Not Diversity, But Bigotry

No whites

It has troubled me for decades, troubles me still, and I know it troubles others. How can the double standard of  prejudice and discrimination so often embraced by various minority groups in the United States continue to be respected and tolerated? To me, this not only seems self-evidently wrong, but also inevitably destructive. You may not gain my support by cautioning me against favoring members of groups that I belong to, and yet openly discriminate against those same groups on behalf of your own.

I raised this issue back in 2011, when Christiane Amanpour, then the host of ABC’s Sunday morning public issues show, brazenly led three male-bashing female guest commentators in a discussion of how much better the world would work with more female leaders who were not addled by all that testosterone. I wrote, and none too happily,

“An all-male panel smugly talking about how “Estrogen really is a problem” and how decisions made in the throes of PMS are inherently untrustworthy would guarantee a feminist march on ABC headquarters, blogger and op-ed fury, NOW declarations of war and the rolling of network heads.When he was president of Harvard, Lawrence Summers was run out of his job by faculty and feminist fury when he suggested that it was possible that differences between the genders might be part of the explanation for the under-representation of women in the worlds of science and mathematics. Yet I just watched the host of a mainstream news program aggressively participate in a stacked and rigged discussion that began with the unchallenged presumption that men—not just Weiner, or Dominique Strauss-Kahn, or some men, or many men, but men as a monolithic, homogenous, stereotyped group—-are fatally handicapped by their hormones and brain-wiring when it comes to leadership and management.”

You know what? I don’t like groups that stereotype and discriminate against me.

But this was hardly the most egregious example, nor the most recent. Consider:

Case study #1: Pro-Gay Bigotry In D.C. Continue reading

Ethics Quiz: The Conundrum of the Anti-Gay Marriage Diversity Officer

…But be sure to think about it who will see it before you do!

Ethics, law, fairness and common sense are locked in a complex battle in this story, which comes out of Gallaudet University, the famous Washington D.C. school for the deaf.

Dr. Angela McCaskill, Gallaudet’s chief diversity officer, has been put on administrative leave and may face dismissal because the school learned that she had signed a petition opposing Maryland’s same-sex marriage law.  McCaskill apparently signed the petition at her church after her preacher spoke against gay marriage. A measure is on the Maryland ballot that could overturn the recently-passed state law approving same-sex marriage.

Does she have an absolute right to sign a petition in favor or opposing any political or social policy? Yes. Is this a petition something a university official in charge of promoting diversity is wise to sign? No. Is a university whose diversity officer chooses to sign such a petition behaving fairly and responsibly to decide that it should have someone else in that position?


And that’s your weekend Ethics Alarms Quiz:

Is it fair and responsible for a university to fire its diversity chief because she signed a petition opposing gay marriage? Continue reading