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Old 08-13-2019, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Kearsen1 View Post
See, I think this is where talks about equality go off the rails. You can either be equal or you can be biased. Bias by nature is not equal.
Trying to legislate equality by giving advantages to people (who may very well be needful of them) is by definition not equal.
Except that's simply not true.

If there's a significant unintentional hiring bias against black people, instituting an intentional hiring bias in favor of black people absolutely is a step towards equality. It's not as good as just getting rid of the first unintentional bias, but it's a damn sight better than what you're proposing, where the subconscious bias is allowed to run rampant with nobody noticing or caring, and any attempt to combat it is somehow "racism". (This is what we call the "colorblind" approach, and there's a reason it's generally considered totally absurd by anyone who actually spends time studying racism and its impact.)

This is why I do not see a way to legislate away racial disparity in regards to what you WANT to see. We CAN legislate away racial disparity with what we DO SEE.
You will never ever know the person's mind or motivations. All of those white folks that got hired, all of them could or could NOT have been racially motivated. But you'd rather err on the side of calling everything racist (and you are far from the only one) than to just let things work themselves out by actually granting EVERYONE equality. (of opportunity anyway, because we all know that some folks want equality of outcomes to be the goal)
To quote Scott Alexander, "Arguing about whether a post-racial society should provide equality of opportunity or equality of results is a little like arguing about whether in the workerís paradise, everyone should have a pony or everyone should have two ponies."

Right now, there is not even equality of opportunity. Rigorous well-controlled study after rigorous well-controlled study has shown that women and minorities face gigantic amounts of baseless discrimination in various areas, most notably employment. This remains true even when, for example, the experiment is sending perfectly identical resumes out to companies but with the photo of a black or white guy at the top.

Once we have equality of opportunity, then we can start debating whether we should go further and try for equality of results. Until then, itís kind of a moot point.
If the only racism you can detect is overt, explicit racism, you will miss almost all racism. Then, when the people who have actually been paying attention and following societal trends speak up and say, "Hey, we need to actually do something about this subconscious/covert racism," the response from those who haven't been paying attention is "HEY, WHY ARE YOU DISCRIMINATING AGAINST ME?!".

This is a phenomenally naive understanding of bias and equality that ignores nearly everything we know about modern racism and subconscious biases. The honest truth is that even with affirmative action programs, people of color are underrepresented in colleges, high-paying jobs, and the government.

But sure, let's act like the main racist problem today are programs that aim to deal with that gap.


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