18 November 2009

Racial profiling in the job market

Racial profiling is illegal in law enforcement here in the U.S., but that doesn't stop it from happening, unfortunately.

And racial discrimination is illegal in hiring, but apparently that doesn't stop it from happening there, either.

An article from theGrio.com explains:
According to a study for the National Bureau of Economics, resumes and applications with names more commonly given to white Americans were 50 percent more likely to be contacted for job interviews than those applicants with names more associated with black Americans.

It has also been found that employers download resumes from applicants with "white names" - such as Molly and Daniel - 17 percent more often than those of applicants with "black names" like Maesha and Darius. Some speculate that it is not about race but that names are indicative of social background. Either way, assumptions are being made independent of a person's capabilities.
So, instead of looking for the brightest, they are looking for the whitest. This doesn't seem like a smart way to run a business.

And it doesn't seem like a legal way to run a business. Unfortunately, however, it is also the kind of thing that would be awfully hard to prove, and therefore hard to prosecute.

What century is this?

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