I want to thank everyone who has taken or will take the time to read and comment on my latest post on the concept of race.
I knew this was a touchy subject, and if I was going to ruffle some feathers, so be it. Hell, the same thing got me in trouble in Corporate-Carpet-Land. But I was also going to articulate what some people were already thinking, politically incorrect as it might be.
The important thing is the dialog. Racism, real or perceived, is still a raw nerve for many if not most Americans, with strong feelings just below the surface. I am honored that some of you shared those feelings -- as well as some excellent factual material and well-thought-out opinions -- with me. Please continue to write. I am perfectly comfortable with agreeing to disagree...and professional enough to respond courteously (I hope) to everyone.
The pillars of my approach to life and truth are science, reason, and humanism, with an emphasis on human worth, dignity, autonomy, and individuality. Also, when you sacrifice competence to anything (like diversity quotas), competence will suffer. A = A. So to sum up, the racial/gender payback (AKA "affirmative action")...
-- flies in the face of science, since it assumes the existence of race, as well as a non-existent uniformity within groups (the philosophy of "essentialism"): it doesn't matter which Hispanics you hire, just find some minimally qualified warm bodies with the right surnames, fast. This is exceedingly degrading to "Hispanics" themselves -- or would be if they stopped to think about it.
-- is degrading to individuals, not only the "protected classes" (they actually call them that) but in fact everyone whose qualifications are overlooked in the rush to fill quotas;
-- further humiliates the protected classes by assuming they can't compete by the same standards (OK, for some reason, they're not offended; I'm offended for them);
-- undermines human autonomy via bureaucratic fiat (just two examples: sound managerial decisions are trumped by the need to fill quotas; people have to hold their tongues lest they commit a gender error or some other speech-code violation);
-- undermines the quality and performance of organizations, which waste huge amounts of time and resources on AA and diversity -- time stolen from real work -- and often hire people less talented and/or competent than the other candidates;
If you're a humanist who loves reason, you have to loathe the entire bankrupt enterprise. (If not, tell me why.) It's irrational (except that revenge is rational), unscientific, oppressive, wasteful and degrading. I am in favor of equal opportunity, diversity and multiculturalism -- but vehemently reject the odious and coercive way in which they are achieved.
PS. My views on affirmative action have been strongly influenced by economist Thomas Sowell (he's black!!), who has done years of research on ethnicity and achievement and written extensively on affirmative action.
The most telling point of many he makes is that blacks were already rising out of poverty before politicians intervened with their grand schemes of govt. handouts, forced diversity, and payback-by-proxy.
I invite A/N folks to read http://capitalismmagazine.com/2003/04/the-grand-fraud-affirmative-a... . I am not a racist and do not think we should do nothing about racism.