Three articles of note have recently been published, and I couldn’t decide which was more worthy of my limited time. So, here’s your Thursday news roundup.
First up: When attending a multicultural job fair, such as the Career Expo at the National Black MBA Association conference, it’s not uncommon to have up to 30% of the demographic be job seekers who are not the target audience (e.g., Black MBAs). However, it’s fairly obvious to the hiring employer that the person they’re interviewing is not a member of the minority group in question. It’s not as obvious at LGBT job fairs, which have now been “infiltrated” by non-LGBT (straight; cisgender) job applicants. Why is this a problem? Aren’t the employers there to show that they are inclusive – and doesn’t that mean inclusive to everyone? Well, yes and no. Employers are there to hire from a minority group, one with an invisible difference that cannot be asked in interviews or recorded on HR forms (unlike ethnicity). They are looking to increase their diversity of background. Job fair attendees who willfully misrepresent themselves are not the kind of people they want to hire.
Next up: “Is the word ‘Negro’ an offensive word or just an outdated word?” That’s what police in Western New York would like to know. See, Negro is still a category on their intake forms. The defense? They didn’t know it was an offensive word. Really? How hard would it have been to use African-American instead? Or Black? What does it say about our culture at large when an entire police department regularly used the word Negro and didn’t think about it? Pretty sure there’s not only a case for sensitivity training, but could I come teach your English and History classes in middle and high school, too? Civil Rights Movement, anyone?
Finally: “Freedom of religion is not the same as enforcement of religion,” notes a very astute commentator in response to this article on Bob Eschliman, who is suing the Newton Daily News in Iowa for firing him. The short story: Eschliman was the Editor of the paper. On his personal blog, he wrote: “It’s pretty easy to brush off a nonsensical contrived version of the Bible, but that’s not the deceivers’ end goal. No, they want all Christendom to abandon their faith. They do that by ‘proselytizing’ to church leaders to change their view on homosexuality. If you ask me, it sounds like the Gaystapo is well on its way. We must fight back against the enemy.” The News fired him on the grounds that this post demonstrated that he was not able to be an impartial journalist and he had lost his credibility. Eschliman, of course, argues that his freedom of religion is being attacked (ironically, not his freedom of speech). He expressed his religious opinion on a personal page. Now, you know that I think a lot about this public/private debate; see my posts here and here and here for more examples of this. That said, in this case, profession matters. Also, what the hell form of Christianity does he believe in? Certainly not a Christ-centered one. Plus, I have no tolerance for Nazi comparisons. There’s no justification.