How the Campus Culture Wars Are Coming to Your Office

by Evil HR Lady on April 4, 2017

“There are two ideas now in the academic left that weren’t there 10 years ago,” says Jonathan Haidt, a psychologist and professor of ethical leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business, in The Wall Street Journal. “One is that everyone is racist because of unconscious bias, and the other is that everything is racist because of systemic racism.”

Do you believe that? Before you give a quick answer of “yes,” think about it. Do you really think that you, yourself, discriminate illegally against your employees? Do you treat your white employees better than your minority employees?

Regardless of your answer to those questions, if you start hiring people who believe what they’ve been taught about racism, how does that look for your business? Every project assignment, every promotion, every time you ask someone to stay late can be seen through the eyes of racism. Which means that anything you do can result in official complaints. While the legal standard is different than the emotional standard of a new grad, defending against these accusations can be draining, emotionally and financially.

To keep reading, click here: How the Campus Culture Wars Are Coming to Your Office

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

mer April 4, 2017 at 12:51 pm

I’m really longing for the days when I was judged and I judged by the content of one’s character instead of the color of one’s skin.

I’m sorry, but people that see everything through the glasses of racism are just as, if not more so, racist than those they accuse of being racist.

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grannybunny April 4, 2017 at 3:05 pm

When did those halcyon days exist?

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mer April 4, 2017 at 3:36 pm

Yesterday.
We (as a country) were actually making progress towards that position, but have taken a huge step backwards. “Why” have we gone backwards? Because people are looking at everything through the glasses of racism.
“When you have a hammer everything looks like a nail”.

The position that all white people are racist, simply because of the color of their skin is racist and that’s what’s coming out of these movements.

Sorry, if “everyone is racist” then noone is racist.

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BethRa April 4, 2017 at 9:58 pm

the position isn’t that white people are racists simply because of the color of our skin. The position is that study after study has shown even with the best of intentions, we harbor significant racial biases.

For example, we are less likely to call applicants in for an interview if their name is “black” or hispanic sounding (http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-bias-hiring-0504-biz-20160503-story.html). Shown photos of men of the same weight and height, we will perceive black men as larger, heavier and stronger, and we are more likely to say a police offer would be justified in shooting the black men, even absent any other distinctions (http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/black-men-perceived-stronger-threatening-1.4022277).

So yes, we have made huge progress, but we clearly still have a lot of work to do. Just because that work makes people uncomfortable doesn’t mean we’re going “backwards.”

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Anonymous April 4, 2017 at 2:50 pm

Ah, the “oppression olympics”. The actual theories are much more complex than the discussion would suggest – and are simplified much too much on campus. Young people being young. Were baby boomers considered radical once upon a time?

Believing that systemic racism, sexism, and microaggressions exist is the only way to combat them. Like really listening to someone with dark skin who keeps getting hints (or big screaming signs) that he doesn’t belong in a white professional space, and instead of explaining it away saying “yeah, that must suck”. I like the don’t be an a$$hole way of working with people.

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J.B. April 4, 2017 at 2:51 pm

That was not meant to be anonymous.

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grannybunny April 4, 2017 at 3:04 pm

What a bunch of politically-motivated crap. To claim that colleges and universities have gone overboard in attempts to protect women from sexual assaults on campus flies in the face of the current wide-spread scandal about the fact that sexual assault allegations on college campuses are frequently mishandled or swept under the rug. That’s not saying that there aren’t examples out there of so-called political correctness run wild; there are. But, as lawyers say, “hard cases make bad law.” That is, you cannot go by the extreme exceptions out there, but need to consider the overall reality.

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Jill April 4, 2017 at 4:39 pm

I’m glad the author raised the concept of “diversity of thought” which is sorely underappreciated. We live in times where the prevailing attitude is, “If you don’t agree with me 100%, you must be 100% against me.”

