Written by: Scott F. Frame
Since the civil rights movement, America created a new politically correct status quo: anti-discrimination.
In a reactionary response to discrimination, the U.S. Government required employers hire minorities, such as African-Americans, Asian Americans, and Latino-Americans, or face Title VII violation. In and of itself, does that legal measure solve discrimination? In practice, does imposing a requirement on corporations to hire a staff with a fraction of American citizens who self identify as belonging to a minority race enough to solve deeply rooted socioeconomic issues?
Although perhaps theoretically relevant on the surface, Professor Trina Jones raises an alternate perspective to consider in New York University Review of Law & Social Change, suggesting equal opportunity employment masks an underlying, ongoing issue of intra-group discrimination. Intra-group discrimination is discrimination of people within the same group–blacks against blacks, women against women, and so on.
In the article, Professor Jones gives in depth analysis of how an employer can hire two black men but still be guilty of discrimination because one hire has a much darker skin tone than the other. She also mentions how an employer can discriminate (and has been found guilty by the U.S. Supreme Court) against an Asian-American woman despite the fact the workplace had both female and Asian-American employees.
Professor Jones explains that juries, when weighing discrimination cases, are usually unwilling to grant verdicts because, generally speaking the public has been programmed to believe that racism is simplified to absolutes—black and white, good and evil, male and female. Professor Jones advocates for reforms to both education and Title VII to compensate for the inability of the American public to see all of the complexities that surround discrimination.
Reading this article by Professor Jones has completely expanded my perspective on discrimination issues and, accordingly, my analysis that goes along with it.
The article can be found here in the New York University Review of Law & Social Change, Volume 34, Issue 4.