Thursday, August 24, 2017

What's in a Name?

In denying Robert Lee a desirable assignment because his name incidentally causes a (questionable) racial offense between two groups, neither of which he belongs to, did ESPN violate civil rights law?

Lee is discriminated against by default: Asian man can't do this (granted, very particular, silly-ass) thing, because it would constitute an offense upon blacks by whites. Well, I would argue, just what did Mr Lee (a venerable Chinese name, which must not be other-ized) do wrong? How is White Supremacy his fault?

Absurd as it is, it's just a unique manifestation of a daily occurrence: Asian guy gets shunted aside by the Diversity Express. It's all perfectly consistent with the current diversity zeitgeist; it's just the law hasn't caught up yet, perhaps.

Presumably a white man named Robert Lee would have been denied the assignment, sooner and with greater trepidation. In the current frenzy they might've caught it and not assigned him in the first place, sparing themselves the embarrassment--but they know now; we can rest assured ESPN will avoid entirely such potential mass microaggressions, and we'll be spared the terror of such as a Jeff Davis calling University of Kentucky games.

But--would have a black have been denied the Virginia gig? I'm not so sure--and I'm certain if he was denied the gig, he would have a case, for which he would easily find an experienced attorney. Is there any doubt black Robert E Lee (the E is for Eazy) would have a case?  It's silly in concept but sinister in practice: under the guise of fairness we're carving out more privileged spaces, such as professional opportunities, for favored ("protected") groups.

Whites are being robbed of their national and cultural patrimony as well as their fair shot through merit. Asians, alone among major ethnic or racial types, share with them that second outrage. Robert Lee getting shunted aside by the Diversity Express is standard practice. It happens all day every day, in less comic ways.

There is a message here, to Asians and other non-black minorities, about the hierarchy of grievance; they must know their place. ESPN and others genuinely take for granted their prosperous, law abiding and boring Asian countrymen. They are, in the quaint phrase ridiculously applied to black Americans, "invisible". In the language of critical theory, our elite routinely "otherizes" Asians in this way. The undeniable message for Asians  is you don't count in this context.

What does the law say?
Under the laws enforced by EEOC, it is illegal to discriminate against someone (applicant or employee) because of that person's race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to retaliate against a person because he or she complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. 
The law forbids discrimination in every aspect of employment. 
The laws enforced by EEOC prohibit an employer or other covered entity from using neutral employment policies and practices that have a disproportionately negative effect on applicants or employees of a particular race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), or national origin, or on an individual with a disability or class of individuals with disabilities, if the polices or practices at issue are not job-related and necessary to the operation of the business. The laws enforced by EEOC also prohibit an employer from using neutral employment policies and practices that have a disproportionately negative impact on applicants or employees age 40 or older, if the policies or practices at issue are not based on a reasonable factor other than age.
"[D]iscrimination in every aspect of employment" is as broad as it is clear.

As we all know under Title VII a "disproportionately negative effect" of otherwise "neutral" policy is how troublesome objective employer requirements, like IQ tests, are outlawed because of their dispareate negative impact on, usually, blacks.

Clearly Lee demonstrates a disproportionate negative effect on his own protected class, Asians, by policy--but is it "neutral"? What does that mean in this context? And if ESPN had to make this argument in court--that exceptional policy in deference to black feelz is "neutral"--well, I'd just like to hear it, that's all.

It is illegal for an employer to make decisions about job assignments and promotions based on an employee's race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. For example, an employer may not give preference to employees of a certain race when making shift assignments and may not segregate employees of a particular national origin from other employees or from customers.
An employer may not base assignment and promotion decisions on stereotypes and assumptions about a person's race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
It seems ESPN is guilty at least of name discrimination.  `



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