Monday, January 31, 2011

Boalt Hall News Update: White Folk Somewhat Racist

Or at least, that's what I think is suggested by the headline, "Whites Often Resist Effort to Create Multicultural Work Environments."

There's no link to the forthcoming research, but I bet it's more nuanced than the article describing it. For one thing, the research appears to focus less on obstructionism than on the ineffectiveness of diversity programs that exclude important stakeholders.

Consider the research results, described as follows:
Research in three of the studies—of college students and employees—shows that whites associate multiculturalism with exclusion as opposed to inclusion. But importantly the same bias does not exist when whites are explicitly included in conceptualizing a multicultural paradigm. . . .

In a fourth study[,] the research team found that whites are less likely to endorse diversity than minorities—in part because they feel less included in their organization’s definition of diversity. In their fifth study, the researchers found that white business students with a high need to belong are less attracted to multicultural than color-blind organizations.
This leads to the authors' conclusions:
“We’re not arguing that diversity initiatives should cater to whites instead of to racial minorities,” Plaut said. “But our research does suggest that signaling to whites that they have no place in diversity programs will hinder the success of these efforts.
That last sentence doesn't sound controversial to me. It's almost a tautology that non-inclusive inclusion programs are going to be ineffective. But when a diversity program signals--rightly or wrongly-that it has no place for certain groups of people, I don't think it's fair to blame those people for "resisting" that program.

25 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why I was greatly frustrated by Boalt's diversity effort while I was at school. Each cultural and/or racial group has a club. Joining that club, while possible for a white person, was so obviously not the point that it almost never happened. I could count the examples on one hand (and those people are to be commended.)

I felt that rather than integrating all cultural groups, Boalt does a great job of lobbing funding at various groups to do their own thing---but not to make Boalt an integrated whole.

Finally, one example of this. I remember going out to a bar in SF during a law school bar night. I sat down at the "La Raza" table. You knew it was the "La Raza" table and not a "Boalt" table because as soon as I sat down, it was announced that there were too many white people at the table. Call that a joke if you want, but it seems about as funny as me pulling a joke about too many Latinos at my lunch table in 8th grade.

1/31/2011 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are about to see a whole slew of white men complain about being white men.

1/31/2011 9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a whole controversy over at Hastings regarding special funding so the La Raza group there could have its own separate graduation ceremony. The idea of an individual group having its own graduation on everybody else's dime just strikes me as weird.

1/31/2011 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The headline struck me as sensationalistic, given the actual findings of the study as reported. I would have thought something like, "Study: some whites alienated by diversity efforts" would have expressed it more clearly (and maybe been less offensive).

1/31/2011 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There certainly is not an "Americans of European Descent" law society at Boalt. Although I also do not think there are legal advocacy movements surrounding such individuals.

P.S. I did not find the title to be offensive, and for once I am part of the demographic which would have been offended!

1/31/2011 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's called the Federalist Society.


Come on now, that one was just too easy.

1/31/2011 9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually thought the headline was straightforward and unoffensive. And somewhat accurate, based on what I've seen seen in past workplaces.

1/31/2011 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are rational minorities too; enlightenment is not limited to whites, 9:59.

1/31/2011 11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, but douchebaggery is.

2/01/2011 12:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's true, no alternative perspective to the Federalists is rational. That's what James Madison told me.

2/01/2011 7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope, douchebaggery is not so limited either.

2/01/2011 8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"For one thing, the research appears to focus less on obstructionism than on the ineffectiveness of diversity programs that exclude important stakeholders."

Yes, based on the quotes you have here, the research appears to focus ENTIRELY on factors contributing to whether whites feel included in diversity programs and not at all on whether whites are guilty of racist workplace obstructionism.

A very misleading title.

2/01/2011 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much more research to we need on some whites being guilty of racism in the workplace?

2/01/2011 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thinking "diversity" (divisity?) programs are B.S. as often implemented is not being racist.

2/01/2011 6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Based on the article, the research seems to boil down to white people don't buy into multiculturalism and diversity unless they have a leadership position in its formulation and implementation. Is it just me or does it sound like white people don't play well with others unless they're telling others what to do and how to do it?

2/01/2011 6:40 PM  
Blogger Toney said...

Oh man this is a recipe for ugly.

2/01/2011 6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we move on from this race-baiting post and get a new thread on McBaine? Zellerbach SOLD OUT! Hieroglyphics is opening for Sotamayor in Sproul? This is going to be a very, very Berkeleyan series of events....

2/01/2011 9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wont be attending McBaine, based on the finalists it has not embraced diversity.

2/01/2011 11:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OP is racist, 9:18 is racist, 11:00 is racist, 12:30 is racist, 6:40 is racist.

don't be racist, m'kay?

2/03/2011 1:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comments thread isn't nearly as ugly as I'd been hoping it would be when I saw the headline.

2/03/2011 8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:24,

You're so ugly, the tide wouldn't bring you in.

8:24 is so ugly, when we played peek-a-boo - first I peeked, then I booed.

8:24, you're so ugly, you stuck your head out of the car window and got arrested for mooning.

2/03/2011 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Down Low protesters: please stop your weak ass shit. You are law students, and should understand that someone should not be held at fault for renting from a landlord convicted of some terrible acts. The fact that your landlord is a sex trafficker is not grounds to revoke your lease contract. Just admit that you are too ugly to have anyone want to dance with you and don't come, but no need to ruin everyone else's time.

2/03/2011 1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not every solution needs to be a legal one. I don't recall hearing anything about revoking a lease. People putting out information that other people might find pertinent (or not) to deciding how to spend their money probably shouldn't be getting your panties in a bunch.

2/03/2011 3:41 PM  
Blogger Carbolic said...

Oh, so I haven't been paying attention to my own post. Whoops!

6:40--Where do you see ANY reference to a leadership position?

1:39--Can you actually back that up? Cause it's kind of racist just to assume that others are racist without basis.

2/08/2011 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Carbolic, you've done it again. A hint from someone who cares about you and hates to see you alienate your classmates: maybe lay off the postings about race? It wasn't a good idea our 3L year, I don't see how it's a better idea now.

2/16/2011 5:14 PM  

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