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The Silenced Majority

By Marty Nemko

In and outside of work, many people have politically incorrect concerns about which they feel they must remain silent.

In the privacy of my office, many clients have expressed such concerns, and occasionally, a reader of my column writes to me about them. For example:

Dear Dr. Nemko,

To introduce this topic for myself, I started noticing preference for women over men in work positions, beginning in the early 90s (1992- ). Since then, it has just exploded to include just about everyone else, save for white males.

I worked at a large medical college in Houston, Texas, from 1999-2005, where little by little, Hispanic females, and to some extent Hispanic males, were becoming the only applicants being hired for all administrative positions in the department where I worked; I was getting very angry that I had applied for over 200 positions within the organization, and after all that work, I was only called once for an interview; never mind that I didn’t get the job! Whereas if you had an Hispanic surname, you were automatically called for interview. I finally had to resign because I couldn’t take the unfairness of that department and the Human Resource department of that medical college. I still harbor very negative views of that job. It became very racist against Anglos (especially Anglo males). To me, Hispanics are very racist and do not practice our American ways of including others; they are some of the worst racists I have ever seen.

I worked on-call at a local hospital, again in Houston, Texas, in 2005, where I experienced every time I walked down a hallway or into a lab, being ignored by the majority of black employees there. It was just a continuous negative experience that after being employed there for six months, I said “later” to that. I note that many blacks complain about racism, but they themselves practice racism against those who are not black.

This is only the tip of the iceberg for me. I really don’t know what else I can do; I don’t want to become a homeless statistic at age 47, but prospects don’t seem very bright for a single, Anglo male @ 47 years of age. I don’t understand what has happened; I have always treated others well and I cannot accept or understand this exclusion-type behavior against me - how am I supposed to survive in this country? I just don’t understand. It is very frustrating and perplexing to me.

Sincerely,

Hayne (a pseudonym that the author asked me to use)

This Silenced Majority’s complaints may be about co-workers who are parents who, in the name of a family-friendly workplace, assert the “right” to leave work early to attend their child’s soccer game, leaving their co-workers in the lurch.

Other complainants are white or Asian males or even female applicants for hiring or promotion who were rejected in favor of other applicants with weaker backgrounds.

Or they are applicants to colleges and graduate schools who were rejected while other applicants with far weaker backgrounds are admitted because they were athletes, “underrepresented” minorities, or because their parents donated money to the university.

For fear of reprisal, most people are afraid to raise such politically incorrect concerns.

The politically correct conventional wisdom is that, even after seven generations of slavery, its legacy and lingering discrimination justify efforts to give minorities an advantage. In part, I agree. But for me, that starts and ends with reaching out to “underrepresented” groups to ensure they are aware of opportunities and do not perceive they are unwanted. But I believe the larger good accrues from, after that outreach, selecting on the merits.

The result will be that you will know that the bridge you drive on was built by the engineers most qualified to ensure it is safe, that your Internet provider selected the people most qualified to ensure your email and Internet access, and that your woman or minority airplane pilot and doctor were chosen on the merits. And you’ll know that your children will be judged not on whether they have two X chromosomes or enough melanin, but on their potential to make the most of an opportunity, for themselves and for society.

When you perceive an injustice, even a politically incorrect one, I invite you to consider whether it’s worth leaving The Silenced Majority and speaking out.

I am writing a book on The Silenced Majority. If you’d like to offer an example of how you felt silenced, were silenced, or were clearly the victim of political correctness or reverse discrimination, write me at mnemko@comcast.net

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