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The Effects of Public Policy on Workplace Diversity: 

The Effects of Public Policy on Workplace Diversity Samuel L. Myers, Jr. Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity Saint Paul, Minnesota February 21, 2007

Overview and Summary: 

Overview and Summary Affirmative Action as a remedy to racial disparities is not widely supported by Americans There is a renewed attempt to dismantle the apparatus of the Civil Rights Movement Factors that predict the retrenchment of Affirmative Action include economic stresses faced by white males Race-neutral remedies are one possible solution Race and Sports provides one metaphor for understanding this opposition to Affirmative Action

Outline of Talk: 

Outline of Talk Definitions and Background Policy Trends The Concept of Race-Neutrality: Application to Public Procurement and Contracting The Sports Metaphor: Merit vs. Social Justice

Definitions : 

Definitions Discrimination Differential treatment of otherwise equally qualified individuals Suspect Disparity Unequal results that cannot be attributed to unequal representation Racism: Belief in the inherent inferiority of an individual because of racial group membership

Examples: 

Examples Discrimination Black loan applicants are rejected when they have low credit scores; white loan applicants with the same scores are accepted Suspect Disparity 1% of state contracts are awarded to women or minority owned firms; 17% of local firms are women or minority

Old Racism Examples: 

Old Racism Examples Black loan applicant told not to even bother to apply -- “We don’t make loans to niggers.”

New Racism Examples?: 

New Racism Examples? Lender believes that blacks are less reliable and are poor credit risks; But makes loans to low risk blacks at inflated interest rates

Definition: Affirmative Action: 

Definition: Affirmative Action Positive steps taken to achieve a specified outcome Increase the representation of protected groups in areas of employment, education, and business from which they have been historically excluded Rectify current or prior discrimination A remedy for illegal discrimination

The Problem: 

The Problem Major retrenchment in affirmative action in three specific public spheres: a) Public procurement and contracting b) Public higher education - admissions and scholarships c) Public employment

The Problem, cont.: 

The Problem, cont. Two major policy responses: Attempts from many civil rights organizations to preserve affirmative action Attempts by many conservative organizations to assure that the dismantling of affirmative action is complete and permanent

Background: 

Background Affirmative Action becomes national policy in 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Executive Order 11246 Mandates that institutions take affirmative action to assure individuals are treated Awithout regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin” Thus is an anti-discrimination effort

Justifications for Affirmative Action: 

Justifications for Affirmative Action Compensation for past discrimination “Affirmative Action is a remedy for prior wrongs” Provision of diversity in organizations “Affirmative action is a means towards achieving the end of increasing minority employment” Deterrent to workplace discrimination “Affirmative Action is a prospective remedy to current or future wrongs”

Central Objections to Continuing Affirmative Action: 

Central Objections to Continuing Affirmative Action Prior Wrongs have been remedied Diversity, while laudable, cannot justify reverse discrimination Current Discrimination No Longer Exists

What do we know about why there is opposition to AA?: 

What do we know about why there is opposition to AA? Widespread belief that things other than discrimination explain racial inequality Growing polarization between blacks and other minorities

Attitudes Towards Race: General Social Survey: 

Attitudes Towards Race: General Social Survey On the average (Negroes/Blacks/African-Americans) have worse jobs, income, and housing than white people. Do you think these differences are . . . Mainly due to discrimination? Because most (Negroes/Blacks/African-Americans) have less in-born ability to learn? Because most (Negroes/Blacks/African-Americans) don't have the chance for education that it takes to rise out of poverty? Because most (Negroes/Blacks/African-Americans) just don't have the motivation or will power to pull themselves up out of poverty?

Mainly due to discrimination: 

Mainly due to discrimination

Because most have less in-born ability to learn : 

Because most have less in-born ability to learn

Because most don't have the chance for education that it takes to rise out of poverty: 

Because most don't have the chance for education that it takes to rise out of poverty

Because most just don't have the motivation or will power to pull themselves up out of poverty: 

Because most just don't have the motivation or will power to pull themselves up out of poverty

Opposition to Affirmative Action: General Social Survey: 

Opposition to Affirmative Action: General Social Survey Some people say that because of past discrimination, blacks should be given preference in hiring and promotion. Others say that such preference in hiring and promotion of blacks is wrong because it discriminates against whites

Opposition to Affirmative Action: 

Opposition to Affirmative Action What about your opinion -- are you for or against preferential hiring and promotion of blacks? IF FAVORS: A. Do you favor preference in hiring and promotion strongly or not strongly? IF OPPOSES: B. Do you oppose preference in hiring and promotion strongly or not strongly?

