Google’s being sued by an ex-recruiter and part of the suit is the claim that the company discriminates against white and Asian people during the process. Our own intutition is that, dependent upon how accurate you wish to be in your use of language, the company definitely does do so. On the simple grounds that it’s not possible to discriminate in favour of one group identity without discriminating against others. There is rather a large amount of mealy mouthed obfuscation around concerning this point of course, but that is still reality. Even if it’s true that American society (or capitalism, The Man, whatever) discriminates against certain groups it would still be true that anyone themselves discriminating in order to correct these injustices is still, well, discriminating:
The Alphabet Inc. unit had “irrefutable policies, memorialized in writing and consistently implemented in practice, of systematically discriminating in favor job applicants who are Hispanic, African American, or female, and against Caucasian and Asian men,” according to the complaint filed in state court in Redwood City, California.
Arne Wilberg, who worked at Google and its YouTube unit for about nine years both as a contractor and an employee, claims he was terminated in retaliation for complaining to human resources about the company’s hiring practices.
Well, yes, we know, it’s a suit and an allegation in one to boot.
The critics of Google’s effort to promote workforce diversity now include one of its own former recruiters, who claims in a lawsuit he was fired because he didn’t toe the line on rejecting white and Asian male job candidates.
Whether they did that and whether he was fired because of it isn’t our point here at all:
Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano said the company will vigorously defend itself against the lawsuit.
“We have a clear policy to hire candidates based on their merit, not their identity,” she said in an emailed statement. “At the same time, we unapologetically try to find a diverse pool of qualified candidates for open roles, as this helps us hire the best people, improve our culture, and build better products.”
Well, yes, but. If increased diversity means that equally qualified candidates (to be as polite as we could be about it) are discriminated among on the grounds of under-representation of race, gender or anything else, then that’s discrimination. It may well be positive in favour of members of one group but it’s equally negative against those other equally qualified but not so diverse. There’s really not any way out of this logic.
Sure, there’re attempts, as with the allegations of racism. Those oppressed cannot be racists because only those with the power can be so. It’s a common enough statement that and it’s also nonsense through and through. So too is the idea that discriminating in favour of one group isn’t discrimination against those others. After all, what is the historical allegation in the first place? That everyone had positive discrimination in favour of white males if memory serves.
Are modern hiring practices discriminatory? Sure they are, discrimination in favour of under represented groups, in favour of diversity, it’s still discrimination. Whether it’s the right thing to do or not, it still is discrimination.