The madness of King Equal Opportunities

“We particularly welcome applications from black and minority ethnic candidates as they are under-represented within [institute name] at this level.”You’ll find this sentence, or something like it, in every job advertisement for a public sector entity or education institute. It crops up in a lot of private job advertisements too.
What does ‘particularly welcome’ mean? Well, if someone said to me I could pay them any way I like, but they particularly welcome cash, then I’d construe that as meaning that they prefer to be paid in cash. I think most people would make the same interpretation. So ‘particularly welcome’ seems to mean they prefer or favour those with black skin or cultural/religious backgrounds that are not prolific in the society we live in. When re-phrased like this it seems an absurd and irrational preference for an employer to express, for what does this have to do with finding someone with the necessary skills and knowledge to do the job? It only makes sense if the employer’s goal isn’t actually what we presume it to be in this instance and is something else; some other goal that apparently is at least as equally important as finding a competent person for the job, otherwise it wouldn’t be mentioned. In the same way, why would someone say they prefer cash if they weren’t at least somewhat interested in having their preference of being paid in cash met? The nature of this other goal is revealed in the remainder of the statement:

“…under-represented within [institute name] at this level.”

So the other goal can be stated like this: to accurately represent the ethnic diversity of society in our workforce. This second goal creates a problem, however, because there are many obvious instances where it will conflict with the primary goal, which is to find a suitably qualified and competent person for the job. For example, What happens when the black candidates interviewed for a position were found to be not suitably qualified to do the job, but the institute or company’s workforce is only 10% black and society is 40% black people? Do they move closer to achieving their second goal by employing a person who isn’t competent enough to do the job but has the required skin colour or do they employ whoever was best qualified to do the job and achieve goal one, at the cost of moving further away from achieving goal two? It’s a classic case of being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

This nonsensical hoop-jumping that institutes and prospective employees are forced to go through is the result of a variety of government employment legislation, which seems to come under the Equality Act 2010. I’m not sure of the exact details of this legislation and frankly life is too short to wade through it, but the details aren’t important, it suffices to know that it exists. Over the decades the lobbying of various special interest groups has resulted in specific laws and legislation that anyone who wants to employ someone else must adhere to, which has had the effect of forcing institutes/businesses to give privilege to certain groups of people who happen to have a certain skin colour and/or ethnicity.

In a sane, peaceful world where no one could force their preferences upon millions at the point of a government gun, the only reason educational institutes (or any business) might be concerned whether they have ‘enough’ blacks, Jews, Hindu’s or Catholics on their staff would be if this was better for business, not for the irrational notion that it somehow is the ‘moral duty’ of employers to have workforces consisting of many different races and ethnic creeds.

It would be infinitely more beneficial to society, and moral, if groups of people didn’t sanction the pointing of government guns at other people’s heads as a way of solving complex social problems. That’s what legislation is, the initiation of force against people by the only institution in society (government) that has the moral sanction to do so. If any one outside that group tries to solve a problem by forcing others to comply with their ‘rules’ they get thrown in jail; when politicians do it they are lauded as pillars of virtue.

Racial and ethnic prejudices are an effect of ignorance and/or indoctrination. The solution of course is simply to provide the opposite, knowledge and truth, to children and parents through whatever peaceful means works best. The solution is not to get the guns out. I don’t know if the Equal Opportunities Act has resulted in greater employment amongst blacks and minority ethnic groups, it may well have done, but it doesn’t matter. The effects of an action do not define whether that action was moral or not, only the nature of the action itself defines that. It doesn’t matter what happens after you’ve pointed a gun at someone, once it’s done there’s no going back. Violence always escalates and society becomes degraded.

I suppose recruiters at many institutions find ways to quietly circumnavigate the ‘equal opportunities’ nonsense in order to hire the best person for the job because, ultimately, there’s a job to be done and profits to be made, and so every institution head, business owner or manager wants the best person for it whether they’re black, yellow, green or pink. However, I would guess that many get sucked into the phoney morality and false virtue of it all and tie themselves in knots trying to comply.

