Can we collectively agree that none of us are any more special than anyone else? Can we agree that we all have very real needs that deserve to be addressed in varying ways? Rather than evoking pity, and feeling sorry for the few, I think it is time that we realize just what makes us uniquely human. Humans are continually trying to navigate this complicated world in different ways utilizing their specialties, and specific needs. Some have navigated the world via their wheelchair in the White House (F.D.R was paralyzed from the waist down) while trying to lead American during the Great Depression, some are using their athletic abilities in professional soccer (David Beckham has OCD), some are enjoying their time on earth as an actress even without the ability to hear (Marlee Martlin), and of course there is Helen Keller who published 12 books for our continuing education and entertainment. Some of us (i.e. myself), though given the special needs label and after having been adopted through foster care, are working to erase the labels and de-stigmatize areas that are divisive by blogging. As a lover of words - both reading, written, spoken and signed, I truly believe in the power of words. Words reinforce perceptions, and shape our world. I'm working to reinforce the positive perception of those with different abilities. In this sense, I'm representing all of us.
What are employers attempting to say when they tack the phrase “women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply” onto the end of a job posting? Are they strongly encouraging those who are actually of the minority in terms of bi/multi-racial folks, latino/a, gays or lesbians, persons with disabilities etc.? I'll wager to guess that they are typically speaking directly to women of color. If so, are employers encouraging women of color to apply because they value diversity in the true sense of the word, or because they need a woman of color to fulfill their quota? To me, this statement reads as a covert way to meet a quota. I view it as a hollow and ineffectual attempt to put a sticker over the actual issue at hand - white privilege and minority oppression. It's a statement that may actually be preventing attracting the diverse work force it apparently desires by implemented strategies specifically designed to attract people of color.
Others I've spoken with felt it to be a reflection of the company's attempt to weed those out who may be uncomfortable in a diverse environments as the statement serves to reflect the current culture of the company. I'm curious what others think when they read this statement - especially curious about what white males think when they read this?