Guest post: He wasn’t quite high enough on the list

Originally a comment by iknklast on She said people should be embraced for who they are authentically.

In an office where I used to work (as an intern), there was one man who couldn’t quite get hired because he wasn’t quite high enough on the list (it was a state job – he had to reach a standard of merit). The office couldn’t hire him because there were several women who had tested higher than he had, and even without the one point they got for being women, he couldn’t get near their scores. So, they worked and worked until they found some trace somewhere of a Native American ancestor, way back in his background, got him the 10 affirmative action points a Native American could get, and jumped him over enough women on the list to get him the job. So this white male, who had experienced nothing in the way of the crap that Native Americans experience, and nothing in the way of the crap women experience, managed to utilize a law written to maximize the ability of white males to benefit from something intended to assist a different group, and jumped over the bodies of the fallen to seize the job. Smugly, I might add. And the office was totally proud of what they had done.

He had not lived the experience, but he reaped benefits as though he had. And could claim oppression, because now he was “Native American”, having never lived that way, having never lived anything but white male privilege.

Meanwhile, my internship was never converted to full time; in fact, the convolutions they went through to avoid hiring a woman full time (me) were even more impressive than the maneuvers they used to hire a white male and claim him as a minority hire.

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