Today I read a blog written by Glenn Shepard titled Why Some Managers Won't Hire Black Job Applicants, and I almost couldn’t believe what I read.
Shepard, a motivational speaker and writer who’s been around for quite a while, wrote that managers sometimes tell him they won’t hire black people because the managers are afraid they’ll get sued if they later have to fire the person. Shepard says that such people aren’t racist.
Shepard even quoted an African American woman as saying:
“I’m a proud black woman who worked hard to get where I am and I’m no racist. But I’m not going to let anyone derail my career with false accusations, no matter what their skin color is.”
Are you freaking kidding me lady? Just because you’re black doesn’t mean you can’t be racist against other black people. You wouldn’t get a pass from the Supreme Court on this point, and you ain’t getting one from me. Nope, not buying it.
Several commenters on Shepard’s blog said that such attitudes betray a lack of training. If you know how to document poor performance, they say, you won’t fear firing anyone.
I say these commenters are missing the boat. The issue is NOT training. Yes, these managers probably could use the training. But the issue is indeed racism.
Think about this. Any employee can sue any employer. And employees of both gender and of every shape, size, age, ethnicity, race, and color file claims every day. Who the hell doesn’t know this? I’ll bet these managers do. And they’re saying, “Yeah, anyone can sue. And if it happens with one of our own, we’ll handle it. But we’re not going through all that for some black folks. They aren’t worth it.” And deciding that African Americans aren’t worth this perceived “risk” is just another form of racist thinking.
So, I’m sorry Glenn, but you’re just wrong.
Oh, and what does Paula Deen have to do with all this?
Well, in the opening paragraph to the post, Shepard mentioned Paula Deen and all her troubles with the n-word, then declared himself “surprised” by the number of sponsors who’ve dropped her.
Am I crazy, or are we to infer “See! Paula hired black people and look how that turned out!”
Well, maybe I am a little crazy, but I don’t know why the heck else he mentioned it.
And in the comments the whole “Let he who is without sin blah, blah, blah” thing came up, and I just want to say—
Pulease. Has everyone forgotten why Deen was being deposed in the first place? (Hint, it wasn’t for saying the n-word thirty years ago.) It was for (allegedly, I’ll admit that) supporting a hostile work environment in this very much present day age. Also, and with all due respect to the good book, this “cast the first stone” business isn’t applicable in this context. By that token, no employer should ever be held accountable for any violations of law. Come on people, let’s start talking sense.
Paula Deen is not a martyr. She made her choices, and now she’s living with the consequences. That’s justice. Not martyrdom. Enough already.