It is tiring dealing with people that have this mindset in my personal/social life. I shudder to imagine dealing with it in the workplace, having to navigate the “if you don’t like me, or my ideas, or my work, you must be racist/sexist/some other kind of -ist”.

Look, it is entirely possible to simply be a lousy employee or a horrible co-worker without your race or gender or sexuality having anything to do with it. Some people just suck.

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Maria Rose April 4, 2017 at 10:37 pm

I am glad see you put it so clearly. Problem is that those on the extremes never really see the reality of their words and actions. Thanks for putting it down in clear concise language., so be it to the PC group.

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Karl April 4, 2017 at 7:15 pm

Do you really think that everyone has attained their position and life based solely upon their individual merit? Do you really think that people of all races, ethnicities, and genders are treated on equal grounds with none being treated better than another?

If so you must have only one explanation for why 93 of 100 US Senators are white, 80 are male. 80% of the US House of Representatives are male. 44 of our 45 Presidents have been white males. The vast preponderance of senior corporate leaders are male. They must all be more meritorious than anyone else.

Interestingly according to the Federal Reserve’s 2013 report, the top 10% of white families own 65% of the nations wealth. With the bottom 50% of white families owning ~ 2%! I can definitely see how any of those families would resent being told they are privileged. That is the basis of all this talk about political correctness. The concept of white privilege is difficult to square when you are in the bottom 50% of white privilege. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

I”m pretty convinced that if we were all blind, and had the same accent, we’d be pretty focused on the disparity of wealth, power and privilege, but for now we are still squabbling over who is less privileged, and that is how the people at the top like it…

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Evil HR Lady April 4, 2017 at 7:46 pm

There’s a huge difference between “racism exists” and “every person and every organization is racist.”

I’d rather stick pins in my eyes than run for office. I imagine more women than men feel the same way I do.

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Maria Rose April 4, 2017 at 10:42 pm

Actually if I have the spare change these politicians have rolling around I would gladly run for office to clear out the swamp of “old-boy thinking. It galls me to now end, to have comments like we (men) know what is good for women. That’s where Hillary went wrong, she hung out with the “old boys” because they paid her way.

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the gold digger April 8, 2017 at 6:11 pm

I am married to someone who has run for state-level office twice and national-level office once. (He did not win.)

It is excruciating and it is not what I expected when I married my singing engineer. 🙁

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Keith m April 9, 2017 at 3:16 pm

There are a lot of studies that are inconvenient truths not so much about the race part but about the gender part. You just need to search the stuff online. A lot of women don’t actually want those types of jobs and value different things and jobs. men’s brains are wired differently, it is more common for men to have an obsessive and aggressive attitude towards work that pushes them to do things like work longer hours or read industry papers outside of working hours or wake up in the middle of the night to jot down ideas etc.

Man also tend to be more aggressive and willing to work in sales and account management and revenue generating roles which are where a lot of executives get their start. Those jobs can be kind of crappy but lead to higher earning potential early in your career because you’re the one bringing the company money. I can tell you from my own experience at a bunch of companies almost no women even apply to those type of jobs and we posted everywhere. In my career I’ve noticed men more than women being more focused on problems that directly impact margin and revenue and potential for a lost money, and those are the types of projects that lead to higher paying work.

Unfortunately I’ve seen gender stereotypes play out 1 trillion times in my life and career which makes me question what the true motive is of third wave feminism. Just looking at my current job the first people in the office and the last ones are always men and while a lot of the men skip lunch and seem obsessed with going through our data to find new problems, the women in the office go to yoga during lunch and then go out to lunch so they’re gone for well over an hour and a half in the middle of the day every single day. Even though every job in the office has the same potential for workload and income potential.

