Another set of interesting numbers from a recent Pew survey.
While most Americans say it’s at least somewhat important for companies and organizations to promote racial and ethnic diversity, only about one-in-four (24%) say that, in addition to their qualifications, a person’s race and ethnicity should be considered in decisions about hiring and promotions in order to increase diversity. A majority (74%) says employers should only take a person’s qualifications into account when making these decisions, even if it results in less diversity in the workplace.
The view that employers should only take a person’s qualifications into account is widespread among whites (78%) and Hispanics (69%); about half of blacks (54%) share this view.
Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to say a person’s race and ethnicity shouldn’t be a part of hiring and promotion decisions. Even so, majorities of both groups (90% vs. 62%) hold this view. Again, this partisan difference is nearly unchanged among whites.
That’s interesting because…
1. We’re in the golden age of affirmative action. America has never been as diversity crazed as we are now. Much of it is localized in the media, politics and the entertainment industry. This poll suggests that it’s not reflective of the public.
2. Democrats have embraced more radical positions than mere affirmative action. And yet, in this case, they seem to have left the public behind.
3. Republicans should be able to run on opposition to affirmative action.
Now, the caveat is the polling question. If you called it, affirmative action, the poll numbers would be better. Instead the question actually gets at what affirmative action does.
With solid majorities rejecting affirmative action, including among Democrats, Republicans would be stupid not to jump on an opportunity to split the opposition.
‘Would Be Stupid Not To’ however is an excellent title for a brief history of the GOP.