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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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Is virtue-signalling costing lives?

18 Mar 2024

For too long, certain minorities have been discriminated against in the workplace.

It used to be common (and sometimes still is) for women to be paid less than men even though they are engaged in exactly the same roles with the same qualifications and experience.

Likewise, some employers have considered race to be a factor in evaluating candidates for a position.

I would like to think that those days are over.

However, like a pendulum, it seems that we've now gone too far and now have a situation where many employers feel it necessary to signal their virtue by actively selecting workers for attributes that would formerly have actually worked against them.

This could be costing lives.

This "virtue signalling" is becoming rife and has resulted in people being selected, not on merit but on the value they represent as an indication that an employer is committed to supporting minorities in the workplace.

This is bad, very bad.

It seems that these employers do not understand that two wrongs do not make a right.

It is just as evil to appoint someone to a role primarily because of their race, culture, gender or beliefs -- as it is to discriminate against them for the same reasons.

Right now, people are paying the price for this virtue signalling with their lives.

Example:

I have watched as many US government agencies and corporations have filled their key roles with so many minorities and women that finding a white male face is virtually impossible.

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is a great example of this. Almost every video or media presentation made by this organisation is now fronted by a woman of colour.

In an equitable workplace, I would expect the ratio of coloured to white, men to women, etc., to be the same ratio as you'd find in the general population but that most certainly is not the case. It is very clear that minorities are being pushed to the front as a method of virtue signalling.

Unfortunately, perhaps as a result of this, performance is falling to all-time lows, as one might expect when someone is chosen, not on merit but on colour or gender so as to meet some kind of quota for minorities.

Some well-informed commentators have speculated that it is this minority quota that has resulted in so many near-misses between passenger aircraft at major airports in the USA of late. Those working in critical roles such as air traffic control ought never to be chosen on anything other than ability, as we are discovering to a cost that could eventually be measured in human lives.

What has prompted me to write on this topic today?

It was a comment left over the weekend on one of my videos relating to the quality control issues at Boeing:

"As a Boeing engineer up here in Seattle this is very sad and scary. The company has definitely put Equity, Diversity, and inclusion above safety. We take more mandatory EDI classes than safety."

Yes, it seems that the need to virtue-signal and the focus on "diversity" and "inclusion" has huge potential to extract a toll in human lives.

It's time this nonsense was stopped, before people die.

The only way for true equity is for *everyone* to be treated as equals both in recruitment and once in the workplace. To favour a minority in an attempt to redress the wrongs of the past is just as unjust as discriminating against them.

Equality should mean equality, not some kind of vigilante justice to make ammends for previous misdeeds or attitudes.

One can only hope that this pendulum has already reached the peak of its swing in this direction and that its movement will be sufficiently damped that it returns to a totally neutral position within the shortest possible time.

Carpe Diem folks!

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