2010 Texas Democratic Platform: Diversity


This post is tenth in a series on the education planks of the 2010 Texas Democratic Party Platform.

This is an unofficial version published in advance of the final version from the Texas Democrats, but I expect very few changes.

DIVERSITY

Texas Democrats support innovative approaches to ensure diversity in every Texas institution of higher education. We condemn intolerance on Texas campuses and encourage universities to develop and offer culturally diverse curricula, student activities, and student recruitment policies that promote understanding, respect and acceptance.

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16 Responses to 2010 Texas Democratic Platform: Diversity

  1. [...] 2010 Texas Democratic Platform: Diversity « Millard Fillmore's Bathtub [...]

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  2. [...] 2010 Texas Democratic Platform: Diversity « Millard Fillmore's Bathtub [...]

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  3. [...] 2010 Texas Democratic Platform: Diversity « Millard Fillmore's Bathtub [...]

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  4. Ed Darrell says:

    If you read my original comment, I never claimed the Texas Democrats did anything. Instead I wrote, “Let’s hope that this definition of diversity is inclusive, not exclusive.”

    That’s the intent of the Democrats. Let’s hope, indeed.

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  5. LOUDelf says:

    “You wrote in to take exception to the Democrats policy, claiming that it excluded white guys. ”

    Ed,

    If you read my original comment, I never claimed the Texas Democrats did anything. Instead I wrote, “Let’s hope that this definition of diversity is inclusive, not exclusive.” which is a far cry. My claim was that in most cases (and I took some examples) you see ‘diversity’ only seek to include those not in the majority instead of looking for the body as a whole.

    So, quite simply, my hope was that the Texas Democrats would hold to the spirit, not just the context. The rest has been the manufactured and projected ideals of you and the others posting here. In this case, my lenses are not “colored” as the examples and facts clearly show my contention that diversity programs are largely exclusionary and not representative of the available population. If these groups would first be honest with themselves, I’d be a lot more convinced to swallow their pill.

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  6. Ed Darrell says:

    Ed, I have rarely hired someone just like me, unless those criteria have been driven, energetic, and intelligent.

    That’s what all the HR departments we consulted with said. Left to their own devices, however, the studies show a woman in HR hires women, a man hires men; African Americans hire African Americans, Hispanics hire hispanics. Research indicates that basketball players hire other basketball players, even — wholly unconscious, completely off the resumes, entirely apart from the skills requested or actual job description.

    Charles Garfield, the consultant and organization performance psychologist summed it up as, ‘When we have failures, typically we assign a manager to HR. Inevitably they end up in hiring. I get called in to figure out why the organization is loaded with turkeys, and I go down to HR and see turkeys doing the hiring . . .’

    Your mileage may differ, but if it did, why are complaining about the diversity plank in the education section of the Texas Democratic platform?

    As a businessperson and hiring manager, I like to see people that have different experience whether by company size, or methodology. I encourage debate in policy and direction as no one has the corner on all of the good ideas. I don’t see this as uncommon at all.

    An extreme rarity prior to the establishment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the rules of equal opportunity hiring. I gather you’re too young to remember, yes?

    But this is not the point. The point is that diversity is the inclusion of all, not just the recruitment of the non-majority which is what is has come to mean de facto. I would hope that the Democrats, who are predominantly liberal, would actually use a sensible liberal mindset when recruiting diversity, and include all people.

    Very curious. That’s what the Democrats called for, but you took exception to it. Very, very curious. If you don’t recruit diversity in a student body and require tolerance of diversity, how do you get it?

    In the US, that would mean recruiting white men too, as their experiences and opinions are just as important as any other. That is the point, and my point when I said “Let’s hope that this definition of diversity is inclusive, not exclusive.”

    But it seems many, including those on this blog, are offended by inclusion.

    You wrote in to take exception to the Democrats policy, claiming that it excluded white guys. It doesn’t, but it was your complaint about inclusion that prompted this thread. If you didn’t mean what you said, now might be a nice time to say so.

    Hence my legitimate worry that to many, diversity just means excluding white males and is therefor exclusive in meaning. Again, my hope is that the Texas Democrats can get it right this time.

    That’s your skewed view of the platform, not what it says. Excuse us for noting your colored lenses and the coloring they’ve given to your views. Democrats called for promotion of diversity. Now you say you favor that, but you don’t want discrimination against white men. There is no call for discrimination against white men. I can’t figure out what your kick is.

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  7. LOUDelf says:

    “The problem is that people hire people just like them.”

