Pursuant to the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, employers are expressly forbidden to discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in regard to hiring, promoting, and paying employees. As the Act declares:
“It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer –
(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or
(2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”
Yet the question remains: Why do so many Americans passively sit back while companies and governments openly announce they are going to hire, promote, and train people based on race, ethnicity, and sex in violation of the law of the land? For example, NASDAQ has just instituted a policy requiring all companies listed on the exchange to have at least two minorities on their boards. The New York Jobs CEO Council, whose members include JP Morgan Chase, IBM, Accenture, Amazon, Google, Goldman Sachs, and Microsoft, openly stated that its member companies are aiming to hire at least 100,000 new Black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans by 2030. Walgreens has recently declared that each year it will increase the number of minorities and women in leadership roles by 2% and 3% respectively. The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences is now requiring hard racial, ethnic, and sex quotas for a movie to be considered for the “Best Picture” category. United Airlines announced in the spring that 50% of all new pilots it trains will be minorities or women. The NFL has rigid quotas for minorities and women when hiring for leadership positions. Many, if not most, federal, state and local governments and most larger corporations openly have “diversity and inclusion” measures built into the annual performance plans of managers and other leaders that base successful reviews, promotions, and bonuses on the number of minorities and women who are hired, retained, and promoted. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
It is fair to say that every corporate and government employee knows that his employer is openly discriminating based on race, ethnicity, and gender and further understands that he has to collude with the system as his own continued employment, promotions, and bonuses are dependent on it. And all the while everyone from top to bottom must deny that discrimination exists. It is a system built on a pillar of lies, just like the system that existed under communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe last century. The communist state told brazen lies that the citizens had to believe and collude in or face serious penalties, while everyone from leaders to shop sellers had to deny that lies existed. Indeed, this is why Czech dissident Vaclav Havel urged his fellow citizens to “live in the truth,” as merely doing so would topple a system whose mendacious foundations depended on every person “living the lie.” He noted that even one person telling the truth was enough to jeopardize the whole communist system, which is why communist governments harshly punished even the most trivial acts of living in the truth.
It is important to note that the one thing all the above policies are not doing is committing their respective companies and governments to one of the most important things they can do—hire and promote based on competence and character. Competence and character are the two characteristics shareholders and customers care about the most. Indeed, the above policies are specifically designed to discriminate based on characteristics over which a person has no control, such as race, ethnicity, and sex, that have no relation to a person’s success. Civil rights leaders from Susan B. Anthony to Martin Luther King, Jr., fought for the day when everyone in America would be judged by their character and competence, yet these new corporate and government policies that discriminate based on race, ethnicity, and sex are pushing that day further and further away. Jim Crow still exists in America; it’s just that the victims and beneficiaries have changed.
It is high time for the silent majority in America to begin living in the truth and to shout from the rooftops that our governments and companies are blatantly discriminating based on race, ethnicity, and sex. We need to demand that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 be actually enforced and that people are to be judged on their competence and character. And as we begin to live in the truth, the house of cards that is our system of discrimination will come crashing down, just like the communist system in Eastern Europe that collapsed when people dedicated themselves to the truth.