Post below lifted from Discriminations. See the original for links
An Associated Press article from the Boston Herald reports:
The state's first black governor says he's far outpacing his predecessor when it comes to hiring minorities into government management jobs, which he says is an important step in making the Statehouse feel like the people's house....So, in his first year the proportion of minorities among Gov. Patrick's new hires was nearly twice as high as their proportion of Massachusetts's population. Well, no one ever said that "diverse" hiring was incompatible with racially and ethnically unrepresentative hiring.
One way to remove the barriers, he said, is by hiring from a wider pool of candidates. Patrick cites as one of his first-year achievements hiring a "historically diverse" cabinet and leadership team.
Twenty-seven percent of hires in the governor's office are people of color and 52 percent are women, the Democratic governor said..... Massachusetts is about 86 percent white, 8 percent Hispanic, and 7 percent black, with some crossover because of people reporting mixed race, according to 2005 Census figures.
Surprise (Not)! Preferences Produce Animosity
Post below lifted from Discriminations. See the original for links
"Relations among African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans are fraught with tension and negative stereotypes," the Washington Post reported recently, referring to the results of a new poll by New America Media (HatTip to Ed Chin).
The Post, following the lead of New America Media, tried hard to put a positive gloss on the glum news, adding "... but the three groups share core values and a desire to get along better." The article was pretty mum about what those "core values" might be, and I found the evidence for the "desire to get along" less than overwhelming: "...more than 85 percent of responders said they should put aside their differences and work together to help their communities." In other words, a full 15% of the black, Asian, and Hispanic respondents had no "desire to get along" at all.
Clearly the poll's major finding, however, as summarized on the New America Media site linked above, is the distrust, dislike, and friction among the three groups surveyed:
The poll found that friction between ethnic and racial groups, which at times has erupted into highly-publicized incidents around the country, is clearly rooted in the mistrust that the groups harbor towards each other, as well as the sentiment that other groups are mistreating them or are detrimental to their own future. For instance, 44% of Hispanics and 47% of Asians are "generally afraid of African Americans because they are responsible for most of the crime." Meanwhile, 46% of Hispanics and 52% of African Americans believe "most Asian business owners do not treat them with respect." And half of African Americans feel threatened by Latin American immigrants because "they are taking jobs, housing and political power away from the Black community."
As dramatic as these findings are, however, in many respects they are what the Clintons always refer to as "old news" whenever some new evidence of scandal or misdeed comes to light. As long ago as 1975, at the dawn of the era of preferences, Nathan Glazer presciently predicted what would happen as a result of the government dispensing favors based on race and ethnicity. As I quoted him here, racial and ethnic preferences predictably lead to
a real Balkanization, in which group after group struggles for the benefits of special treatment.... The demand for special treatment will lead to animus against other groups that already have it, by those who think they should have it and don't.... The rising emphasis on group difference which government is called upon to correct might mean the destruction of any hope for the larger fraternity of all Americans.In that post I continued:
that was Nathan Glazer, in AFFIRMATIVE DISCRIMINATION (Basic Books, 1975), and if anything he underestimated the divisiveness of bestowing governmental favors on the basis of race and ethnicity. Now that liberals have abandoned the formerly core value holding that every individual is entitled to be treated without regard to race, creed, or color in favor of multiculturalism and group rights, the very idea of "the larger fraternity of all Americans" is regarded by many as nothing more than right-wing cant.Glazer wrote in 1975; my post above is from 2002. Two years later I returned to that same point, and Glazer again, here in a post on "Preferences and Group Conflict":
On Saturday the New York Times ran a long, interesting article about increasing tensions betweent the black and Hispanic communities. The high, or low, point for me was the following quote from Keith Murphy, host of a radio talk show in Milwaukee with a mostly black audience:Of course the recognition that racial discrimination and playing racial favorites is corrosive of American unity did not begin with Nathan Glazer in 1975. In what remains perhaps the most persuasive and eloquent statement of that view, Gunnar Myrdal wrote in his classic AN AMERICAN DILEMMA in 1944 (if that link doesn't work, just go to http://books.google.com and search for it) that"It's still a matter of distrust," he said. "It's a feeling among African-Americans that Latinos are coming in and getting the jobs and are getting preferential treatment."I've never heard Keith Murphy's program, and so I don't know whether he thinks preferences based on race or ethnicity are bad in principle or bad only when they go to Hispanics. His comment, however, exemplifies one of the most corrosive (as well as one of the most predictable) effects of preferences: their unerring ability to turn group against group in a mad scramble for the scraps of favoritism. Nathan Glazer, back in 1975....