Yes there where times where I’ve met people where I’m like yeah if you didn’t grow up upper-middle-class he would not be in the job and the only reason they’re in it is because their parents sent them to a certain school and they even know these types of jobs existed to apply to when they were finishing school and they just had a frame of reference for climbing the corporate ladder. In other words It was cultural. but I’ve also met way too many men who came from crappy Socio-economic situations and pushed their way up the corporate ladder to know that it’s not only coming from a middle-class or a white family that makes one succeed

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BethRa April 4, 2017 at 9:12 pm

I’m sorry, but there is just a gob-smacking amount of data showing that no matter how pure our intentions, we DO respond to people differently based on race. Put a hispanic or “black” sounding name on a resume, and applicants are less likely to be called for interviews (http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-bias-hiring-0504-biz-20160503-story.html). Show people pictures of black and white men of the same size, and they will perceive the black men as larger, heavier and stronger (http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/black-men-perceived-stronger-threatening-1.4022277). for starters.

That should worry us a heck of a lot more than possibly hiring people who’ve started talking about those issues in college.

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PhillyRedhead April 5, 2017 at 12:03 am

Have you watched Jay Smooth’s “You’ve Got a Little Racism Stuck in your Teeth”? Racism is not just slurs, burning crosses and white hoods. It’s built into every institution we’ve built in the USA. So, yeah, everything IS racist, mostly in unconscious ways.

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Keith M April 5, 2017 at 11:50 pm

Except when it’s not. You can find articles and videos online claiming how literally anything is racist – tipping or hairstyles or expecting people to not curse in interviews…..

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Anon April 5, 2017 at 9:05 pm

How will we know when we’re not racist (or sexist, or whatever) anymore? At some point, we have to decide that someone’s words or actions are based on facts and context, rather than some conscious, or unconscious bias.

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Jeanne April 6, 2017 at 11:56 am

There have always been special snowflakes at work and there always will be. There will be people who blame everything you say to them on racism or sexism. There has always been those people, whether or not they felt safe saying it. I really don’t feel much new that way either at work or at college. I want us to continue to open our eyes to how we treat others and attempt to erase institutional biases. I don’t think the sexual assault issue is at all similar to the race issue.

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Chris Hogg April 10, 2017 at 6:40 pm

The main article asks, “Do you treat your white employees better than your minority employees?” I think this question (and so many others like it) show how ingrained and how “invisible” racism can be, even when the person asking the question has the best and purest of motives. The question *presumes* that the employer is white – as opposed to asking something like, “Do you treat your employees differently based on their race?” And the question seems to assume that employees *would* be treated differently because of their race. I am a follower of Jesus Christ and as such hope that I will, and attempt to, treat all races equally. But as a white male I also realize that I have benefited greatly due to my skin color and gender here in the US. Were I living in another country with another majority race, probably the opposite would be true. In my view, racism is imbedded in each person and in each society and sub-society, not necessarily because we are all racists or live in overtly racist regimes, but because we are all broken and bent by our sin natures and evil hearts.

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Mythea April 14, 2017 at 8:31 pm

I find the comments on this fascinating. I am currently in an MPA program and have had some very interesting conversations with younger students about this topic. Many people struggle to see institutionalized racism (for example – white children are more likely to be designated as gifted than children of color…purely because they aren’t tested) and internal bias as separate from racism – but I loved that my teachers all taught how they are different and what that means to each individual. Try to be aware of your own bias (against slang, styles of dress, etc.) and to look for places where the institution is unfair to others and see if it can be improved.

No one said everyone is racist. No one said everyone is evil. Just that there are things everyone can do to encourage a better place for people who suffer today (including low income southern whites who suffer from a variety of biased perspectives promoted in media)

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Jennifer April 16, 2017 at 9:23 pm

I did not read the article. That said,

““There are two ideas now in the academic left that weren’t there 10 years ago,” says Jonathan Haidt, a psychologist and professor of ethical leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business”

Jonathan Haidt is already behind the times. Ten years ago was 2007. I was in school in the 1980’s and those ideas were already making the rounds and starting to infiltrate into parts of academia that weren’t directly impacted. But that was for a BA, and Mr Haidt is in a graduate school, so it makes sense that he’d be behind the times in this way.

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