2005-05-23

What is "diversity" anyways?

Recently there has been alot of talk about diversity and the promotion of such. Some states have even gone so far as to recommend the passing of laws requiring that companies include "diverse" hiring practices.

Let's talk about diversity for a second. Diversity is defined by Encarta as social inclusiveness: ethnic variety, as well as socioeconomic and gender variety, in a group, society, or institution. Simply put, this means the inclusion of people or ideals that are different from the perceived norm. For a company to be considered "diverse", it must include in it's hiring practices the principal that no person shall be excluded from consideration due to their ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, or econmic standing.

Washinton house bill 1515 wishes to put this definition into law and make it illegal for any company use any sort of discrimination in it's hiring practices. Sounds good and fair right? Sure, it sounds like a winner on the surface, but take a closer look and you can see just how assine this bill really is.

This bill is aimed solely at the small business sector. Big companies that reside in Washington State, such as Microsoft, Safeco, Boeing, etc, do not need a law that tells them that they "have" to hire without a discriminatory bias as they already have well defined diversity policies in place. Big companies do not care about wether or not what race a person is, whether they are gay, or from another country, they only care about what is best for their shareholders. In other words, in hiring people that will best do the job and increase their revenue.

Where this bill would have hit the hardest is the small business owner with say 7 employees or less. This bill is effectively giving an ultimatium to small business owners saying that you will hire anyone, regardless of whether it's in the best interest of your business or not, or risk breaking the law. For example, the owner of a Christian bookstore would be required to hire a gay teller, should one apply, even tho the ideals of the business owner and the teller differ greatly. An Korean owner of a small community grocery store would be required to hire a middle class caucasian youth, even though the store owner would prefer to offer the job to Korean youth residing in the same neighborhood in order to provide them with opportunity.

Now I don't necessarily believe that diversity is a bad thing, but I do feel that it is being overused and directed. The topic of "diversity" is being used as a hammer to inflict the will of the few on the many. A small business owner should have the right to refuse employment to anyone should they so choose as they are the ones that will have to live with the rewards or the consquences of that decision.

Take the case of the owner of the Christian book store, should he/she be required to hire someone of differing ideals, then he also risks alienating a large majority of his clientele. His business deals solely with people who, on moral/religious grounds, disagree with the lifestyle of the teller. This fact may drive off a large portion of his business and he knows it, yet he would no longer have control of who is in him employee for fear of breaking the law. In retrospect, he may drive away the gay christian following that visits his store, but that is his consquence to deal with. It should be his decision on how he runs his business.

To me, this is just another case of the federal goverment sticking it's nose in some place it doesn't belong. If you don't like the hiring practices of a small business, then you have the right to frequent an establishment that has practices you do agree with. That is the great thing about America, you have the freedom to make decisions about who/what you spend your money on. I think all too often people forget that they have the right to simply go somewhere else. If you see an email you don't agree with, delete it. You hear a radio personality that offends you, change the station. We have to quit trying to make the country a "diverse" place where everyone agrees. America is a melting pot of all different races, ideals, and religions. If you don't like what someone is doing, it's only a short move to get to somewhere where the people are more like minded. We don't want everyone to think/act/believe the same. The differences in this countries people is what makes America great!

If you truely want to be "diverse", then that means respecting other peoples differences and either living with them, or ignoring them. Diversity is NOT forcing anyone who is different than you into following your way of thinking. If a goverment forces someone to live by the ideals of another, then they are not diverse, they are a dictatorship.

1 comments:

Spiccoli said...

As a small business owner, I can agree with this rant. I have to be very careful as to why I DON'T hire someone as well as why I'm firing one. I told a placement agency that I didn't a particular temp (for a historically female dominated position) because he was a man. They told me that I would be open to a sexual discrimination suit. I only wanted a female because that is what makes our clientele comfortable. I would have never thought that I would/could be sued by for sexual discrimination by someone of my own gender.

Post a Comment