White Males Still Vastly Overrepresented at Top of Federal Hierarchy
by Manic Lawyer, Tue Dec 02, 2008 at 11:20:24 AM EST
African American Political Pundit has been sounding the alarm that one Black man in the Oval Office does not diversity make. AAPP's Change Watch: Minority Advocates Watching Obama That point is underscored by a new report by the Government Accountability Office, showing that Blacks and women are still woefully underrepresented among the highest level of civil servants managing the government, and this will not change unless the Obama Administration makes a conscious decision to address rather than exacerbate the inequities.
For example, only 8.5 percent of high level executives were Black, although the nation is 12.8% Black; and only 3.6 percent of the high level executives are Latino, even though Latinos make up 14.8% of the United States.
Meanwhile, white men constitute 60.7 percent of the highest level civil servants, even though they constitute less than thirty percent of the population. In other words, white men are 100% overrepresented in the highest level civil service jobs.
Some people are going to insist, as a defense of the current demographics, that these jobs should be given out based on merit rather than based on gender, skin color or ethnicity. While each job should be given to the person most capable of doing the job, the "best candidate" argument assumes that white men are the best candidate twice as often as they are present in the general population. It's more likely that white men are 100% overrepresented as a result of historic patterns of old-boy networks, the "white male supremacy syndrome".
I define "white male supremacy": as "the belief that white males, no matter how much and how often they fail, are still, by virtue of their male gender and white skin, inherently more qualified than blacks and women who succeed." -- Francis L. Holland, December 13, 2006 at DailyKos.In the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression, it's hard to argue that having 100% over-representation of white men in the highest levels of the Federal Government is an example of choosing the best people for the job regardless of the color. Instead, it's an example of choosing white men for jobs regardless of whether they are the best people with the best ideas and the most ability to implement them.
The over-representation of white men results, as well, from the superhuman white man myth.
The Strongest American Myth Historically is the Superhuman White Man Myth To be elected president, Barack Obama had to overcome this powerful myth, helped by being compared with George W. Bush and John McCain in the context of a hugely unpopular war and then an international economic meltdown.
However, some of the "superhuman" white men who created the current meltdown (like leverage proponent Rubin) are being invited back into the Government, packing the upper levels with white men while ignoring the abilities of women and minorities who have not yet been given a chance to discredited their theories and abilities. Robert E. Rubin is a director and counselor at CitiGroup, where he helped turn Citi into a financial basket case, a microcosm of the financial policies that have turned international financial markets into a freefalling chaos.
( . . . ) Mr. Obama has sworn to usher in a period of re-regulation, to avoid the freewheeling risks that Citigroup and the rest of the financial industry undertook after Mr. Rubin, with Mr. Summers, helped tear down the regulatory walls between banks, brokerages and insurance companies, and freed them to trade in unregulated and little-understood derivatives worth trillions of dollars. New York TimesSo, why bring back Rubin, whose advice has already been discredited? Who can argue that Rubin is the "best man for the job" when his advice has destroyed the value of Citi and sent the world economy into a meltdown?
It's time to bring more diversity to the Federal Government, because "anger and disgust at white male leadership" is what made it possible for Barack Obama to become president and Hillary Clinton to become secretary of state. They should remember that as they go about filling federal jobs. Anger and Disgust at White Male Leadership Fuel Contributions and Polling of Clinton, Obama