[guarantee] lies the principle that the government must treat citizens as individuals, and not as members of racial, ethnic, or religious groups.” Missouri v. Jenkins, 515 U.S. 70, 120-121, 115 S.Ct. 2038, 132 L.Ed.2d 63 (1995) (THOMAS, J., concurring)
. “It is for this reason that we must subject all racial classifications to the strictest of scrutiny.” Id.,
at 121, 115 S.Ct. 2038.
Under strict scrutiny, all racial classifications are categorically prohibited unless they are “necessary to further a compelling governmental interest'” and “narrowly tailored to that end.” Johnson v. California, 543 U.S. 499, 514, 125 S.Ct. 1141, 160 L.Ed.2d 949 (2005) (quoting Grutter, supra, at 327, 123 S.Ct. 2325). This most exacting standard “has proven automatically fatal” in almost every case. Jenkins, supra, at 121, 115 S.Ct. 2038 (THOMAS, J., concurring). And rightly so. “Purchased at the price of immeasurable human suffering, the equal protection principle reflects our Nation’s understanding that [racial] classifications ultimately have a destructive impact on the individual and our society.” Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Peña, 515 U.S. 200, 240, 115 S.Ct. 2097, 132 L.Ed.2d 158 (1995) (THOMAS, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment). “The Constitution abhors classifications based on race” because “every time the government places citizens on racial registers and makes race relevant to the provision of burdens or benefits, it demeans us all.” Grutter, supra, at 353, 123 S.Ct. 2325 (THOMAS, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part).
What is true for the government is similarly true for the private sector. Not hiring a person because they are not a minority is just as discriminatory as not hiring someone because they are a minority, because, in both cases, race is a qualification or disqualification for employment.
What has race to do with a person’s qualifications to do a job, with their character, with their capability? Absolutely nothing.
Noel and Devon Bagwell with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at the Federalist Society Student Symposium. 2011-02-26.
Real diversity is more than skin deep. Real diversity requires us to get past the groupthink about so-called “diversity,” which only focuses on superficial factors, like gender, skin color, and sexual orientation. Real diversity requires disagreement. Real diversity is diversity of thought.
Alison Griswold, writing for Business Insider back in 2013 in a piece called, Why ‘Thought Diversity’ Is The Future Of The Workplace, cited a then-recent study by consulting and professional services company Deloitte, which concluded “cultivating ‘diversity of thought’ in a business can boost innovation and creative problem-solving.” Griswold further opined, “Varying the types of thinkers in a company also helps guard against ‘groupthink,’ a dangerous tendency in groups to focus first and foremost on group conformity, often at the expense of making good decisions.”
If J.J. Abrams had a real commitment to diversity that would go beyond pandering to ethnic minorities or assuaging his unwarranted white guilt, he would highlight the importance of real diversity–diversity of thought. He’d be more like Joel Coen. Robby Soave, on the Hit & Run Blog at Reason.com, presents the Coen brothers’ “shockingly honest” and “incredibly refreshing” approach to liberals’ caterwauling about lack of diversity in one of their recent movies:
When The Daily Beast asked why there weren’t more minorities in Hail, Caesar!’s cast, Coen fired back with, “Why would there be?”
“I don’t understand the question. No—I understand that you’re asking the question, I don’t understand where the question comes from.
“Not why people want more diversity—why they would single out a particular movie and say, ‘Why aren’t there black or Chinese or Martians in this movie? What’s going on?’ That’s the question I don’t understand. The person who asks that question has to come in the room and explain it to me.”
As filmmakers, is it important or not important to consciously factor in concerns like diversity, I asked.
“Not in the least!” Ethan [Coen] answered. “It’s important to tell the story you’re telling in the right way, which might involve black people or people of whatever heritage or ethnicity—or it might not.”
Their statements are almost shockingly honest, given that they seem likely to provoke the wrath of the social media left. The Washington Free Beacon’s Sonny Bunch comments, “That’s an incredibly blunt—and, frankly, incredibly refreshing—answer….Anyway, I’m curious to see how these comments are received.”
I encourage you, when you are considering diversity policy in your company, to go beyond the groupthink about diversity. Stop focusing on the visible, the superficial, which will inevitably lead you to make some kind of discriminatory decision. Instead, focus on real diversity, diversity of thought, which is invisible but far more important.
If the culture of your business is one that encourages openness to new ideas, starting at the top of your organization, the atmosphere of inclusion and respect will demonstrate how much you appreciate everyone’s point of view, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Isn’t that supposed to be the goal of all efforts to promote workplace diversity?
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