    Ed, I have rarely hired someone just like me, unless those criteria have been driven, energetic, and intelligent. As a businessperson and hiring manager, I like to see people that have different experience whether by company size, or methodology. I encourage debate in policy and direction as no one has the corner on all of the good ideas. I don’t see this as uncommon at all.

    But this is not the point. The point is that diversity is the inclusion of all, not just the recruitment of the non-majority which is what is has come to mean de facto. I would hope that the Democrats, who are predominantly liberal, would actually use a sensible liberal mindset when recruiting diversity, and include all people. In the US, that would mean recruiting white men too, as their experiences and opinions are just as important as any other. That is the point, and my point when I said “Let’s hope that this definition of diversity is inclusive, not exclusive.”

    But it seems many, including those on this blog, are offended by inclusion. Hence my legitimate worry that to many, diversity just means excluding white males and is therefor exclusive in meaning. Again, my hope is that the Texas Democrats can get it right this time.

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  8. LOUDelf says:

    “Loudelf has no clue about what’s really going on at colleges and universities. He’s just repeating right-wing talking points, without real knowledge. He assumes that “the best team” must be made up of white people, and that seeking diversity means dumbing down. That means he thinks minorities and/or women aren’t as intellectually capable as white men.”

    Apparently reading comprehension isn’t your strength, James. Go back and re-read, or just read my posts. You’ll find the outcome if thought through with any reason to be quite different.

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  9. James Hanley says:

    Loudelf has no clue about what’s really going on at colleges and universities. He’s just repeating right-wing talking points, without real knowledge. He assumes that “the best team” must be made up of white people, and that seeking diversity means dumbing down. That means he thinks minorities and/or women aren’t as intellectually capable as white men.

    The truth is, it’s still not that hard for white men to get jobs as college profs. Whether it’s harder or easier, or just the same, as for women and minorities I can’t say. But I can look around at nearly any college or university and see that the overwhelming majority of faculty are white, and generally half or more are male.

    Making sure that women and minorities are not discriminated against in the hiring process is a huge legal issue for universities–as it should be–but when it comes down to the choice of who to bring to campus, when we can normally bring no more than three candidates, quality is the overwhelming issue. And when it comes down to the choice of who to offer that job to, the overriding issue tends to be, “do I want to work with this person for the next umpteen years,” not, “oh, she’s a black female and will round out our diversity goals!”

    But ideologues like Loudelf are never interested in the facts; they’re only interested in reinforcing the myths they already believe.

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  10. Ed Darrell says:

    LOUDelf said:

    The problem with “diversity” as a whole is you can never focus on it… it just has to happen. The best you can do is remove barriers, drop stereotypes, and offer the same opportunity to everyone.

    The problem is that people hire people just like them. This is one of the big dangers of most large corporations exiling their not-quite-failed execs to human resources — a department full of turkeys will hire more turkeys.

    Because diversity was not occurring, federal law now requires shops above a certain size to cast a wide net. To stay in compliance with the law, employers must offer opportunities for different genders and different faiths and differently-colored people a chance to interview for the job. That is all

    I’ve seen this now on all sides of the equation. I sat through dozens of hours of hearings on the issues at the Senate Labor Committee. I’ve served on diversity committees and as a mentor for diversity programs in a couple of large corporations. I’ve been in human resources. I’ve hired as a manager at a large consulting/accounting firm, and in small firms.

    Our corporate experience is that when we make sure diversity comes through the door to get interviewed, diversity gets hired. Our experience, in carefully controlled experiments and now in years of on-the-ground practice, is that diverse teams perform much better than non-diverse teams, in productivity and the especially the quality of the work. The best of American business will tell you how it works well for them. In some of the big businesses I’ve worked in, we discovered that people of color brought in marketing sense that opened entire new markets to us, under our noses.

    So, yes, we drop the barriers — but it has to be done consciously. Yes, we cast a wide net — and again, we have to be conscious of doing it, or it won’t get done.

    Then we sit back and watch good stuff happen.

    In Texas, Republicans have done their best to frustrate that. The State Board Soviet of Education snubbed the addition of great, Nobel-level literature from Mexico and South America. They insulted African Americans, Hispanics, Chinese and women.

    Texas is a majority minority state. There are almost as many Hispanic citizens as whites, and we have a lot of African Americans, plus sizable populations of Vietnamese, Laotians, Koreans, Chinese, Japanese, American Indian, old German lines, and Acadian refugees.

