Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Reverse Discrimination: A Bigger Threat to America than Terrorism

At the risk of arousing ire from politically correct readers, it's ever clearer that the Obama Administration is increasing reverse discrimination at an accelerating rate. It is aggressively promulgating even such absurd policies as trying to prohibit employers from doing criminal background checks if it results in fewer non-Asian minorities getting hired. This is called "Disparate Impact" litigation.

True, if the government sued an employer for disparate impact, the employer could prevail but the cost of defending a business-necessity lawsuit is so onerous that most employers just sigh and forgo using criminal background checks to screen prospective employers.

Imagine you live honestly and have not committed any felonies. Now, you're told that the Obama Administration is pressuring employers to give felons as good a chance as you have to get a job. Is that fair to you? To the employer? To society?

When employers are ever more precluded from using merit-based criteria to screen applicants, is it any wonder America is finding it ever more difficult to compete with countries such as China and India? And of course, that will result in greater unemployment for all Americans.

Now imagine that you owned a rental apartment. "Disparate Impact" pressures you to give equal treatment to felons and non-felon applicants. Is that fair to you? To applicants who are not felons?

I believe that nothing is more devastating to the nation than to assault merit-based selection.

Why would the Obama Administration do that? Of course, it believes it is trying to improve, not destroy the nation. The problem, I believe, is that Obama has filled his administration with fellow True Believers in the primacy of redistributing resources to the have-nots: from jobs to housing to university slots. The Administration deems that so important that it is willing to push merit toward the back seat. In my view, that is short-sighted and very dangerous policy.

Thus, the Administration promulgates disparate impact lawsuits, allowing colleges to heavily consider race, urging amnesty for illegals, employers to have "targets" for race and ethnicity in all job categories, etc.

Here is an update on the Obama Administration's anti-merit efforts from Roger Clegg, President of the Center for Equal Opportunity.

Waiting for Fisher
by Roger Clegg
The Center for Equal Opportunity had urged the Court to grant review in this Mt. Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action, as discussed here, and we’re glad that the Court did so this week. 
It presents the issue — never resolved by the Court — whether a “disparate impact” cause of action may be filed under the Fair Housing Act.  Such a cause of action alleges “discrimination” based on statistical imbalances, and notwithstanding the fact that the challenged practice is nondiscriminatory by its terms, in its intent, and in its application.

So, for example, the refusal to rent to convicted felons, or to sell homes to people with poor work histories, or to rent or sell to people with bad credit ratings — all can be challenged if there is a disproportionate effect on this or that racial group, and then the defendant must prove some degree of “necessity” for the practice.
The Obama administration loves this approach, but here’s hoping the Court nixes it.
*          *          *
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under the Obama administration has likewise made it clear that it objects to criminal-background checks.  That’s for employers, mind you, not gun owners.  And it’s based on the same “disparate impact” approach, that statistically speaking some racial groups will be affected more than others if companies use these checks.

But the Commission’s objection to companies using criminal-background checks drew some attention last week, including a front-page, above-the-fold story by the Washington Post. The EEOC and its defenders would like the debate to hinge on whether the particular checks by a particular company are all that the good and wise would want them to be. ”It is a fairness issue,” said David Lopez, the Commission’s general counsel.

But there are a couple of more fundamental questions. First, who should get to make these decisions, absent a showing of actual discriminatory intent (again, not alleged here): The person who owns the company or a bunch of federal bureaucrats? And second, remember that the EEOC is not objecting to criminal-background checks per se, no matter how high-handed and unfair they are, so long as they do not have a politically incorrect racial effect. Now, what bearing does that have on a practice’s “fairness”?
*          *          *
Linda Greenhouse, a Supreme Court columnist for the New York Times, is trying yet again to persuade the Supreme Court not to decide the Fisher v. University of Texas case, in which the Center for Equal Opportunity is urging the Court to end racial preferences in university admissions. Here’s my posted response to Ms. Greenhouse:
It makes perfect sense for the Court to review this issue [of racial admissions preferences] again. For one thing, universities have shown that they cannot be trusted to weigh race only lightly; numerous studies have shown that, despite judicial warning, race continues to be given overwhelming weight. For another thing, the demographics of the country are changing so that, more and more, it is Asian students who are being discriminated against and Latino students who are being given preferential treatment. And there is more and more empirical data to suggest that the purported benefits of using racial preferences have been overstated, and that the costs are much higher (for example, “mismatching” students and schools has been shown to hurt the supposed beneficiaries of preferential treatment). And the issue of the case’s justiciability was exhaustively briefed at the cert stage in the case, with petitioner trouncing the University’s arguments.