Opposition to Affirmative Action: 

Opposition to Affirmative Action

Trend in Opposition to Affirmative Action: 

Trend in Opposition to Affirmative Action

Mechanisms for Retrenchment of Affirmative Action : 

Mechanisms for Retrenchment of Affirmative Action Legislative efforts to dismantle existing state and local Affirmative Action or to ban race-based programs Court decisions that require government entities to: Show a compelling state justification for instituting any remedy Narrowly tailor any race-base program to remedy identified discrimination Ballot Initiatives

Examples of Set-Backs: 

Examples of Set-Backs Court Decisions Croson, 1989 Hopwood, 1996 Legislative Efforts Between 1992 and 2000 108 Anti-AA in Public Employment Bills introduced 113 Anti-AA in Public Contracting 107 Anti-AA in Higher Education Ballot Initiatives Washington; California Proposition 209, 1995: Eliminates affirmative action programs in all public contracts, at public state colleges and universities and hiring within public state agencies

Continued Set-Backs: 

Continued Set-Backs Despite court upholdings of affirmative action Concrete Works v Denver (2003) Grutter v Bollinger (2003) Equal Protection Clause does not prohibit the Law School’s narrowly tailored use of race in admissions to further a compelling interest …from a diverse student body Proposal 2 (Michigan Civil Rights Initiative) (November, 2006) Constitutional amendment prohibiting state and local government from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment to any individual or group based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin

The Model: 

The Model Factors contributing to legislation restricting affirmative action Economic Stress Unemployment rates, shift out of manufacturing, b/w income gaps, state employment Political Vulnerability Black elected officials, democratic voting, percent voting age population registered Socio-Demographic Stress Immigration, racial diversity, crime, welfare

The Data: 

The Data Legislative Data by House by State 1992-1998 Bills introduced Bills voted out of committee Bills passed State social, economic and political data -- Census, Joint Center, Statistical Abstracts

Results: 

Results Economic/Socio-Demographic Models Predict Best Political Model Mispredicts Often

Effects of Race, Crime and Welfare: 

Effects of Race, Crime and Welfare

Economic/Social Stresses Matter: 

Economic/Social Stresses Matter Percent correctly classified

Model Predicted Affirmative Action Retrenchment: 

Model Predicted Affirmative Action Retrenchment California Oregon Illinois Florida Michigan Mississippi Alabama Louisiana South Carolina. Washington

Findings:: 

Findings: Threats of increased numbers of minorities affect the likelihood that anti-affirmative action bills are introduced But, increased numbers of minorities help to prevent introduction of ballot initiatives Ballot initiatives more likely where white males are unemployed

Ballot Initiatives: White Male Threat: 

Ballot Initiatives: White Male Threat

Case Study: Public Procurement and Contracting: 

Case Study: Public Procurement and Contracting Billions of federal dollars for construction and highway projects to private firms FTA guidelines require DBE goals But, goals must be met partly through race-neutral means

Race-Neutral Means: 

Race-Neutral Means Expanding pool of qualified women and minority-owned firms Bonding and insurance programs to help DBEs compete effectively Outreach activities i.e., virtually anything except direct set-asides or subcontracting goals for prime contractors

Innovations in Measure Race-Neutrality: 

Innovations in Measure Race-Neutrality Myers and Ha, Applied Economics Letters show portion of the overall goal that could be achieved through race-neutral means is: Amount of dollars that could have been awarded without a DBE goal. This amount is often underestimated in conventional models

Race and Sports: 

Race and Sports Should there be affirmative action in competitive sports? What do we know about the opposition to affirmative action in sports?

