she said had seen enough and threw the resume in the trash.

Worse. Than. Ten. Hitlers.


Ron Guhname said...


That's uncalled for. I'm in a good mood so I won't follow my policy of responding to insults with insults, but I don't like to be told what to do in my own space.

Anonymous said...

Luis, you can use the computer. Not bad for a hispanic.

Anonymous said...


In our company, we have made many positions out of thin air so we can basically say blacks and females are in management at our outposts. The reason we do this is so that corporate hq can remain lily-white for the most part. We have promoted many incompetent people to supervise super-competent people who literally need no supervision. We have created bogus positions for a few females in particular who dont do any real lab work, but cooridinate activities with the United Way and some other local charities (as well as check-signings at libraries and schools) for pure PR purposes. It looks good when they are there in clothing with our logo emblazoned on it, or are giving a lecture to area high school students in our logo'ed attire. It supposedly reflects well on us and gives us a "face" of diversity. The truth is that these are mascot employees who will never be allowed to make a decision attatched to any lever of weight. Mere mill clerk functionaries given spiels to memorize. They are PR. They have been placed over workhorse white guys and in many cases given authority over them.

Note: If you are a white guy, you can and will be fired if you get out of line or dont perform. There is no problem firing you. If you are a minority, they will tip-toe around you for years even if you screw up pretty badly. Dont get me wrong, we have a lot of fine minority employees. In fact, most are great. However there is that 10% or so who stick-it-to-the company early and often. They have to get truly out of sorts to get axed. It isn't right though.

There is one bright side to this situation though: The white guys especially seem to like to work hard and be very productive. The brag to each other about how much they were able to get done. Ive dealt with some hispanics who were the same way. There is something to be said for that. We need beta males in this world.

Anonymous said...

My husband works for a major multinational company that has its own diversity employees to do all the mickey mouse diversity crap so everyone else can get their work done. He said there are about 2000 of these employees. His boss was saying that it would make more sense to get rid of all of them instead of making cuts in each dept that is doing real work. Anyway, they are now going to lay people off, but the % of diversity folk cut won't be any greater than the real workers. Shame