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September 23, 2002
STUART TAYLOR HAS AN INTERESTING PIECE ON AFFIRMATIVE ACTION:
Worth checked this impression by doing a tally: Of the 43 people who since 1986 had been hired or promoted by his division, 42 were black or female; only one was a white male. Worth compared notes with colleagues elsewhere. "We started understanding that there was a very deliberate effort coming from somewhere to exclude white males from getting positions. It replicated itself over and over again to the point that [by 1995] it was blatant and flagrant."
Since 1994, all but one of the dozen or so promotions and transfers that Worth has applied for have gone to black or female applicants whom he considered no better qualified than he, and in most cases less qualified, because they had far less relevant experience and seniority. Some of them had little or no college education. (Worth has a B.S. from Washington University.) He and similarly demoralized friends would ruefully remark that HUD "may as well put 'white males need not apply' on the job vacancy announcements." This pattern, which Worth initially attributed to the Clinton administration's passion for racial and gender preferences, continued into the Bush administration. Since 1997, only one of the 16 hires and promotions in Worth's division has gone to a white male.
Now the 55-year-old Worth is the name plaintiff in a nationwide class action against HUD and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
I think there will be a lot of suits like this in the next few years. The defendant here is kind of ironic, of course. Or maybe not.