Report Card for the Diversity Racket

I do not know Charlotte Westerhaus but I do have some sympathy for her. The duties of her job, “vice president for diversity and inclusion” for the National Collegiate Athletic Association, include replying to charges that in 2008 the NCAA “lost ground for both their record for gender hiring practices and hiring practices by race.”

That charge came from The 2008 Racial and Gender Report Card: College Sport, from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida (UCF), which has evidently appointed itself to rule on such matters. The report card gave college sports a C+ for race and a B for gender for a combined C+ grade in 2008. These numbers, said Richard Lapchick, TIDES director and author of the report, “reflect a need for new strategies for more opportunities for people of color and women.” He didn’t say what the new strategies might be, but I suspect that quotas are in there somewhere.

Jessica Bartter, spokesperson for TIDES, tells PRI that an A grade requires 40 percent of employees to be women; 32 percent gets a B, 27 percent a C, 22 percent a D and anything below that draws an F. The 40 percent figure comes from “federal affirmative action standards,” though TIDES did not supply an exact reference.

Ms. Bartter also explains that approximately 24 percent of the population is “people of color,” and, hence, 24 percent of such people in a workplace merits an A. Further, 12 percent earns a B, nine percent gets a C, six percent a D, and F for anything below that. “Federal affirmative action policies state that the workplace should reflect the percentage of the people in the racial group in the population,” writes Ms. Bartter, without any specific reference.

I am aware of no federal regulation or legislation that requires any such proportionality. As we have said a hundred times, this notion fails to account for personal differences, effort, and, above all, choice. Gender and race preferences are actually illegal in California government employment, education and contracting, because of voter-approved Proposition 209. Preferences and quotas imply that some people can only succeed with special help from the government, which is not true.

As we have noted, Althea Gibson, an African-American woman, fared well in tennis and golf long before Title IX, and even before the Civil Rights Act. Neither men’s tennis nor golf suffered because of her success. Title IX, on the other hand, has resulted in the elimination of many men’s sport programs. Ms. Bartter says TIDES fully supports Title IX, so such losses must be acceptable under “diversity” guidelines.

Nobody has control over their gender or the hue of their skin, but TIDES’ complaint with the NCAA is that too many coaches and bosses are white men. Mr. Lapchick does not blame institutional racism but faults a lingering “old boys network.”

Jessica Bartter also tells PRI that TIDES supports “an inclusive hiring process and choosing the best possible candidate regardless of race or gender.” Were some of the “old boys” perhaps hired because of their qualifications, experience, and achievements, rather than their connections, gender, or skin color? Even if such is the case, that doesn’t show up in the report card. Like the UC Davis “study” of women in business we recently examined, it is basically a head count accompanied by rhetoric. There is more going on here, however.

TIDES is part of the DeVos Sport Business Management Graduate Program in UCF’s College of Business Administration. TIDES conducts “diversity management training,” all part of the booming diversity industry. One accuses an entity of insufficient progress, then steps in to help them solve the problem, a convenient business plan controlling supply and demand.

Charlotte Westerhaus, meanwhile, might ask for the grade on TIDES itself. The assistants are black graduate students but Mr. Lapchick is a white man. As we know from his report cards, those two features alone can draw a lower grade, even if the man happens to be qualified. Maybe he got the job through an old-boys network.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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