Congratulations! You got this job because California progressives demand we have more diversity.”
Sound offensive? It should. Yet here we are, dealing with government-mandated tokenism in the name of social justice and racial equity from the state of California. As is so often the case, this latest move amounts to condescending pandering from politicians who want to be literal white knights coming to the rescue.
Under a newly signed corporate diversity law, California-based corporations are mandated to add a member from an “underrepresented community” to their boards. This includes both self-identified racial minorities and members of the LGBTQ community, inadvertently treating every unique person, with their unique background, as equally oppressed, regardless of socio-economic background. The legislation doesn’t bother to explain why diversity serves companies. It simply demands it.
Governor Gavin Newsom is proud of this accomplishment. He shouldn’t be. In the name of diversity and inclusion, the governor isn’t just amplifying an insidious message that minorities can’t earn positions on our own. He’s turning us into props to make white progressives feel good about themselves.
As corporations eagerly adopt social justice causes like Black Lives Matter and promote racial equity training for their employees, the implication that racism is keeping boards white is hard to believe. The very text of the legislation notes only 35 percent of the state’s companies have all-white boards, suggesting corporations are diversifying with qualified candidates without government intervention. There’s no reason to believe the trend won’t continue, yet the state compels diversity anyway.
Who would want to be appointed to a board the day after this bill goes into effect? Racial or sexual minorities will go from wondering if they didn’t get a job due to bigotry to wondering if they got the job due to tokenism. What a horrible feeling to have.
I wouldn’t want to be hired for being gay; I would want to earn the job. Would I be expected to declare my sexual orientation to make it easier for the hiring manager to classify me? I’d much rather avoid the awkwardness of trying to casually drop my sexuality during an interview in a way that won’t seem like I’m asking for extra diversity points. Must white men and women wear their LGBTQ status on their sleeves in order to ensure they don’t get tossed aside as a “white candidate” who wouldn’t pass diversity muster?
This is the second law of its kind