Saturday, July 01, 2017

Is This Some Kind Of Joke?: "Democratic Senate Staffers Are Mostly White And Women"

I'm honestly asking:
   Responding to the pressure, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) released a report Friday that confirms what staffers and outside observers long believed: Despite having 16 women in the caucus and more minority senators than ever, Democratic Senate staffing is overwhelmingly white.
   Thirty-two percent of staffers are “non-Caucasian,” defined as African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latino, Native American or Middle Eastern/North African, according to the report. Fifty-four percent of staffers are women; 46 percent are men.
   The report “confirms what we’ve all known for some time — that there is a significant diversity problem that cannot be allowed to continue in the most representative branch of our government,” said Don Bell, director of the Black Talent Initiative at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a group that has been studying congressional staffing issues for years. He called on other House and Senate leaders “to follow suit and begin collecting this vital information.”   Across the Senate Democratic staff, 13 percent are African American — roughly on par with the national percentage; 10 percent are Latino, behind the roughly 17 percent nationally; 8 percent are Asian-Pacific — ahead of the national percentage; 4 percent are Native American; and 3 percent are Middle Eastern/North African. (Some staffers chose more than one category.)
How about this?
   The report “is a major step in the right direction, but we have a lot of work to do,” said Darrel Thompson, a former deputy chief of staff to former Senate majority leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), who is now with The Group, a government relations firm. Thompson helped Reid establish the Senate Democratic diversity office that helps recruit and place minority job applicants.
   Among individual Democratic senators, the staff of Brian Schatz (Hawaii) ranks the most diverse, with 66 percent of his employees identifying as minority, most of them as Asian or Pacific Islander, the report said.
Race and sex characteristics of staffers mirror the distribution of races in the general population; women slightly over-represented: a shocking "diversity" problem.
Non-whites on Brian Schatz's staff radically over-represented: the most "diverse"!!!
   (Needless to say, we could point out that Schatz is from Hawaii and that the demographics of his staff more closely match those of Hawaii...but that's irrelevant. In fact, it would be to miss the point badly. The point is about what's being counted as "diversity" here. So it doesn't matter whether any given legislator's staff's demographics mirrors...etc. Also: you'd have to break it down by state for every state, not just Hawaii...but...all that's irrelevant. All that matters is the initial point: "diversity" is being used chaotically.)
   Unless I'm missing something--and I may be, and I hope I am...I'm not even awake yet...I can't seem to make myself focus yet (my eyes are all like f*ck you, we're skimming; deal with it)--this is nuts.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

(1) The funny thing is, by state demographics, Schatz's staff is actually disproportionately white, since only about 20% of Hawaii's population is. Much of that difference is likely explained by recruiting from other (mainland) staffs, bending the numbers a bit back toward the national ones, but it's still funny that he would be singled out for the cookie.

(2) The unstated premise here is that the democratic staffs should reflect the population of democratic voters, not the general population. Is that crazy? There is a little bit of an unpleasant whiff of a 19th century style ethnic spoils system, but the main driver of that is the present suicidal commitment of the GOP to appealing to only white people.

5:42 PM  

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