Morning Ed: Multiculturalism {2016.03.30.W}


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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42 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    1. My law school’s undergrad division is also turning to rich international students to help with tuition. Mainly from Asia. There is less problems with Asians in SF. The most jarring thing for me is seeing 18 year olds drive really expensive new sport cars. The thing here is that everyone in the chattering classes expected universities to shut down because of declining enrollment. What seems to be happening is that universities will do anything to stay open.

    2. I find it interesting that the right-wing response to refugees is to be butt hurt because they feel lectured in a “we are bad and should feel bad” kind of way. I don’t think the Syrian Civil War is our fault exactly or conflicts in other places but we should admit refugees because it is the humane thing to do. Fault and blame have nothing to do with it. Why are right-wingers so thin skinned when it comes to any criticism of their countries? Any criticism that the U.S. or any other country can do something differently or better seems to make them deeply defensive, angry, and anxious.

    3. I am still loathe to admit to allow credit and drug tests because they violate privacy rights. I simply think that there need to be firm divisions between employer time and employer time. I worked for a company that wanted their salaried employees to work long hours. 55-60 was the minimum to avoid complaints but 65 to 75 got you compliments. It is very hard to make those hours. What it did to me was make me feel like no time was my own and that there was constant monitor. Also 65 hours is really hard to get to without 6 to 7 days of work. I only managed it twice and both those weeks involved cross country travel. Allowing credit checks and drug tests allows employer power too much over private matters.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

      Saul Degraw: I worked for a company that wanted their salaried employees to work long hours. 55-60 was the minimum to avoid complaints but 65 to 75 got you compliments. It is very hard to make those hours.

      When I was 21, I had a long talk with one of my girlfriend’s professors, who tried to convince me to quit my job as a programmer and go to law school. I thought he made a solid case, until I realized that it would entail this.

      Fascinating guy, though. Had a PhD in math from Harvard, a JD from Columbia, made a bunch of money as a screenwriter, and taught computer science despite not actually knowing how to program. Which technically isn’t that much of a problem for the more theoretical classes, but it’s fairly rare, AFAIK.Report

  2. Avatar LTL FTC says:

    If people use stereotypes to make assumptions where they lack information, then it makes sense that restricting the amount of information available would cause more reliance on stereotypes.

    Based on this, the “ban the box” campaign against criminal record disclosure may be misguided for the same reasons. I thought it was a good idea – so common sense – but now I’m not so sure.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      Ban the Box is indeed another good example.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck says:

      Sounds good, but you could use similar “reasoning by stereotype in the absence of information” argument about people who figure that “criminal conviction: YES” is all the information they need.Report

      • Avatar LTL FTC says:

        Pick your damaging negative stereotype: black = criminal or criminal = untrustworthy. Unless you force employers to read an essay about the applicant’s horribly unjust conviction, it may just be best to split off one larger group from the stigma and stereotypes of the other if it’s better outcomes by race you’re after.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        Sometimes it helps to just move the criminal or credit checks further along in the process. Instead of putting it on the application, save it for after the first or second interview, so instead of it being a default boolean filter, it becomes something that is looked at with the nuance it deserves.Report

        • Avatar LTL FTC says:

          But does it?

          Given how easy it is to submit a resume, most get filtered out before one interview, let alone two.

          If the study says that gaps in information are filled in with stereotypes, what prevents an employer from seeing a gap in employment and assuming it was for a stint in prison rather than not being able to find a job, serious illness or taking care of a family member? One would think that the biggest beneficiaries of Ban the Box would be white ex-cons and the biggest losers would be nonwhite non-ex-cons.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

            Perhaps, but it does depend on the position being sought. For my career, such a gap would be a huge red flag, but for a skilled trade, or a service post, perhaps not so much. Once you have restarted your work history and you get a few years, the gap becomes less of an issue in the resume filter.Report

            • Avatar LTL FTC says:

              It’s true that there are a lot of jobs for which gaps, especially seasonal gaps, are par for the course. But that leaves out most jobs, including the vast majority of secure middle class jobs.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Which is where the incentives I mention below come into it.Report

              • Avatar LTL FTC says:

                Agreed, but I don’t hold out hope that the number of criminal offenses can be decreased in a serious way.

                Take something like resisting arrest. Some form should probably be a crime for incentive purposes, but it shouldn’t be used as it is in practice for when cops have no other good reason to arrest you. That won’t go away because the issue is overuse.

                Elsewhere, the incentives are just too stacked in favor of “there oughtta be a law!” Here in NYC, led by our supposedly squishy mayor, the city is going after synthetic marijuana with new laws. The crime may not be simple possession, but “intent to distribute” has often been a slippery term in the past, used to generate plea bargains.

                I’m not hopeful.Report

              • Avatar LTL FTC says:

                Goddamn, I read your “incentive” comment completely wrong.

