Apr 302007

Imagine walking into a room full of purple gorillas. Pretty scary, huh?

Now, imagine going to a job interview, surrounded by purple gorilla bosses. You look to your left, then your right, only to see all the other applicants are snazzy-dressed purple gorillas, donning briefcases and purses.

You might begin to feel a bit outnumbered, maybe even underrepresented.

You, not being a purple gorilla in a predominantly purple gorilla community, likely worked very hard to get where you are, if not harder than some of the privileged purple gorillas.

It’s not easy being human in a purple gorilla society.

Let’s assume this business – say, an institution of higher education – claims to value the input of a diverse background of species, even those who aren’t purple gorillas.

That’s reassuring to the non-purple gorilla applicant. But it’s not enough.

Odds are a purple gorilla, given all the advantages of being a purple gorilla, will snag the job – unless somebody does something about it.

There’s the clincher. These purple gorillas admit that humans are disadvantaged when it comes to employment, but they don’t want to give any special treatment. They don’t want to take affirmative action.

You, being a resilient human, don’t want any handouts either. You want to earn what you get.

The fact remains, though, that you are facing a disadvantage. Perhaps, it’s not a handout. Maybe your potential employer is taking affirmative action to counter the hundreds of years of oppression humans have faced in a purple gorilla society.

Unfortunately, we here at the Collegian aren’t aware of any purple gorillas. We’re forced to think of this scenario with respect to race, social class and privilege. And it’s a real concern.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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