It is difficult to avoid the judgment that this "American Creed" is the cement in the structure of this great and disparate nation. [From p. 3, found by searching "American Creed" on the Google book page cited above]And from p. 52:
The split of the nation into a dominant "American" group and a larger number of minority groups means that American civilization is permeated by animosities and prejudices attached to ethnic origin or what is popularly recognized as the "race" of a person. These animosities or prejudices are commonly advanced in defense of various discriminations which tend to keep the minority groups in a disadvantaged economic and social status. They are contrary to the American Creed, which is emphatic in denouncing differences made on account of "race, creed or color." ....I wonder what Myrdal would say if he could see us now, when our society's attitude shapers and opinion leaders in the major media, academia, the corporate world, and virtually (actually?) the entire leadership ranks of one of our two great political parties are equally "emphatic" in their rejection of "The American Creed," having abandoned it in favor of their faddish infatuation with racial and ethnic "difference" ... and differential treatment of "groups" (they no longer seem to see individuals) based on race and ethnicity. Shame on them.
THE ISLAMIST WAR ON WOMEN
By Jeff Jacoby
The "girl from Qatif" won a reprieve last week. On Dec. 17, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah pardoned the young woman, who was sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in prison after she pressed charges against seven men who had raped her and a male acquaintance in 2006. Two weeks earlier, Sudan's president extended a similar reprieve to Gillian Gibbons, the British teacher convicted of insulting Islam because her 7-year-old students named a teddy bear Muhammad. Gibbons had been sentenced to prison, but government-organized street demonstrators were loudly demanding her execution.
In January, Nazanin Fatehi was released from an Iranian jail after a death sentence against her was revoked. She had originally been convicted of murder for fatally stabbing a man when he and two others attempted to rape her and her niece in a park. (Had she yielded to the rapists, she could have been flogged or stoned for engaging in nonmarital sex.)
The sparing of these women was very welcome news, of course, and it was not coincidental that each case had triggered an international furor. But for every "girl from Qatif" or Nazanin who is saved, there are far too many other Muslim girls and women for whom deliverance never comes. No international furor saved Aqsa Parvez, a Toronto teenager, whose father was charged on Dec. 11 with strangling her to death because she refused to wear a hijab. "She just wanted to look like everyone else," one of Aqsa's friends told the National Post, "and I guess her dad had a problem with that."
No reprieve came for Banaz Mahmod, either. She was 20, a Kurdish immigrant to Britain, whose father and uncle had her killed last year after she left an abusive arranged marriage and fell in love with a man not from the family's village in Kurdistan. Banaz was choked to death with a bootlace, stuffed into a suitcase, and buried in a garden 70 miles away. More than 25 such "honor killings" have been confirmed in Britain's Muslim community in recent years. Many more are suspected.
There has been no storm of outrage about the intimidation and murder in Basra, Iraq, of women who wear Western-style clothing. Iraqi police say that more than 40 women have been killed so far this year by Islamists; the bodies are often left in garbage dumps with notes accusing the victims of "un-Islamic behavior."
By Western standards, the subjugation of women by Muslim fanatics, and the sometimes pathological Islamist obsession with female sexuality, are unthinkable. Time and again they lead to shocking acts of violence and depravity:
In Pakistan, a tribal council ordered a woman to be gang-raped as punishment for her brother's supposed liaison with a woman from another tribe.When the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in 1996, the repression of women was among their first priorities. They issued a decree forbidding women to leave their homes, with the result that work and schooling for women came to a halt, destroying the country's healthcare system, civil service, and elementary education. "Forty percent of the doctors, half of the government workers, and seven out of 10 teachers were women," Lawrence Wright observed in *The Looming Tower,* his Pulitzer Prize-winning history of Al Qaeda. "Under the Taliban, many of them would become beggars."
In San Francisco, a young Muslim woman was shot dead after she uncovered her hair and put on makeup in order to be a maid of honor at a friend's wedding.
In Tehran, a father beheaded his 7-year-old daughter because he suspected that she had been raped; he said he acted "to defend my honor, fame, and dignity."
In Saudi Arabia, the Islamic police prevented schoolgirls from leaving a burning building because they were not wearing headscarves and abayas; 15 of the girls died in the inferno.
The president of Cairo's Al-Azhar University, a renowned center of Islamic learning, described the proper method of wife-beating in a television interview: "It's not really beating," Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayyeb explained on Egyptian television. "It's more like punching."
Women are not the only victims of this rampant misogyny. Mohammed Halim, a 46-year-old Afghan schoolteacher, was dragged from his family and horribly murdered last year -- disemboweled and then dismembered -- for defying orders to stop educating girls.
All these are only examples -- the tip of a dreadful iceberg that will never be demolished until Muslims by the millions rise up against it. As for the rest of us, we too have an obligation to raise our voices. It took a worldwide outcry to spare the "girl from Qatif" and Nazanin. But there are countless others like them, and our silence may seal their fate.
Official censorship breeds mistrust of officialdom
In 2003, the local council in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire refused to show an A4 poster for a Christmas carol service in the local library, because it might constitute a political or religious message. The same year, the Red Cross banned nativity decorations from its British shops because it stated that an alignment to a particular religion could `compromise our ability to work in conflict situations around the world'. In 2006, a survey of 428 firms in Manchester found that 77 per cent of employers said they were banning decorations because they were worried about offending other faiths (2). In all these cases, the ban was about preventing possible harm, rather than responding to actual complaints.
