Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Public Sins of Omission
Statistics do not lie and facts are their own evidence. The over-representation of African Americans and women in negative or dysfunctional categories and their under-representation in areas of wealth and well-being are the visible representation of behind the scenes discrimination in the labor market.
The NFL's Rooney Rule which required all teams to interview at least one minority candidate when seeking to fill its head coaching positions has been expanded to include front office and football operations positions.
The Rooney Rule goes directly at the myth of colorblindness in hiring practices which is used to disguise the legacy and preference for white applicants by mandating that African Americans be included in the pool of people being considered for a job. The omission of blacks and women from the interview process makes visible the hidden agenda and intent of those who favor the status quo.
While the rule is not perfect, it has enjoyed a measure of success in the NFL and is a direct attack upon the problem of lack of opportunity and access provided to blacks in the labor market.
The next step?
Expand the Rule or a modified version to other employment areas where African Americans are scarce such as college football coaching and administration, government, university faculty and other positions as well as in the private sector.
Only by assertive positive endorsement will the behind-closed-door sins of passing on jobs to whites without serious consideration of minority candidates continue.