The EEOC's War on Honest African-Americans
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has recently decided that employers are too hard on job applicants who have criminal records.
While the new policies (EEOC testimony) are targeted at all potential employees, the motivation was the EEOC's concern that since African-Americans and Hispanics have a higher rate of criminal convictions than whites, considering former crooks as a hiring risk would unfairly impact minorities.
This would seem to violate Martin Luther King, Jr.'s desire to judge men by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. Spending time in jail is usually a good sign of a certain type of character after all.
It's clear, of course, that people do change and that many former criminals, of all races, are now responsible members of society. But by weighing in as it has, the EEOC is going to make it harder for employers to cost-effectively make informed hiring decisions. The fear of a government-funded lawsuit will force businesses to spend more time investigating criminals who apply for jobs. If the business is sane, it will probably tend to hire crooks it wouldn't have in the past just to avoid the risk of Eric Holder sending in a SWAT team -- or maybe Holder will outsource to the New Black Panthers.
Further, while the EEOC guidelines do not force companies to hire those with criminal records, the fact that the EEOC is even addressing the issue is highly questionable. Where in the Constitution does it say that the government can prevent companies from rejecting a candidate for a job because of the behavior of that person? Behavior, unlike race, is something people can control. Additionally, while there are no "bad" races, there are bad behaviors. What's next? Forcing private schools to consider hiring a teacher convicted of child molestation because the teacher has "reformed"?
Assuming for the moment that in Obama land there are no constitutional restrictions on what the government can tell citizens they can and can't do, who benefits from this new guideline?
According to the EEOC, one in three African-American men, one in six Hispanics, and one in seventeen white men have been in jail.
It's interesting that the EEOC cited the number only of men who had been incarcerated. Perhaps the fact that minority women tend not to land in jail skewed the statistics in a way that the EEOC didn't like. After all, it's not like women in America are all homemakers anymore, so why exclude them?
If we convert the EEOC's numbers into the percentage of the U.S. male population, we get the following values:
1) 4.3% of all American males are whites who have been in prison
2) 4.2% of all American males are blacks who have been in prison
3) 2.7% of all American males are Hispanics who have been in prison
What is odd is that this new guideline will discriminate against 66% of African-American men. Prior to this ruling, an African-American man with no criminal record had an advantage over 11.2% of the males in the population -- i.e. those with criminal records. Now, however, the honest, law-abiding African-Americans -- i.e. the majority of African-Americans -- will no longer have an advantage over even the white crooks in America. Interestingly, since there are more whites than African-Americans with criminal records, whites will benefit more from these new guidelines than will African-Americans.
Further, the only African-Americans who were "harmed" by prior guidelines are the ones who are criminals. It seems like the EEOC is effectively saying that when African-Americans are convicted, it's due solely to their race, and that in reality, the vast majority of incarcerated African-Americans are actually innocent.
Why is the EEOC working hard to make sure that white crooks can compete with honest African-Americans and Hispanics for jobs? Is this Obama's spin on Bush -- No Crook Left Behind?
You can read more of Tom's ramblings at http://obvioustalk.blogspot.com.