Discrimination is entrenched in US corporates, just not the kind you might think

Title VII of the US Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against job applicants based on their race, colour, religion, sex, or national origin.

However, that didn’t stop the majority of S&P 100 companies reducing Caucasian Americans to just 6 percent of new hires in the year following the Black Lives Matter protests.

This is according to an analysis by Bloomberg published last week titled “Corporate America Promised to Hire a Lot More People of Color. It Actually Did.”

Of the 323,094 new jobs observed in the analysis, 20,524 went to White workers, while the other 302,570 — or 94 percent — went to Hispanic, Asian and Black Americans.

Bloomberg collected its data from the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and compared the change in workforce demographics at 88 S&P 100 companies between the years 2020 and 2021.

Those 88 companies included “some of the countrys largest and most lucrative firms, in industries from tech to finance, including Apple Inc., Walmart Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co.” Bloomberg explains. Together, they employ more than 9 million Americans.

The biggest shifts were seen in lower and medium-paying roles such as sales workers, administrators and managers. But even at the executive level, says Bloomberg, over half of new hires were from minority ethnicities.

In its analysis, Bloomberg provided a sketch of the social and political climate that precipitated these events.

For a brief moment in 2020, much of corporate America united around a common goal: to address the stark racial imbalances in their workplaces.

Mass protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd led to a flurry of company promises, both specific and vague, to hire and promote more Black people and others from underrepresented groups…

That summer, some companies rebranded products that had long been marketed with racist stereotypes. More pledged hundreds of millions of dollars — and their shelf space — to racial equity efforts. Separately, about half the firms in the S&P 100, including Amazon.com Inc., PepsiCo Inc., Meta Platforms Inc. (then Facebook) and Microsoft Corp., set ambitious targets for increasing their share of people of color in leadership.


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While the woke have welcomed the news, there are plenty of dissenting voices.

“Its very hard to imagine this could be legally defensible,” executive director of the American Civil Rights Project Dan Morenoff told the Washington Free Beacon.

Morenoff, who litigates reverse discrimination cases, explained that intention does not have to be proven for the charge of discrimination to stick in court.

“The Justice Department used this theory last year when it sued Meta, Facebooks parent company, on the grounds that the platforms algorithms affect users differently based on their race,” the Beacon notes.

Corporate race discrimination has become a particular flashpoint in the culture wars since the Supreme Court banned affirmative action in college admissions in June.

In the fallout of that decision, even companies and law firms are facing lawsuits over their diversity programs, according to the Beacon, which names Starbucks, Facebook, and Verizon as some of the top corporations that “tie executive compensation to racial targets”.

In blunter tones, conservative news website Outkick has labelled the results of Bloomberg’s analysis “excused racism, the presumption that society must discriminate against certain white people to reach racial impartiality”.

“Your whiteness disqualifies you from job openings and promotions. Its called equity,” quips Outkick. “Corporations discriminate against white people for clout. They are incentivized financially to do so.”

It is hard to disagree. Indeed, Mercator has frequently called out the corporate world’s addiction to ESG — or environmental, social, and corporate governance.

The second letter in that acronym refers to a companys commitment to diversity and inclusion: in short, prioritising skin color over competence in hiring practices. As Outkick notes, “Executives receive bonuses based on ‘diversity hirings.’ There are year-end quotas to meet.”

This is not just happening at a boardroom level. There is now a litany of powerful ESG “referees” that assign scores to companies, making those companies more or less attractive to investors — especially behemoth investor outfits like BlackRock and Vanguard. A poor enough ESG score spells certainty a company will have no friends on the playground.

Civil Rights Act or no, discrimination — now of the anti-White variety — is well entrenched in the corporate world, both in the U.S. and beyond.

White Americans make up 76 percent of the population. But in 2021, they were hired for just 6 percent of new appointments in the nation’s most powerful companies.

Maybe the woke are right: those hiring decisions balanced the ledger, helping repair an imbalance that for too long saw minorities underrepresented at big US companies.

However, questions of competency aside, the result was still unfair discrimination towards countless well-qualified candidates on no other basis than the colour of their skin.

An abstract goal like “diversity” has been achieved, with workplaces now teeming with diversity avatars — but at what cost for so many defrauded individuals?

It calls to mind the sensible words of C.S. Lewis: “It is easier to be enthusiastic about Humanity with a capital ‘H’ than it is to love individual men and women… Loving everybody in general may be an excuse for loving nobody in particular.” 

Kurt Mahlburg is a writer and author, and an emerging Australian voice on culture and the Christian faith. He has a passion for both the philosophical and the personal, drawing on his background as a graduate architect, a primary school teacher, a missionary, and a young adult pastor.

Image credit: Bigstock   


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