Friday, March 23, 2018
All my black co-workers are leaving
The subject of race will be making an appearance in this blog post. You might have suspected as much from my title: All my black co-workers are leaving. But I just want to let you all know, right from the very beginning, that I am completely color-blind.
I see everything in black and white.
Ha ha ha ha. That's just a little bit of race humor to break the ice.
No, right, I absolutely agree, there is nothing funny about race in America. I'm sorry. It won't happen again.
So let's get to it:
After a four year total library system focus on diversity, multiculturalism, and race and the history of racism in America, after multiple mandatory viewings of the (excellent) PBS Documentary Race: The Power of an Illusion, after diverse hirings (well, at the lower pay levels), expensive countywide initiatives on employee retention, countless break-out sessions, in service days, and required continuing education classes on race and diversity, it just so happens that all of my black co-workers are now leaving and moving onto other opportunities.
At this point, if this were one of my normal blog posts about, say, anything other than race, I would caustically and wittily sum it all up, illuminating the issue and solving the problem pithily.
But it's about race.
I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable.
If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.
I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!
One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.
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Are they leaving for better opportunities? Or just jumping ship? If the first, does that not indicate that the affirmative action initiative that caused them to be hired in the first place is working? If the second, what's changed in your organization that has made it a less hospitable environment for non-white employees?ReplyDelete
Wait, you want to TALK about this? But it's so... awkward...Delete
Okay, since you ask I will provide some specifics to our riddle:
1. They are leaving for better opportunities, but those opportunities are entirely outside of our system and I can safely say that their positions here did not lead to those opportunities.
2. We do not have affirmative action here and I think it would be unfair to call it that. At best I could say that our initiatives, which were clearly pretty toothless, were towards eliminating the inherent bias that would keep us from hiring a more diverse staff.
3. I don't think anything has changed, or the people involved are leaving because of some change here. On the micro level it's chance, on the macro level it's... not.