I read a story of a lady who was applying for jobs online. She thought that she had a pretty good résumé and skill set. But she wasn’t getting any hits. She thought that it might be because she had a noticeably African American name. She created a fake profile, with all the same information – schooling, work experience, and skills. But this time, she used a name that sounded white.
Her inbox was flooded with requests for interviews.
She thinks it is racist, and it is, but it isn’t for why she thinks it is.
I’m not going to win any friends with this post. I’m pretty sure someone is going to say I’m being racist. But if we don’t start talking about this problem, it will continue. And good people will keep getting shafted because of the actions of bad people.
We’ve created our own monster.
Affirmative action prevents someone from being fired because of their race. This means that someone who is African American cannot lose their job solely because they are African American.
But here’s the reality of it.
It also means that someone who is African American cannot be fired, or even censured, or even get a bad review AT ALL, because of the fear that they will pull the race card.
Thus, employers are afraid to hire someone who is African American, because they cannot treat and train them the same as every other employee. They are above the rules.
The intent of Affirmative Action was to help them, but sadly, some people are using it as a way to get away with bad work. This is affecting everybody else.
I’ve seen this over and over again. I was born and raised in the South. In my nearly thirty years of working, I’ve seen this play out over and over. When I lived in the North, I saw an entirely different thing. It was better there. So this is why I’m writing about this. Perhaps people don’t see this because it doesn’t happen where they are. But it happens plenty here, and it is terrible.
African American employees are allowed to do substandard work, and they still get to not only keep their jobs, they will get raises. Sometimes they last long enough to become supervisors. They still can’t do the work, but they get paid thousands more than those who actually do the work.
They can come in late and leave work early, and nothing happens.
They can be surly or indifferent to their fellow coworkers and customers and nothing will happen.
Is this true for all African Americans? No, certainly not. I’ve had the privilege of working with many fine people of all races who were great employees.
But I’ve also had the sad misfortune of working with too many people who were African American who were terrible employees. If they were challenged about their bad work habits, they threatened to sue for discrimination.
I can understand why employers are not wanting to take the risk.
So yes, we need Affirmative Action – we need members of the African American community to affirmatively decide to act – to self-police, and to hold each other up to a higher standard.
Sure, you shouldn’t be fired because of your race, but likewise it shouldn’t be that because of your race you can’t be fired. Ability should matter, right?