The Volokh Conspiracy

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Volokh Conspiracy

Diversity Newspeak: Hispanics are a 'racial minority,' Asian Americans are not


Here are the first few lines of a recent article in The Washington Post:

Uber employs a relative dearth of women and racial minorities, particularly in technical roles, the company said Tuesday—another example of the lack of diversity that persists across the technology industry.

The ride-hailing company, which made public its data on employee diversity for the first time, said that women make up 36.1 percent of Uber's global workforce and 32.9 percent of its employees in the United States and Canada, but they hold just 15.4 percent of technical positions.

In the United States, the numbers are starker for racial minorities, the data shows. Uber employees identifying as Asian make up 30.9 percent of the ride-hailing company's U.S. workforce and hold 47.9 percent of technical roles. Meanwhile, black employees make up 8.8 percent of the U.S. workforce and just 1 percent of technical roles. For Hispanics, the breakdown was 5.6 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.

Bolding added for emphasis. If I'm following the implicit logic of this article correctly, "Uber employees identifying as Asian" don't count as members of a racial minority group, but Hispanic employees do; otherwise, it would be hard to see how having more than half of Uber's employees being "racial minorities" could be considered a "relative dearth."

Whatever one thinks of race as a biological or social construct, it's hard to think of any logical theory of race in the United States that construes Asian Americans as not a racial minority, but Hispanic Americans, who can be of European, African, indigenous or Asian descent, or any combination thereof, as a racial minority, beyond "a racial minority is any group we say is a racial minority when it suits a political agenda."

Note that Justice Sonia Sotomayor also gerrymanders "racial minority" to include Hispanics but not Asians.