                So yeah, “I have to work next to a rapist because you wanted to knock a couple of points off your payroll tax?” will not be a fun conversation.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Not exactly the incentives I was thinking of, but to be fair, that is probably the form it would take, because people are lazy and unimaginative.

                Still, gotta start somewhere, and hitting it at the tail end might be a bit easier then the head.Report

              • Avatar LTL FTC says:

                What kind of incentives were you thinking of?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                I honestly don’t know, which is why I suggested we ask business owners what their concerns are.

                Is it liability? A return to old habits? something else?Report

              • Avatar LTL FTC says:

                Negligent hiring is a tort. Even if an employer held off on running a background check until they were positively smitten with a candidate’s otherwise sterling credentials and excellent attitude, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario in which hiring with knowledge of a criminal history could get them dragged into court at the very least.

                I’m not totally sure how this works in “ban the box” jurisdictions, or whether it’s been litigated yet.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Seems that might be a starting place (some kind of indemnity provided certains conditions are met?).Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        This is true. Which (like other metrics) creates something of a collective action problem. It’s maybe in no individual employer’s best interest to take a chance on employees with criminal records, but it’s in society’s interest that they do.

        This is also an issue with the long-term unemployed.

        So what to do?Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

          Seems to me a public incentive is in order. If the state is going to insist on making so many minor transgressions major crimes, then the state, once a person has served their due, should make the effort to bring that person back into the fold.

          Talk to employers, find out what they view as the risk of hiring a convict, then work to help mitigate that risk.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

          The San Francisco method seems to be non-profits that have businesses like restaurants and moving companies that are exclusively staffed by ex-convicts and others who hit rock bottom. I think rock bottom is a euphemism for former convict though.

        • Avatar pillsy says:

          As a wacky off-the-wall idea, maybe we should focus less on trying to prevent employers from knowing things about employees, and more on making the employment process transparent to those employees (and everybody else). That could, at least conceivably, allow for the market to correct things better, instead of having to rely on small-bore and error-prone regulatory and legislative fiddling.

          Turning this wacky, off-the-wall idea into a feasible public policy is left as an exercise to the reader, since the writer doesn’t have a clue as to where to start.Report

  3. Avatar notme says:

    Now Apple wants the FBI to reveal how the terrorist’s phone was opened.

    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      Oldest trick in the book…

      FBI says to Apple, well, show us how you’d do it, and we’ll tell you if that’s how we did it. And of course, they haven’t actually cracked it at all. Worked all the time on my little brother.Report

      • Avatar dragonfrog says:

        That’s been my take – is there any reason at all to believe the FBI actually got the information? Or did they just see the writing on the wall about this case, and decide to walk away and throw an unverifiable claim over their shoulder so as to look victorious and try to make Apple look less successful at security than they really are?

        I guess the proof will come if
        1) the prosecution ever introduces evidence from that phone in someone else’s prosecution, and
        2) that person has competent counsel that fires back that the evidence was produced in an undocumented way so it should be thrown out as likely altered in acquisition, and
        3) the prosecution decides that the evidence is so important they can’t proceed without it, and
        4) impress that importance on the FBI so strongly that they’re willing to submit their hacking method to scrutiny by an expert witness for the defence

        Since the odds of every step except maybe (2) are vanishingly slim, I doubt we’ll ever learn the truth of it..Report

  4. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    In unrelated news, the SCOTUS just gave the government a nice smack.

    TL;DR The government can not freeze your legitimate assets (assets that can not arguably be traced to illegal activity the government is investigating) before a conviction is secured.Report

  5. Avatar notme says:

    “Broadway Union Takes Issue With ‘Hamilton’ Casting Call For ‘Non-White’ Performers”

    I guess it is ok to discriminate against white people. Maybe some folks will tell us that white people shouldn’t be allowed to use anti discrimination laws.

    • Avatar El Muneco says:

      Ironically, I don’t think the people you consider SJWs are in as much opposition as you think.

      However, there is a word for the use of certain types of makeup to allow a white actor to unconvincingly play a black character. It has a bit of history to overcome, but I’m sure the practice has your complete support.Report

      • Avatar notme says:

        Not just SJWs, folks here at OT. Why Kazzy was telling us on another thread that white men shouldn’t be allowed to sue chic CEO for discrimination using CA’s Unruh Civil Rights Act.Report

      • Avatar notme says:

        Sorry, I fail to see the connection you make between the Director’s discriminatory hiring practices and black face.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy says:

          The connection is obvious: if part of a character’s identity is being Black or Hispanic and presenting phenotypically as such, the only way for a white actor to accurately portray that character is through the use of black or brown face.

          You and others may not like the way the producers of this show have gone about telling their story — and you have every right to complain about that — but that doesn’t make what the producers are doing wrong or illegal.

          And, yes, I argued that anti-discrimination laws are a tool for people being discriminated against. Not all instances of differential treatment amount to discrimination.Report