As we await the Court’s opinion in Fisher, two recent polls have underscored that the public doesn’t like this kind of discrimination, and indeed likes it less and less with every tick of the clock.  You can read about the polls here.

And, if you want still more information on Fisher, you can watch this BBC clip (yours truly appears briefly at the 00:40 mark).

Keep your fingers crossed!


Anonymous said...

Marty, when you defend the position to eliminate affirmative action, you do need to speak to the alternatives for dealing with the people that inevitably will be affected by it negatively. What are the alternatives to people who will suffer due to disparate impact? A follow-up post clarifying your position on the fall out will be invaluable in understanding what are the viable alternatives. Admittedly there are no perfect answers but there are the least evil options to consider.

Marty Nemko said...

Good point, Anonymous.

My sense is that those people who cannot earn sustainable incomes in merit-based hiring should have, instead of welfare, get government-created jobs a la WPA.

If they fail at such work, I believe society has a responsibility to provide truly de-minimus support: basic group housing (like college dorms),etc.

Of course, those who are not at least minimally physically and mentally able-bodied would not be required to do that government-created work.

I believe that this approach is, net, far more beneficial to society than is reverse discrimination, especially of the severe type that pressures employers not to consider an applicant's having committed a felony when deciding whom to hire.

Jim B said...

I think Political Correctness is the biggest threat we face as a nation.

It prevents us from providing for own cultural self-preservation. We are so confused by muddle heading left wing PC thinking that we can’t even identify what is our culture, our goals, our interests so that we might defend ourselves and promote our identity. We either aren’t allowed any interests or identity (too racist, not PC) or we were never taught them in …

Our dumbed-down failed educational system, dominated by liberal PC moral relativists, who think everyone else's rights are more important and inclusion and equality of result are the paramount objectives. This system produces people who can’t make sound choices based on analysis of hard historical and scientific data. Clueless to the history, we skip along blindly adopting the policies of Europe, oblivious to their social problems (e.g. failure of multi-culturalism) and economic decline. Scientific inquiry is now a consensus game. If enough liberal enviro-religionists say that enough scientists agree with them then it passes muster as scientific fact giving them cause to exert further control over the productive forces.

Our shops and government agencies, etc. are becoming bilingual because it’s not PC to discriminate against people who don’t care to learn our language. It’s one of the most divisive trends in any nation, yet those who decry it are labeled divisive. And nobody laughs. The value of the melting pot in bringing together cultures is lost. So we will become Balkan-ized, Quebec-ized in the name of inclusion. People who protest pressing 1 for English get the blank stare.

It keeps us from providing for our own defense. We can’t even get out of our own way when under direct attack because profiling is not PC and identifying the enemy by name is “Islamaphobic” a made up nonsense word pushed on us by CAIR and their ilk who manipulate our systems to infiltrate from within.

http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&safe=off&q=White House FBI CAIR

Their useful idiots on the left are so deluded by ideals of tolerance that they advocate tolerance of the most intolerant extremists (Islamists), mouth-agape to the ridiculous conflictedness of their position.

Our sovereignty is lost. We can’t defend our own borders or remove illegals because it wouldn’t be PC to target a single group. We might need more entrepreneurs and engineers from Asia but no, our immigration policy is dictated by criminals who broke the law to be here. We can’t look at crime statistics to set immigration policies (not PC). Foreigners march on the streets of Santa Rosa where I live, carrying foreign flags in an act of war but it wouldn’t be PC to push that point. The muddle heads can’t distinguish between our roots as a melting pot of immigrants and an invasion of our borders by a rapidly reproducing population proudly proclaiming their pending majority. So I ask them: make me proud too - tell me about all the Hispanic Nobel Prize winners and the Hispanic countries with world-leading economies and educational systems. You know, so I can share the joy and be optimistic too.

In Mexico it’s a felony to cross the border or be in the country illegally:

“Foreigners may be barred from the country if their presence has upset “the equilibrium of the national demographics,” if they are deemed detrimental to “economic or national interests,” if they are not good citizens in their own country, if they have broken Mexican laws, or if “they are not found to be physically or mentally healthy.” (Article 37)

If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in the country illegally…you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots. Welcome to the USA, where people who advocate a balanced budget and a return to our constitution are labeled extremists. And nobody laughs.


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