Racial Inequality Is Ok As Long As It’s The Right Sort Of Racial Inequality
Mark Perry takes a look at a couple of reports from the University of Central Florida targeting racial diversity in the NBA and the WNBA. You would think, given how the left prefers racial outcomes that exactly reflect the racial makeup of the overall population, that both leagues would score low. After all, as Perry notes, “whites are underrepresented in the NBA by a factor of 3.7 times compared to their share of the general population (17% vs. 63.4%) and blacks are overrepresented in the NBA by a factor of 6 times (78% vs. 13%) compared to their share of the general population.”
The WNBA, as you might expect, isn’t much better.
Now, you and I might simply recognize that blacks on average are simply better at athletics than whites, and are more drawn to athletics by choice, and the unequal racial outcomes are a reflection of both outcome and generally superior natural ability. But applying the logic of the left, unequal outcomes always mean discrimination and bias (which is why they carp endlessly about racial/gender makeup of corporate leadership, boardrooms, etc., etc.).
Yet, these reports give both the NBA and the WNBA top grades for racial diversity despite obviously unequal outcomes:
…when it comes to the NBA and WNBA, much different standards of diversity are apparently applied to the racial composition of professional basketball teams. According to the “Racial and Gender Report Cards” (released annually by the “The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport” at the University of Central Florida“) the NBA got a letter grade of A+ for “racial hiring practices” in 2012 (just released this week) and the WNBA got a letter grade of A+ for 2011 (results for 2012 are not yet available), for the significant over-representation of black players and the significant under-representation of white, Hispanic and Asian players.
This seems pretty Orwellian in the sense that “all racial and gender groups are equal and important for purposes of diversity, but some groups are apparently more equal than others.” For example, when women are underrepresented in STEM fields, the gender activists invoke the “disparity-proves-discrimination dogma” and mobilize resources and support to address the gender disparity. But when women are overrepresented in earning college degrees (140 females per 100 men), or 7 out of 11 graduate degrees, or outnumber male veterinarians by more than 3:1, those disparities, and the “disparity-proves-discrimination” dogma are ignored.
To be clear, I don’t think the NBA or WNBA is guilty of any sort of bias. Indeed, I believe both leagues actively seek to recruit the best basketball talent available regardless or race. The success of their business depends on it.
The problem is this selective application of the “equal outcomes” litmus test for racial/gender discrimination. Unequal outcomes are not necessarily the result of bias or discrimination. Those who say otherwise, if you look closely, are usually trying to manufacture a problem so that they can profit from selling the solution.Tags: nba, racial quotas, racism, wnba