    Diversity in Texas simply means diversity. To get away from the white males only trends, we work hard to be diverse. I regret your experience hasn’t been golden, but ours has, so far as we can avoid the Republican policies.

    I still remember the command before the Republican National Convention several years ago — when I was employed on the Republican side — that we should work to be sure that viewers at home didn’t see “fat black women in wheelchairs on TV.” We don’t have that problem on the Democratic side — we are proud of Barbara Jordan and everyone else in wheelchairs for whatever reason, of whatever color, of whatever weight.

    Diversity programs seek diversity, which means they don’t focus on putting white males where white males have dominated for 200 years. If you have a problem with that, get over it.

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  11. LOUDelf says:

    Ed,

    If you read my post, your comment of “So, LOUDelf, your idea of diversity is that white guys should dominate?” is pretty off-base.

    You then say “What you’re asking for is that the world be unfairly tipped toward white guys. ” I don’t think I mentioned anything close to that. In fact the opposite. Yes, caucasians dominate the workforce (in the US), but they also make up the majority of the population, so trying to overcompensate through false diversity would be doing the very opposite of becoming diverse.

    “Why shouldn’t America field its best teams everywhere? Why shouldn’t we culture the diversity that makes winning teams, competitive businesses, and national pride?” Exactly, but you can’t do this by favoring or disfavoring by the color of one’s skin. You go for the best available people for the job with a blindness to other factors. For every skill set, there are people from every culture that can perform to the required levels.

    Discrimination against one segment of society for the sake of “diversity” is still discrimination. Discrimination is damaging at best, under any banner.

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  12. Ed Darrell says:

    So, LOUDelf, your idea of diversity is that white guys should dominate?

    Certainly a program designed to improve diversity by finding people other than white males who are qualified for the job, would have a photo that wouldn’t show white males as the people the program aided.

    Your first photo, from Boston College. Try this experiment: Go to Google Images, and just do a search for “bc.edu.”

    Now, see the predominance of white guys?

    Check out this lab, for example:

    http://bioinformatics.bc.edu/marthlab/Main_Page

    9 people pictured, six of them white guys.

    Try to find minorities. Count the people pictured just on that first search page. How many of them are white guys? It’s astounding how overbalanced it is for white guys — and mind you, white guys are now a minority of the undergrad enrollment.

    What you’re asking for is that the world be unfairly tipped toward white guys.

    That’s one way to breed organizational failure.

    Why shouldn’t America field its best teams everywhere? Why shouldn’t we culture the diversity that makes winning teams, competitive businesses, and national pride?

    Let’s take the world as it is, and work to make it better. White guy bias doesn’t help in any way.

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  13. LOUDelf says:

    Jim,

    Knowing that my repeated personal experience wouldn’t satisfy geniuses like “Nick K”, I put together a simple search. My criteria were to find colleges with diversity programs with pictures. Words only say so much, but the picture can often tell the story. The first three with human pictures I found at random were:
    http://www.bc.edu/offices/diversity/ — not a white guy pictured
    http://www.missouristate.edu/equity/ — no faces, but of the five hands showing, only 2 are male, neither white.
    http://diversity.csusb.edu/ — you could refresh the images a few times, but of the 20+ people in the pictures, I was able to find ONE white guy.

    In the corporate world, “diversity” is the same, although masked a little differently. But to become a diverse supplier, your majority ownership should not be white male (ex: http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/site/about-us/diversity/suppliers)

    The list goes on and on.

    I’m for true diversity of ideas. You can’t get that from attracting for any one source, or discouraging of a source.

    In my line of work, I focus on a person’s ability to get the job done regardless of race, culture, etc. The addition of people from different backgrounds has always been a plus in addition to their skills. But to have the underlying definition of diversity as non-white-male as it is in SO many places is ignorance, and anti-diverse.

    The problem with “diversity” as a whole is you can never focus on it… it just has to happen. The best you can do is remove barriers, drop stereotypes, and offer the same opportunity to everyone.

    Again, I hope this is not only the statement, but the intention of the Texas Democrats.

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  14. Jim Stanley says:

    Elf,

    Hi there!

    Can you offer some examples of exclusion of white males on college campuses? Or perhaps in society in general? I’d really like to hear your thoughts on the matter, but it’s always helpful to be more specific than general.

    Thanks so much!

    Jim

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  15. Nick K says:

    Wow, can you say something even stupider then that, Elf?

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  16. LOUDelf says:

    In most college campuses and politics, diversity has equated to no white males. Let’s hope that this definition of diversity is inclusive, not exclusive.

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