Monday, October 06, 2003

Blatant Discrimination?

Ashe: KUB needs black woman

"Two men interested in a vacancy on the KUB board of commissioners have withdrawn after receiving a letter from Mayor Victor Ashe that he intends to appoint a woman. The woman is likely to be black, he said.

The term of Gloria Ray, KUB chairwoman, is expiring. While the mayor has told Ray he intends to replace her, she's applied for another seven-year term.


The mayor said the reason to replace Ray is "so more persons may serve." He also wants to replace a woman with a woman "because if a man is named then there would only be one woman serving on this important board which sets the tax rate for water, gas and electricity as well as manage this vital system," he said in his letter.

Ashe said he sent the letter to all those he identified as "having a male name." Of 27 applicants, that would appear to be 16.
All right, if I were hiring for a new assistant, and I made it public that I was only hiring a woman and that males need not apply - not only do am I not going to hire a male, I'm not going to hire a white female. And apparently, I'm proud of this fact, in the name of "diversity".

How is this not a major discrimination, Equal-Opportunity Employer, lawsuit-waiting-to-happen kind of story???

I know Ashe has had a long-standing feud with Gloria Ray (who hasn't he had a long-standing feud with? Oh yeah, Jack Sharp.) and makes no bones about the fact he's not going to hire her back, but should a lame-duck mayor ethically make this important a hire in his last months in office? What's to prevent Haslam from reversing whatever decision Ashe makes the moment he takes office (besides the obvious)?

I can't see anyone in the private sector making this kind of announcement and getting away with it.

One more thing, I respect Georgianna Vines as much as I understand the politics she writes about (which isn't a lot, but she helps make it a little more understandable), but am I the only one left uncomfortable referring to black people with the single noun "black"? To quote:

"When Ashe took office, there was one woman and one black on the board. During his four terms, three women have served at the same time while at the moment there are two. There is one black man.
Notice she uses the noun "black" to refer to a mamber of the board. Later in the same paragraph, she uses "black" as an adjective, i.e. a descriptor - a "black" man.

Am I a "white"? No, I would consider that a bit demeaning and separating. I'm not defined by my skin color, rather it's a descriptive part of me. Do we refer to Native Americans as "reds"? Of course not.

While I don't think Vines meant any harm, I believe it's a colloquial hanger-on from times past that just hasn't quite evolved its way out of the vernaculer yet. I remember my grandmother referring to them as the "blacks", but don't hear it much anymore - especially from people under 30.

It's an expression that needs to die out, and soon.

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