Last month, I received an invitation to testify before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about affirmative action and diversity in U.S. companies. The testimony was scheduled for today, and I was asked to share my written statement to the commission beforehand, last Thursday, which I did. Late Friday afternoon I received a phone call from the commission, telling me that because of what I had to say, my invitation had been withdrawn by its chairman, Cari M. Dominguez.
I urged the commission to reconsider this decision because it would put the commission in general and the chairman in particular in a bad light. Yesterday I was notified that the entire meetingnot just my panel, but two othershas been indefinitely postponed.
The problem is that my testimony told the unwelcome truths that (a) American companies, in their celebration of diversity, frequently discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity and sex, (b) this violates the law, and (c) the EEOC is not doing anything about it. I was told that it would lead to a mutiny among the career people at the commission if I was given a platform to say such things. It might even turn the proceedings that morning into a circus, and Ms. Dominguez, I was told, did not want the EEOC to look like the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights back when Mary Frances Berry headed it.
The irony is that the effort to silence a witness because of his political incorrectness is exactly the sort of thing that Ms. Berry might have done. Actually, its worse. Ms. Berry, whatever her considerable shortcomings, actually did allow me to testify on more than one occasion.
The balance of this piece is a shortened version of the oral statement I would have delivered to the EEOC today, had I been allowed to. The (much longer) written versionwhich names company names and cites the relevant legal authorities and empirical workis available (in PDF) here.