Thursday, August 27, 2015

Last Call For Rand Lives Matter

Once again my senator has decided that as far as being a constituent of his is concerned, black Kentuckians don't really matter so much.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) criticized the Black Lives Matter movement on Wednesday, accusing it of “bullying people.” 
“I think they should change their name maybe, if they were ‘All Lives Matter’ or ‘Innocent Lives Matter,'” Paul told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “I am about justice, and frankly I think a lot of poor people in our country, and many African-Americans, are trapped in this war on drugs and I want to change it. But commandeering the microphone and bullying people and pushing people out of the way I think really isn’t a way to get their message across.”

Really?  Because it sure seems like to me that if we don't go grabbing microphones, our elected officials like to pretend we don't exist, or that we should just shut up and sit down.

Members of the movement have often pointed out that using the phrase “all lives matter” is a means for opponents to downplay the number of black deaths as a result of excessive force by law enforcement officials. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley was booed when he used the phrase “every life matters” during the Netroots Nation progressive conference earlier this month. He later apologized for doing so. 
The protest at Netroots touched off a series of appearances by activists connected to the movement at events featuring O’Malley and fellow Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, as well as GOP candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Protesters also met with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after reportedly being blocked from attending one of her events. 
Both Paul and Hannity also talked up the Tea Party senator’s outreach efforts to black communities. 
“I’ve appeared with many members of the Congressional Black Caucus to talk about criminal justice,” the senator said. “I’ve been to Howard University, I’ve discussed it in Chicago and other cities, and so I’m more than willing to discuss it. But having people take the microphone — they need to go somewhere else and they need to rent their own microphone.”

How about going to Louisville or Lexington and talking to black communities there, Rand?  Do your own constituents matter, or are you too busy running for President or jetting off to Haiti for photo ops to give a damn?


Words Overheard

Quinnipiac University asked people as part of their most recent 2016 candidate poll to name one word that describes the candidate the best, and the results were very interesting judging from the top five answers.

What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Hillary Clinton? (Numbers are not percentages. Figures show the number of times each response was given. This table reports only words that were mentioned at least five times.)
liar 178
dishonest 123
untrustworthy 93
experience 82
strong 59

Clinton still having serious issues on trustworthiness.  But she came off better than Donald Trump...

What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Donald Trump? (Numbers are not percentages. Figures show the number of times each response was given. This table reports only words that were mentioned at least five times.)  
arrogant 58
blowhard 38
idiot 35
businessman 34
clown 34

Ouch.  "Arrogant blowhard idiot businessman clown" sums up The Donald quite well, I'd think.

But Jeb Bush came out with the most amusing bunch of descriptors:

What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Jeb Bush? (Numbers are not percentages. Figures show the number of times each response was given. This table reports only words that were mentioned at least five times.)  
Bush 136
family 70
honest 53
weak 45
brother 41 

Probably explains why Jeb has stopped pretending his brother doesn't exist and is now having Dubya help him fundraise.  He's in that much trouble that he's actually having the worst president in modern history stumping for him.

But if Hillary's in trouble, Donny and Jeb are deep underwater and sinking fast.

Bullseye On Your Back

I hear "At least Target isn't Wal-Mart" a lot, like you should somehow feel good about shopping there.  Frirst of all, that's an infinitesimally low bar.  Secondly,you might want to reconsider that position about it being "better", actually.

Target agreed to pay $2.8 million on Monday to settle a claim that the retailer disproportionately screened out applicants based on their race or gender. The complaint, filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), targeted certain hiring assessments used over the past decade. The sum represents one of the highest amounts paid in recent years to settle a claim of hiring discrimination; most are for less than $1 million. 
The EEOC said the tests were not sufficiently related to the actual jobs, which were for upper-level positions, and while on their face they were neutral, in practice they kept out particular groups, according to the agency’s statistical analysis. It also found that one of its assessments, by constituting a pre-employment medical exam, violated the Americans with Disabilities Act that bars such tests. 
The settlement money will be shared among more than 3,000 people who were adversely affected by the hiring assessments. The company also agreed to take steps to ensure the validity of its hiring process, including better data keeping, and it is no longer using the tests. 
A spokeswoman for the company noted that while the EEOC found the potential for adverse impact, it didn’t find any actual disparities in its hiring. “The EEOC has concluded that only a small fraction of the assessments administered during the relevant time period could have been problematic,” she said in an emailed statement. “We continue to firmly believe that no improper behavior occurred regarding these assessments.” 

So yes, over the last ten years, the hiring tests for Target's management positions systemically discriminated against minorities, women, and the disabled.  Sounds like yet another great American company to work for.

Ahh, but Target is far, far from alone.

The settlement is part of a larger effort by EEOC to root out systemic bias in company policies. Screening and recruitment processes, background checks, and tests can all be tailored to exclude certain groups of people.

And they have been for decades, if not longer.  There's a reason why the vast majority of managers in the US are white men and have been.  They're the ones deciding the criteria for management.


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