If you want to find somewhere to study potential discrimination between races and ethnic groups, then East London is probably the best place. It is is one of the most racially and ethnically diverse areas in the world and so you may intuitively assume that racial and ethnic prejudices are frequently acted upon to some degree or other there; just like you might assume the opposite in an area dominated by one race or ethnicity. However, in my experience of growing up and living in East London, racial and ethnic conflicts are rare. I cannot recall ever witnessing an overtly racially or ethnically motivated act of aggression, which strikes me as remarkable. I’m sure racially or ethnically motivated acts of violence did and do happen at times, but the fact that I personally never witnessed one in a period of fifteen years or so is reasonable evidence that they aren’t common place.

So what might explain this lack of racial and ethnic disharmony that it would seem reasonable to expect to occur in such a place as East London? I think two things may explain this: Firstly, the fact that young children are reason and evidence junkies and, secondly, the requirement for all humans to exchange value with each other in order to live.Many of the racial and ethnic groups in East London have had a few generations or more to become acquainted with each other. Children spend most of their time at school with other kids of all races and ethnicities, and less time with their parents. From my own experience this arrangement, which leads to repeated encounters with evidence contradictory to irrational beliefs parents may have, makes it much less likely that children will adopt those same beliefs.The people in East London (like all people everywhere) share the common goals of putting food in their bellies and roofs over their heads, and that means trading with each other. Trading, which can simply mean buying a pint of milk, will often lead to interacting with people outside of your own racial or ethnic group, in fact in a place like East London it’s pretty much inevitable. This leads to a basic level of acceptance and likely more over time through constant encounters with evidence contradictory to any prejudices a person may hold. Some people will hold onto prejudices regardless of the evidence they encounter of course, but for the most part I think repeated interaction with other races and ethnic creeds dissolves most people’s. The reality is, if you want to buy a new TV or go on holiday you have to serve that customer or fix that guy’s car even if for some irrational reason you dislike them. The necessity of every human being’s desire to eat food and enjoy plumbing leave us with little choice but to politely interact with people that, in an alternative universe where humans don’t need to trade with each other, we might choose not to as a result of whatever silly prejudices we may hold. We can all choose not to interact with any race or ethnic creed we want to of course, and if you’ve got a lot of prejudices that might mean interacting with no one except those with the same skin colour as you, but doing so necessarily makes keeping a roof over your head and feeding your family that much harder.

I think the effect of everyday economic interactions is similar to the effect of the ‘fake it to make it’ pop psychology self-improvement technique, which people who desire to change their behavior in some way employ. The idea is that, for example, acting confidently – ‘faking’ confidence even if you consciously believe you aren’t a confident person – leads to confidence. It’s premised on the idea that our self image (who we think we are), created by our unconscious mind, is simply derived from the actions we take and not our beliefs in our conscious mind. What’s neat is that it’s not necessary for any of us going about earning a buck to be consciously trying to change our behavior – a shop keeper may not consciously care to abandon his prejudices about Chinese or Jewish people – but the result is that we effectively do. I’m no economist or psychologist, nor do I have much evidence for this theory and so of course I may be way off the mark, but I think it’s at least a plausible explanation as to why racial and ethnic prejudices aren’t common place, or at least aren’t commonly acted upon, in areas like East London.

The need to put food in our bellies and our desire to have material comforts necessitates different races and ethnic creeds coming together, which is a beautiful and happy consequence. Just like the consequence of sunlight shining on water droplets in the earth’s atmosphere at a low altitude angle is a rainbow. My experiences lead me to suspect that discrimination is a social problem that is largely subdued over time by the everyday process of humans exchanging value.

The fact is that the Equal Opportunities Act ends up achieving the exact opposite of its stated goal, which is indeed what every forceful attempt to solve problems ultimately does. It forces employers to discriminate against job seekers (“we particularly welcome applications from black and minority ethnic groups”) in order to protect job seekers from discrimination, which is clearly completely self-contradictory. This is like saying you’re going to protect someone from violence by knocking them unconscious with a baseball bat. The stated goal of the Equal Opportunities Act is to prevent all kinds of discrimination against everyone, but in reality what those who lobbied for the legislation really wanted was simply to gain privileges for minority groups by the use of force. In reality this is a basic desire to gain control and power over others masquerading as morality or a moral principle and it happens all the time in today’s world.

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