Tag Archives: Discrimination

Discrimination and Disparities II, by Walter E. Williams

The second part of Walter E. William’s review of Thomas Sowell’s latest book Discrimination and Disparities. From Walter E. Williams at lewrockwell.com:

Part One

Last week’s column discussed Dr. Thomas Sowell’s newest book “Discrimination and Disparities,” which is an enlarged and revised edition of an earlier version. In this review, I am going to focus on one of his richest chapters titled “Social Visions and Human Consequences.” Sowell challenges the seemingly invincible fallacy “that group outcomes in human endeavors would tend to be equal, or at least comparable or random, if there were no biased interventions, on the one hand, nor genetic deficiencies, on the other.” But disparate impact statistics carries the day among academicians, lawyers and courts as evidence of discrimination.

Sowell gives the example of blacks, who make up close to 70 percent of NFL and AFL players in professional football. Blacks are greatly overrepresented among star players but almost nonexistent among field goal kickers and punters. Probably the only reason why lawsuits are not brought against team owners is that the same people hire running backs and field goal kickers. One wonders whether anyone has considered the possibility that professional black players do not want to be punters and field goal kickers?

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Old White Guys Need Not Apply, by Laurence M. Vance

Should discrimination be either a civil wrong or a crime? From Laurence M. Vance at lewrockwell.com:

The victory of the plaintiff in recent Supreme Court case of Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission does not mean that all forms of discrimination are now legal in the United States.

Far from it.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that it had settled a three-year-old lawsuit against Orlando-based Darden Restaurants, a Fortune 500 company with 1,700 restaurants and 175,000 employees that owns the brands Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Eddie V’s, and Seasons 52.

The problem?

The federal lawsuit, which was filed in February 2015, alleged that job candidates at Seasons 52 were told that the restaurants didn’t hire “old white guys.”

Seasons 52, which has forty-one locations in twenty states, “is a fresh grill and wine bar that offers a seasonal menu inspired by the fresh appeal of a farmer’s market and what’s good now.” The restaurant uses “ingredients at their peak and rustic cooking techniques, like brick-oven roasting and open fire grilling over oak and mesquite, which bring out the natural flavors of food.”

The EEOC

  • said managers at Darden’s Seasons 52 chain tried to portray a young and hip image by hiring younger servers and hosts.
  • alleged that Seasons 52 wouldn’t hire two men, Anthony Scornavacca, then 52, and Hugo Alfaro, then 42, because of their age.
  • commissioned a statistical report from a University of California, Irvine professor that said Seasons 52 had not hired enough older employees.
  • said it contacted thousands of people over 40 who applied for jobs at Seasons 52 and found 254 people who claimed they were treated with bias.
  • alleged that one manager bluntly said that Seasons 52 didn’t employ “old white guys.”

“Often, discrimination cases are hard to prove,” said David Seltzer, an attorney on the case with the EEOC’s Miami district office. “But here, Seasons 52 interviews across locations repeatedly told applicants things like ‘We don’t hire people over 40,’ ‘Seasons 52 girls are younger and fresh’ or asked them for their date of birth, high school graduation date or a driver’s license.”

Lawyers for Darden argued the incidents were isolated and that there wasn’t proof of a top-down effort to exclude older workers.

To continue reading: Old White Guys Need Not Apply

Discrimination and Disparities, by Walter E. Williams

Virtually anything written by Thomas Sowell is worth reading, especially his writings on race and ethnic groups. Walter Williams reviews Sowell’s latest book, Discrimination and Disparities, at lewrockwell.com:

I don’t mind saying that this column represents a grossly understated review of “Discrimination and Disparities,” just published by my longtime friend and colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell. In less than 200 pages, Sowell lays waste to myth after myth not only in the United States but around the globe.

One of those myths is that but for the fact of discrimination, we’d all be proportionately represented in socio-economic characteristics, such as career, income, education and incarceration. The fact of business is that there is no evidence anywhere on earth, at any time in human history, that demonstrates that but for discrimination, there would be proportionate representation in anything by race, sex, nationality or any other human characteristic. Sowell shows that socio-economic outcomes differ vastly among individuals, groups and nations in ways that cannot be explained by any one factor, whether it’s genetics, discrimination or some kind of exploitation.

A study of National Merit Scholarship finalists shows that firstborns are finalists more often than their multiple siblings combined. Data from the U.S., Germany and Britain show that the average IQ of firstborns is higher than the average IQ of their later siblings. Such outcomes challenge those who believe that heredity or one’s environment is the dominant factor in one’s academic performance. Moreover, the finding shows that if there is not equality among people born to the same parents and living under the same roof, why should equality of outcomes be expected under other conditions?

In Chapter 2, Sowell provides evidence that people won’t take racial discrimination at any cost. The higher its cost the less it will be tolerated, and vice versa. One example is segregated seating on municipal transit in the South. Many companies were privately owned, and their decision-makers understood that they could lose profits by offending their black customers by establishing segregated seating. Transportation companies fought against laws mandating racially segregated seating, both politically and in the courts, but lost. Companies even chose to ignore the law. Faced with heavy fines, though, they began to comply with the law.

To continue reading: Discrimination and Disparities

Discrimination Misconceptions, by Laurence Vance

Freedom means the right not to do business with whomever one chooses not to do business. From Laurence Vance at lewrockwell.com:

Back in 2013, Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, refused to provide flowers for a gay friend’s same-sex wedding. The legal battle that ensued has now ended: The Washington State Supreme Court just unanimously ruled that the florist violated the state’s anti-discrimination law.

The case has given rise to some misconceptions about discrimination.

Here is the back story.

In 2012, the state of Washington enacted Senate Bill 6239, which recognized same-sex marriage. Gay men Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed, who had been a couple since 2004, decided to get married in September of 2013. At the time of his engagement, Ingersoll had been a customer of Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts for at least nine years. Stutzman, an active member of a Southern Baptist church who believed that marriage can exist only between a man and a woman, knew that Ingersoll was gay and in a relationship with Freed. When Ingersoll spoke with Stutzman about providing flowers for his wedding, she told him that she would be unable to do so because of her religious beliefs. She gave Ingersoll the names of other florists who might be willing to serve him and hugged Ingersoll before he left the store.

Stutzman said she “draws a distinction between creating floral arrangements—even those designed by someone else—and selling bulk flowers and ‘raw materials,’ which she would be happy to do for Ingersoll and Freed.” But she said she believes that “to create floral arrangements is to use her ‘imagination and artistic skill to intimately participate in a same-sex wedding ceremony.’”

To continue reading: Discrimination Misconceptions