Racist quotas

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie is dreaming if he thinks that laws like these will bring anything but trouble.
A PERCENTAGE of public service jobs would have to be filled by people of ethnic backgrounds under a State Government plan.

The Government will meet with Public Service Commissioner George O'Farrell and Multicultural Affairs Queensland within the next two weeks to discuss the plan.

Multicultural Affairs parliamentary secretary Karen Struthers said it was yet to be determined if targets were achievable, but if they were they would be considered in Cabinet within months.
She said she was pushing the initiative, which could take a couple of years to implement, and the ratio of ethnic employees could start at 4 to 8 per cent.
As a response, reader Jeremy Michaels sent an e-mail off to Queensland's quite misguided Premier, which he was kind enough to forward to me. I'll excerpt it here:
I have just read in The Courier Mail about a plan to introduce ethnic quotas into the public service. In other words some people will be picked for jobs by the colour of their skin and the only real way that can be described is that it is racist. These targets or quotas also say to the people in the target ethnic groups "you can't do it on your own, you need our help to get anywhere. It also can cause resentment in a workplace when they know that a qualified person was knocked back and the 'targeted choice' just isn't up to scratch.

We don't need quotas, we have anti discrimination laws and that's enough, anything else is an unfair playing field. I have gained or not gained work based on my ability, to be chosen or knocked back because of race is an insult.

And more to the point we are always being told "race doesn't matter". Having quotas would suggest otherwise.
Let's look at it this way:

Let's say we're looking at the American 4x100m sprint relay team, which I think we can all agree is made up of four of the fastest people on this planet. Now, every time I've seen them in action, all four members of the team were black, because they're the best relay team the States can put together. But let's say that we imposed quotas on their relay team - forcing them to have one black guy, two white guys and one Hispanic or Asian guy in order to represent the ethnic makeup of the United States.

All of a sudden, you're not picking the fastest four men anymore - you're picking the fastest black guy, the two fastest white guys and the fastest Hispanic guy, which could easily add half a second to their time. All of a sudden, they're not coming first or second anymore, they're vying for fifth, and all because the best guys for the job got denied because of their skin colour. That's racism.

Isn't it better to pick the best people for the job, regardless of skin colour?

(Cross-posted to The House Of Wheels.)

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