Steve Sailer this morning has a link to a Wall Street Journal story about how the US Labor Department has filed an anti-discrimination lawsuit against Palantir, a cybersecurity firm in Silicon Valley. From the Journal:
Palantir Technologies has discriminated systematically against Asian job applicants since at least January 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor said in a lawsuit filed Monday.
The Palo Alto, Calif., data-mining firm is one of the world’s most valuable private companies, best known for helping the U.S. track down Osama bin Laden. It has been been party to more than $340 million in federal contracts since January 2010, according to the complaint, and counts the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Army among its clients.
“Federal contractors have an obligation to ensure that their hiring practices and policies are free of all forms of discrimination,” Patricia Shiu, director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program, said in a statement.
The Journal continues:
The accusation that Palantir discriminated against Asians is an oddity in Silicon Valley, where big companies including Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Facebook Inc. have been criticized for hiring too many white and Asian engineers, and too few blacks and Hispanics.
Sailer points out that Palantir is critical to national cybersecurity, and helped unmask and defeat a sophisticated Chinese cyberespionage network. He says:
So, maybe, the reason Palantir gets 85% of its job applications for software engineer from Asians but only hires 44% Asian has something to do with, I don’t know, Chinese espionage?
Maybe. But the thing that jumps out to me in this story is what it says about the federal government’s priorities. Is it really the case that the government should spend its time and its resources taking one of the most important companies to US national security to court because it hired 44 percent Asians instead of 85 percent Asians? Is that really a federal crime?
Look, I’m not defending illegal discrimination against Asians. Maybe this company did wrong. What I’m saying is that it’s just crazy that of all the potential targets for a federal lawsuit, the government goes after one of the companies that is most important to national security, on these grounds.
But that is how the princess-and-the-pea mind of the Social Justice Warrior works. There is no more important cause in the world than eliminating all discrimination committed by
kulaks hated demographic groups, while promoting discrimination by favored demographic groups. This New York Times essay by a Yale Law professor is the quintessence of SJW snowflakery. Excerpts:
I’m not sure how many days are left in my life.
I am not suffering from a terminal disease. I don’t work in a high-risk occupation. No, I don’t have suicidal thoughts. I don’t even live in an especially dangerous neighborhood.
I am racially black and I live in America, which raises the question: Will I live as long as I intend?
I repeat: this man, Chris Lebron, is a Yale professor. He teaches at an Ivy League school. He is, by any measure, one of the real winners in life. There is no more prestigious position in American academia than to be an Ivy League professor. In a time of employment peril for American academics, holding a teaching position at a well-endowed ($25.6 billion) Ivy League college is about as secure a position as you can hope for. Unlike most Americans of any color, Chris Lebron is set for life. And yet, this melodrama. More:
You might now be thinking that this is really something — for somebody like me to say all this, sitting in the ivory tower in the Ivy League. I seem to have disproved my own point, because as I write this, I have been allowed to pursue, and in large part achieve, my plan of life.
It is absolutely true that I have managed to carve a space for myself, but that space may not be what you think it is. My professional social circle, because of the lack of diversity in the academy, is composed in such a way that the chances of my being harassed outside my home are diminished, not because of who I am, but on account of who I am with. And, yes, money helps — I earn a salary adequate to buy me surface level credibility in the eyes of American society. But these achievements and small securities come with the cost of not knowing how far they will carry me or how long they will protect me. In planning my life, I’ve come to accept this.
So maybe this is how black Americans ought to plan for a life in America — holding out the hope to meet basic goals or striving to achieve larger ambitions knowing all the while that the present-day effects of America’s racial history can fatally disrupt enjoying, celebrating, commemorating the results of achievements small or large. Let me be honest with you — that is neither rational, nor is it fair. And there’s still the small matter of the luck that runs out.
I wish I knew America’s plan for me.
“America’s plan for me”?! Does America have a plan for any of us? Should it? Come on. What does this guy want, anyway? He’s enormously privileged by comparison to most Americans. Lebron is an assistant professor. Want to know the salary of an assistant professor at Yale? It starts at $135,505. That puts him in the top 14 percent of Americans by income — and again, given the massive size of Yale’s endowment, that income is secure. That’s not “a salary adequate to buy me surface level credibility in the eyes of American society.” That’s a salary higher than 86 percent of Americans earn.
But Lebron wants to complain about how unfair life is, how racist. In a piece for the Times last year, Lebron called for “a new black radicalism.” Excerpt:
Today, as we face a seemingly endless number of black lives being unjustifiably threatened, damaged and lost, and the resulting emotional cycle among black Americans of rage-despair-hope, it seems urgent that we ask again whether now is the time to make black radicalism central to black politics and activism. And if so, what should it demand of American citizens?
If you read his essay in tandem with the more recent one, it seems clear that Lebron thinks that a thriving life is something that the government can and should provide, and the fact that it is not doing so is an example of white supremacy. Tell it to Appalachia, mister.
