(Community Matters) I woke up mindful of why some folks might value demographics at least as worthy as competence or experience. In the race for Austin City Council Place 1, I now realize that some women and some Hispanics might consider those two attributes of greater importance than other qualifications for the job.
I have to spend more time with this. It isn’t how I work.
Ever since graduating from A&M University and being asked to participate in the recruiting and hiring process, I have held my own “identity groups” to even higher standards of competency in order to support, imagining this would serve our “identity group” even better. I’d never previously connected with identity politics since, while I was growing up, my parents and family worked very hard to mainstream us and for us not to identify as Hispanic, Mexican or Spanish. Identity politics hit me hard when I self-admitted my sexual orientation; nevertheless, I still have, perhaps not always fair, even higher standards for my LGBT brothers & sisters when interviewing or hiring. All things equal, yes, diversity should help decide. However, I’ve always believed there are plenty of minorities, women, gays, lesbians and other minority group members who are exceptionally qualified for any job – it doesn’t serve us to settle for one iota less qualified in order to accomplish diversity. It’s actually counterproductive and seen as unfair.