Among the many bizarre propagations of the Left is the notion of minority quotas. These mandates are predicated upon the premise that governments, workplaces, and media outlets ought to be composed of bodies which perfectly mimic the demographics of their serviced populations. Aside from a lack of any discernible benefit, such quotas often graduate from absurd to dangerous.
Recall the discrimination case brought by white firefighters in New Haven, Connecticut last year. Their city’s Civil Service Board dismissed results from a promotion eligibility exam because, in their view, too few black and Hispanic firefighters earned passing scores. Apparently, merit was not adequate criteria for the available lieutenant and captain positions.
Such inane gestures, prioritizing social agendas above productivity and safety, actually broaden racial divides. Should we leave people wondering whether a minority emergency worker is the best qualified person for the job? Is not the hiring or promotion of unqualified individuals, based solely on a quota, certain to create resentment?
As ridiculous as minority quotas are, they are eclipsed by the recent grading of television networks by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). Rather than demand proportional representation of their particular minority group, they have set proportion as a “failing” standard.
In its fourth annual Network Responsibility Index, [GLADD] found that of MTV’s 207.5 hours of original prime-time programming, 42 percent included content reflecting the lives of gay, bisexual and transgender people. This earned MTV the first-ever “Excellent” rating from GLAAD.
Among broadcast networks, the CW was on top with 35 percent, while Fox ranked a close second with 30 percent. ABC, with 26 percent, got a “Good” rating, while NBC was “Adequate” with 13 percent. CBS’ 7 percent earned that network a “Failing” grade from the report.
That last “failing” measure is several points above our best estimates of the homosexual population. A 2002 Gallop article reported:
The 2000 U.S. Census Bureau found that homosexual couples constitute less than 1% of American households. The Family Research Report says “around 2-3% of men, and 2% of women, are homosexual or bisexual.” The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force estimates three to eight percent of both sexes.
In other words, CBS’ 7% is proportionally accurate, if not favorable.
Could this be yet another example of how a “progressive” social agenda is moving the Overton window? Instead of arguing whether minority groups should be depicted in proportion to the population, this study implies minorities ought to be overrepresented.
The idea that any degree of minority representation is appropriate or inappropriate ought to be abhorrent. Affirmative action is a form of segregation which prioritizes minority status above merit and rational judgment. Quotas are fundamentally discriminatory, rooted in the very ignorance they are conceived to counter.
That said, if you accept the argument for quotas, GLAAD’s measure of “excellence” is plainly hypocritical. MTV depicts homosexuals 42% of the time. This is a glaring over-representation of gays compared to the general population. The question becomes: if under-representation is somehow abusive, are heterosexuals now victims of MTV’s discriminatory programming?
In truth, no one is harmed by the degree to which their peer group is portrayed on television. If there is a market for MTV’s 42% gay programming, so be it. GLADD’s attempt to cast CBS in a bigoted light is disingenuous and ludicrous.
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