Monday, December 10, 2018

Complicit in Racism?

As an adult white male, it’s challenging to ‘see’ those areas that hinder the advancement of others. Minneapolis recently approved a plan to end discrimination through single-family zoning policies. In one company, I challenged our HR policies that discriminated against people without ‘sufficient’ employment history; that policy excluded recent immigrants and ex-felons...who would, of course, be predominantly non-white. Also, I challenge the use of performance appraisals (PAs). PAs are inherently biased and not based on the person’s actual performance. 90% of the appraisal is based on policies and the reviewer’s own preferences and perspectives (i.e. biases). We subconsciously (at best) rate people we don’t like (who aren’t like us perhaps at minimally by our values) lower than others we do like. Since PAs are tied to merit increases and promotion opportunities we keep ‘them’ away from advancement economically and outside of the power circle.

We have blind spots. Where are the others?

Before you object, I want you to understand that I know about two extreme forms of ‘culture shock’ when exposed to another group’s thinking: 1) a total rejection of their view; 2) a total acceptance of their view along with a total rejection of our ‘home/heritage’ view. Looking for the blind spots is not in the extreme; it is worth asking the question of any of our policies ‘how is this helping or how is this hindering our neighbors/colleagues?’

No comments:

Post a Comment