Reverse Affirmative Action

On Wednesday July 18th my brother had his first interview for a statistician position with the city of New York. Afterwards we were sitting in Johnny Rocket’s with my brother and my coworker, Felton. And I mentioned this remark. I know this may come off as derogatory towards white males. But if you think about it there is some truth.

If you work in any municipal, city, state or federal government agency and there is a minority (Hispanic, Black or Asian) or female person who is equally (or in some cases remotely) qualified, they will promoted before you.

Here is an example. There are 15 paygrades in the federal government GS 01-15. The scientific/professional positions start at GS-09. The grades 11, 12 are usually team leaders or supervisors and 13-15 are usually managers. When I was working for federal government my boss was a Caucasian (white) employee was a statistician (GS-12) for ten years who accepted a temporary promotion to GS-13. Most of the staff would agree he was the most qualified. He knew the procedures and can recite them like a dictionary. However the human resources manager (GS-13) and his manager (GS-14) were managers also. After the decennial census ended he reverted back to GS-12. However the other managers were promoted permanently to their current pay grades.

Just take a look at the City of New York. If you look at city agencies that employ or serve a large minority population. They represent the population they employ or serve. For example, the head of Housing Preservation Development is Hispanic, the head of Department of Administrative Services is black. The head of the Department of Education is black. Everyone sitting on the New York City Housing Authority board is a minority. (male Hispanic, two hispanic women and one black).

With the predominant amount of male, Caucasians in the private sector and publicly traded corporations. And the transparency of government (and to avert a lawsuit) many municipalities will ask themselves is there a female, or minority we can promote.

So while my friend is a great employee and is probably very well qualified the truth is he is a white male. And if there is another minority or woman within his agency at his level they will be promoted before him.

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1 Comment

Filed under Gainfully Unemployed

One response to “Reverse Affirmative Action

  1. The following link is to a New York Times demographic map of the ethnic and racial makeup of New York City. The map distinguishes “native born” racial/ethnic groups from those who are immigrants or “foreign born” (whether or not they are naturalized US citizens isn’t clear).

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/01/23/nyregion/20110123-nyc-ethnic-neighborhoods-map.html

    Given this data, minority representation on City boards and government offices is justified, even if anecdotal evidence suggests Caucasians are still the majority population in the city and control most private enterprise. Policies promoting minorities before Whites might be perceived as reverse discrimination, but could easily be defended given the diverse nature of the city’s population.

    It would be interesting to know if minority members of government operations are native born or recently naturalized. Either way, given the vast quantity of ethnic groups still coming to New York City, it’s a safer bet to over represent burgeoning populations opposed to ignoring them.

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