It is stories like these that create suspicion that things are being heavily regulated. Of course, in reality, people in authority today rarely have the luxury to monitor everything they encounter. Most decisions are made defensively and in a knee-jerk fashion, rather than according to some sinister conspiracy plan. But the end result is a surge in urban myths which feed upon existing reality.
While the stories I have mentioned so far (and there are many more) were all reported in reputable papers, there are also plenty of emails circulating from `unofficial sources'. These are less reliable, but they feed our suspicion that this is `what you don't hear from those in charge'. The other day I received an email about how Royal Mail staff have been told only to offer their Christmas stamps (showing religious images of angels and the Madonna and Child) to those who asked explicitly for them over the counter. While a quick scan of the Royal Mail website shows that these stamps do indeed exist, there is probably no other way to test this story than to walk into a post office and see what happens.
The point about rumours is that they feed off a broader suspicion and distrust of `official sources'. We don't have to experience things firsthand to believe them. When I was conducting interviews with residents in the town of Oldham in the north-west of England last year, I kept hearing a claim that the council had banned the St George's flag (the flag of England). I casually asked various council staff about it but none of them could tell me for certain whether it had actually happened or not. One of them suggested that it might have been for `health-and-safety reasons'. Another guessed it might have been out of sensitivity to local ethnic groups and concerns about the presence in the area of the far-right British National Party (BNP). When I asked local people about it - Asian and white - many felt that this sort of decision was `typical' of the council. Crucially, it was not important whether the flag was actually banned or not, but that it was seen as entirely believable.
Official anti-racism has made cultural symbols and language so politicised that the public is bound to think that festivals, flags and images are being `managed' on their behalf. In March 2002, Oldham council publicised its decision to fly the Union Jack flag from the Civic Centre, as a way to reclaim it as a symbol from the extreme right. It also stated it would fly the Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi flags for the duration of official visits from those countries. The authorities were paying attention to cultural images and using them to engineer attitudes.
The corollary to that, of course, is that language and images are not only promoted but also banned if they are seen to be a threat to community relations. We believe that official sources aren't telling us the truth because, ultimately, we feel that they don't trust us to make our own minds up about what see and hear.
In the 2001 local elections in Oldham, when the BNP gained its strongest electoral result in the UK in over a decade, the council censored all political parties from speaking on election night in order to prevent the BNP from talking to the electorate. In September 2001, the home secretary banned all public marches in Oldham for two months on grounds of `safety'. Likewise, Ted Cantle, in his report into the 2001 riots in the north-west, pointed out that there were complaints from the public about the police's over-zealous restrictions on political marches in the town against racism, and festivals to celebrate cultural diversity. Returning to the town in 2006, Cantle noted that despite all the diversity training and race equality guidelines, people in Oldham `wanted to ask questions around faith and culture, but were afraid to do so because it might be thought "politically incorrect"' (3).
In such a climate, where people are not expressing their views openly, rumours surge. In a 2001 US-based study, Fine and Turner argue that race rumours emerge as an expression of angst and suspicion when more public channels are censored or closed to certain opinions: `What happens when we dare not speak these beliefs? What happens when we deny - to ourselves and to others - that we hold them because we have come to accept that they are morally illegitimate? We believe that two responses are common. First, we become ashamed; we withdraw from dialogue. Second, following from this, we become too willing to accept claims of "actual happenings" that support these hidden beliefs.' (4)
The most recent high-profile example of a race rumour in Britain was in Lozells, Birmingham in 2006, when local Asian and black youths clashed on the streets. The riot was triggered by a story of a black girl having been gangraped by a group of Asian men. While the allegation lacked substance, and no witnesses or victim ever officially came forward, the story gained a life of its own on the airwaves of local community radio stations, like Hot FM and Sting FM, whose djs called for large-scale protests.
These unofficial channels picked up on local suspicions that the authorities always treated one group better than another and some people always got their way - a feeling probably compounded by the competitive dynamic of local community politics and the stress on difference in official local policies. Likewise, in his study of south-east London, the sociologist Roger Hewitt described how the media demonisation of white residents in the area following the murder of the young black youth Stephen Lawrence led to a `white backlash'. He describes how racism was `tucked away' amongst the politically powerless white working classes, who could not publicly object to the way in which they were being depicted. Suspicion grew through neighbourhood talk, rumour, narrative and counter-narrative. The authorities' tactics to silence these views by `scary and oblique references' to the BNP ended up reinforcing the sense of shame people felt, and further driving these views underground without proper scrutiny.
All of this suggests that the backlash against `political correctness gone mad' is not simply about a surge in racism or bigotry amongst the public against other groups (although it certainly doesn't help community relations in places like Lozells). There is also another factor at work here: a large number of people quite rightly resent the feeling that they are being `managed'. We indulge in the collective rolling of the eyeballs at political correctness gone mad because it allows us to momentarily express our irritation with officious policies. Perhaps next year, when junior officials think about how not to cause offence, they would be wise to think a bit more carefully about not insulting the public first.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.