Iowa’s Attorney General has joined with other Republican lawmakers across the nation to take a stand against race-based hiring. They’re targeting their own by taking on law firms. Here is the full story.
Attacking Diversity Programs
In late August, Iowa’s Brenna Bird took to Twitter to announce that she has joined hands with other Republican attorneys general in attacking diversity programs.
Citing the recent Supreme Court decision striking down affirmative action at public colleges and universities, Bird said that race-based hiring is now illegal across the board.
Bird and her colleagues also think the new ruling extends into the private sector.
That’s why they sent a letter to the 100 largest law firms in the United States to warn them that race-based discrimination would not be tolerated.
The part that might be hard for many to swallow is what Bird and her fellow AGs consider to be discrimination.
Against Race-Based Hiring
The sprawling 9-page letter that the group sent out makes it clear that they consider race-based hiring to fall under that umbrella of discrimination.
“Eliminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it,” the letter says at one point, with bolding and italics added for emphasis.
Then, the letter goes on to explain that hiring practices that require a certain percentage of employees to be non-white are discriminatory.
Further, the letter says that requiring a certain percentage of candidates for open leadership roles to be minorities is discrimination.
An Election Deciding Issue?
The group of attorneys general also wants law firms to cease and desist hiring tactics that include standardizing questions around diversity and inclusion during the interview process.
There is clearly a political component to this development, as at least one of the attorneys general involved is gunning for a bigger position.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is running for governor of that state.
It’s a heated contest against incumbent Democrat Andy Beshear, and every issue could potentially be the difference maker.
Cameron, a black man, has jumped into the fight against diversity hiring practices with both feet.
Taking to Twitter, Cameron says, “Suppressing equal opportunity in the name of identity politics is a slap in the face to the promise of the American Dream for all.”
Led by Montana AG Austin Knudsen, the group also includes attorneys general from Kansas and Arkansas and sees the Supreme Court ruling as a foot in the door.
Besides attacking the hiring practices of law firms, Bird and her cohorts also take issue with employee training programs that target diversity issues.
Specifically, they say that training that assigns “fault, blame or bias” or that focuses on implicit bias is illegal.
It’s not just law firms who are coming under fire from these conservative politicians, either.
“Treating People Differently Because of the Color of Their Skin”
Back in July, eleven other attorneys general joined Bird and Cameron in crafting a letter targeting Fortune 100 CEOs.
Similar to their directive to law firms, the AGs demanded that the big corporations discontinue quota-based hiring for both employees and contractors.
Both letters left little doubt that the attorneys general planned to follow up hard with their targets down the road.
They finished up each letter with a warning: “If you choose not to do so, know that you will be held accountable — sooner rather than later — for your decision to continue treating people differently because of the color of their skin.”
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