Opposition to Affirmative Action in Sports: 

Opposition to Affirmative Action in Sports Rooney rule requires NFL Clubs to interview at least one minority candidate for head-coaching jobs Blogs dominated by opposition to the Rooney Rule Frequent commentary: “Tony Dungy’s race has nothing to do with it” “The reason there has never been a black coach to win the Super Bowl is that there has never been a black coach that a top white player was willing to play for” Black coaches owe it all to Rooney rule

The Interesting Case of Competitive Swimming: 

The Interesting Case of Competitive Swimming Blacks dominate most Olympic sports One of the last outposts of virtual total exclusion of blacks is swimming But, great resistance to remedying the problem

Historical Background: 

Historical Background Evidence of excellent boating and swimming skills among coastal Africans Slave traders reported many instances of blacks who jumped ship and swam ashore North of Acapulco (Mexico) Esmeraldas (Ecuador) Slave owners prohibited blacks from swimming Public swimming pools denied entrance to blacks or required separate pools Medical literature on body mass, bone structure, buoyancy “explaining” why blacks cannot swim

Modern-Day Myths: 

Modern-Day Myths Blacks believe that they will catch colds by swimming (in the winter) Black males do not want to wear Speedos Black females do not want to get their hair wet Blacks do not have the money to pay for parking Blacks prefer to play basketball

African-American children ages 5 to 19 years fatally drowned at 2.3 times the rate of white children in this age group during 2002–2003 (CDC 2005) : 

African-American children ages 5 to 19 years fatally drowned at 2.3 times the rate of white children in this age group during 2002–2003 (CDC 2005)

USA Swimming Membership: 

USA Swimming Membership Of 249,182 members in 2005 1,220 black females 958 black males .9% of total The states with the highest disparities in drowning rates had the lowest numbers of black competitive swimmers

“Outreach” Activities of USA Swimming: 

“Outreach” Activities of USA Swimming Reduced membership dues “Outreach” camp “Outreach” grants of $2,000 Differential times for inclusion in elite training camps But, substantial opposition from coaches, parents and athletes to “affirmative action” efforts

The compelling state interest in remedying disparities: 

The compelling state interest in remedying disparities

The Minnesota Paradox: 

The Minnesota Paradox Blacks are 2,700 times more likely to be in the population than they are to be found among USA swimming registrants Virtually all of the 10 and under state records dating back to 1994 and 1995 are held by two persons of African American heritage

MINNESOTA SWIMMING STATE RECORDS LONG COURSE (50 METERS) : 

MINNESOTA SWIMMING STATE RECORDS LONG COURSE (50 METERS)

Who is Kris Humphries?: 

Who is Kris Humphries?

MINNESOTA SWIMMING STATE RECORDS, SHORT COURSE (25 YARDS): 

MINNESOTA SWIMMING STATE RECORDS, SHORT COURSE (25 YARDS)

Who is Kaela Humphries?: 

Who is Kaela Humphries? 2000 Olympic Trials University of Texas, Austin Two-time NCAA All-American Four-time Big 12 Conference Champion 12-time All-Big 12 Conference 2004 First-Team Academic All-Big 12 Conference Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll

Does this provide proof that blacks can swim?: 

Does this provide proof that blacks can swim? Collective denial that there is a problem Look at Kris. Look at Kaela. Blacks prefer basketball Reinforcement of biological myths Kris and Kaela are bi-racial Alison Terry (sprinter) is bi-racial Anthony Ervin (sprinter) (gold medal 50 meter free) is bi-racial Cullen Jones is sprinter

Why this metaphor is helpful: 

Why this metaphor is helpful Remedying racial and ethnic inequality requires an understanding of the nature of the problem Myths and misconceptions affect beliefs about the problem Beliefs about the problem affect private views about the remedy Private views affect public action

Summary and Conclusion: 

Summary and Conclusion Widespread opposition to Affirmative Action Rise in use of ballot initiatives as vehicle for dismantling public policies on affirmative action Opposition to Affirmative Action rooted in real social and economic factors related to racial separation Solutions need to address the underlying factors of: Racial separation Misunderstandings and distrust

Questions and Answers: 

Questions and Answers

Sources: 

Sources GSS 1972-2004 Cumulative Datafile http://sda.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/hsda?harcsda+gss04 Aquatics International http://www.aquaticsintl.com/2005/oct/0510_minority.html Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. (2005) [cited 2006 April 11]. Available from: URL: www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars.  Gilchrist J, Sacks JJ, Branche CM. Self-reported swimming ability in U.S. adults, 1994. Public Health Reports 2000;115(2–3):110–1. USA Swimming Membership Statistics Report, 2005. http://www.hhh.umn.edu/img/assets/9680/multiculturalforum.ppt

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