The reason I bring this up in light of the Labor Department’s lawsuit is to highlight the priorities of SJWs, and what we can expect from four more years of a Democratic administration. We can expect an administration so in thrall to progressive racial politics that it will go after firms like Palantir for relatively minor issues and see the racialized special pleading of a black Yale professor in the top 14 percent as a cri de coeur that deserves privileging by the state.
I found that Lebron essay because one of you readers wrote last night in this space that it may be an example of why Trump is doing so well. That could be. Me, I think Trump is racist to some degree, but I also believe it’s true about Hillary Clinton, in the sense that she, like many progressives, believes that racial bias when it’s exercised on behalf of nonwhites is virtuous. Put another way, I believe that Hillary is predisposed to think that the snowflakey complaints of a black Yale assistant professor (or a transgender high school student) deserve far more attention than the struggles of poor white people in Mississippi trailer parks. And, being a Democrat, she’s predisposed to believe that the absence of full equality can only mean that someone, somewhere, was treated unjustly, and that equality can and must be forced by government action, no matter how much injustice against individuals has to be committed by the government to achieve equality.
This morning, I received an e-mail from a young white father in Atlanta:
I can only deeply lament the grave social situation going on here in Atlanta and elsewhere. You see, the real problem is not at all black people, but the ‘thug culture’ that has infected the black community. There are places where I grew up that you simply cannot go anymore without exercising extreme caution: parks, shopping plazas, movie theaters, and many more places. Crime rates have skyrocketed in towns that only 20 years ago were relatively peaceful suburbs. People are attracted to Atlanta because of the jobs and affordable living, but typically cannot afford to live in the upper-class enclaves located inside and just outside of the I-285 perimeter, and so they have spread out into the many towns and neighborhoods of greater Atlanta. This is, of course, a wise and sensible move for many. The problem is, ‘thug culture’ has moved in with many of these people. Thug culture, of course, glorifies violence, illicit sex, drug use, and rank materialism (getting rich by any means possible). Other ethnic communities are not immune to or free of these vices, but they do seem to be far more prevalent in the young, urban African American community (I am sincerely open to being proven wrong on this score, but the stats say otherwise, sad as it is to say it).
That’s why the media’s unceasing coverage of blacks gunned down by police is an occasion, at least for me, for incredulity, anger, and grief. The statistics, like them or not, demonstrate overwhelmingly that young black males commit a staggeringly higher number of crimes, violent and otherwise, than do their counterparts. I see this where I live, all the time. Blame what you will for this (and there are many factors for sure), but that does not alter the fact that free moral agents choose to injure and kill other human beings. The crime rates in greater Atlanta are horrific, and innocent people are hurt every day here. Does that merit a response from the major networks, Don Lemon, or President Obama? These incidents occur daily in Atlanta, and no one cares.
The same is going elsewhere. And nothing is said. Try to mention ‘black on black’ crime and watch in real time as the R-word is stapled to your breast pocket and branded on your forehead. This is absurd. Donald Trump is a narcissistic villain, and I refuse to vote for him, but when you live in a place like metro Atlanta, where hundreds and hundreds of crimes are overlooked by the media except for the [eventual] day a police officer (a public servant, for pity’s sake!) messes up and hurts or kills a person of color, I think you begin to see why people are attracted to Trump and will probably turn out in droves to vote for him. This is not at all to excuse police officers from any crimes they commit; they should absolutely be held to a very high standard, for they have been vested with a great deal of power. But what good can be said for a society that treats its own police officers this way? I can’t help but think that so many of these critics don’t actually know any policemen or women.
I think among liberals of all races, that man’s opinion would be seen as racist on its face, and dismissed — and this is a white guy who refuses to vote for Trump! So, yes, the flagrant double standard the Democratic Party has on racial issues, and its preoccupation with identity politics, matters. Remember, Yale is the university at which protests over a housemaster’s public statement about Halloween costumes ended up with that professor effectively driven out of Yale, and her husband making an abject confession of thoughtcrime before his student persecutors. Over advice on Halloween costumes. As Conor Friedersdorf wrote at the time:
At Yale, I encountered students and faculty members who supported the Christakises but refused to say so on the record, and others who criticized them, but only anonymously. On both sides, people with perfectly mainstream opinions shared them with a journalist but declined to put their name behind them due to a campus climate where anyone could conceivably be the next object of ire and public shaming. Insufficient tolerance for disagreement is undermining campus discourse.
The racial conflicts we have in America are huge, complicated, and deep-seated. We all know that. A Democratic friend told me on the phone yesterday how distressed she was that, in her view, Trump’s candidacy has legitimized a lot of nasty white racist talk that had been marginalized. I can see her point, and concede it to some degree (the Alt-Right racists, I mean), but it is also true that Trump’s candidacy is in part a protest against the de-legitimization by the left of ordinary observations related to race and public life, e.g., what the Atlanta reader wrote about.
The New York Times provided a space for one of the most privileged people in America — a well-paid Ivy League professor — to complain about how his life is in danger because of white supremacy. How likely do you think it is that The New York Times would give a platform for someone to say what the Atlanta man did? Do you think that tells us something about the bubble that media elites (and other liberal elites) live in?