Soutphommasane’s latest push to embed grievance-mongering identity politics at the heart of the nation’s institutions threatens to politicise race and undermine support for immigration. Fostering racial division should not be part of his job description, but that is exactly what he doing by racialising the question of who gets ahead (and why) in Australia.
According to Soutphommasane, Australia — half a century after the White Australia Policy ended — remains a racist country because the upper echelons of politics, the media, and business are dominated by ‘Anglo-Celts’. He doesn’t say that Australians from non-Anglo backgrounds can’t make it to the top; only that these groups are statistically under-represented compared to the ethnic makeup of the broader community.
Soutphommasane calls for racist policies, and wants tribalism and identity politics to replace merit:
It is impossible to reduce the multitude of non-racial factors — and the millions of individual judgements and preferences — that account for the level of so-called white privilege in these fields to just one explanation.
Nevertheless, since his appointment to the Australian Human Rights Commission in 2013, Soutphommasane has used his taxpayer-funded position to argue that equality of opportunity is a myth in contemporary Australia due to the unconscious racial bias that exists in the community. He claims there is no equality of outcomes when it comes to race, because non-ethnic political, media, and business elites continue to prefer to rub shoulders with their own kinds.
This accusation of systemic ‘casual racism’ within business is levelled with a pointed policy intent. Soutphommasane says ethnic diversity targets are needed in corporate Australia; not a hard quota, but a soft ‘aspiration’ to ensure the senior ranks of business reflect the multicultural character of Australian society. …
Once companies sign up to the kind of ‘diversity pledge’ he proposes, the reputational risk of failing to hit the target — and thus appearing to be a ‘racist’ employer — will ensure compliance becomes a KPI for HR managers and divisions. Employment and promotion based on merit and performance will inevitably give way to affirmative action-style ‘minority hire’ policies.
When advancement up the corporate ladder is based on identity — on a person’s race rather than what they can do and contribute — it will seriously undermine teamwork, breed professional resentment, and encourage non-collegiate segregation in the workplace.
Why not start with politicians?
Any attempt to apply the same principles of diversity to politics would be even more disastrous. Promoting the idea that Australia’s democratically-elected parliaments are un-representative because they do not perfectly mirror the nation’s ethnic diversity is playing with political fire. This not only suggests that racial groups can only be represented by politicians from the same racial group; it also suggests that different racial groups have different political interests to other Australians. …
A suggestion for Soutphommasane:
In the interests of social cohesion, the Race Discrimination Commissioner should be focusing on the common values that can unite all Australians, rather than singling out and politicising supposed racial divisions.
Not all group are statistically equal in all respects. (The new left has trouble with the science behind this fairly obvious statement.) Therefore equality of opportunity guarantees inequality of outcome — and equality of outcome requires unequal and discriminatory treatment.
hat-tip Stephen Neil