How to Earn Your Diversity Cookie Without Doing a Damn Thing
I was browsing through the list of industry employers who will be recruiting at AGU, and came upon one firm which bills itself as an “affirmative action employer”. In the next sentence, the ad explains that this means that they recruit and promote the most qualified candidates “without regard to race, sex, [etc.]…”. I am guessing they added that because they were worried about running off the white male applicants with all this scary language about establishing a level playing field.
When did “affirmative action” cease to be a description for a class of policies, pointed to by countless shrill right-wingers as the very definition of unfairness, and become instead a meaningless way to give a shiny progressive gloss to your thoughtless continuation of the racist, sexist, etc.-ist status quo? My copy of What Words Mean must be out of date.
NB: I’m not making any specific claims here about the obligations any particular consulting companies might have to establish a real affirmative action program. However, any time someone tries to claim that their failure to actively discriminate is the same thing as an active attempt to mitigate the deep-seated effects of centuries of injustice, and they totally deserve a diversity cookie, I will puke on their shoes.
ETA: Huh, this’ll learn me to spout off without Googling – apparently “affirmative action employer” has a legal definition, and is a designation you might want if you are bidding for federal contracts.
Weird. I still think that last sentence is to avoid scaring the white men, though.