(Blind) Human Rights For Dummies

Chapter 1

You are in charge of a large staff of middle-aged white men. Congratulations on your success! But you face a dilemma when seeking a new hire.

A black man applies, and it’s whispered in your ear that it will cause disruption, that some employees won’t want to work next to someone ‘like that’.

A woman applies, and it’s whispered in your ear that she won’t pull her weight because women are the weaker sex.

A Jewish man applies, and it’s whispered that he won’t be trustworthy. Same with the Muslim who applied that day.

A woman in wheelchair applies, and it’s whispered that your doorways are too narrow.

A gay man applies, and it’s whispered that male employees will fear being seduced – or “looked at” in that certain way.

A transgender person applies, and it’s whispered that everyone’s health premiums will increase and bathrooms won’t be safe.

People whispering in your ear will line up to add their reason why hiring any of these people will be a disaster. Statistics can be cited to bolster any argument. It takes strength to step away from these voices, to look at people as human beings rather than a collection of stereotypes used in rhetoric. The simple solution is to blindly hire the best human being.

About colealpaugh

Cole Alpaugh's newspaper career began in the early 80s, starting with small daily papers in Maryland and Massachusetts, where his stories won national awards. His most recent job was at a large daily in Central New Jersey, where his "true life" essays included award-winning pieces on a traveling rodeo and an in-depth story on an emergency room doctor that was nominated by Gannett News Service for a 1991 Pulitzer Prize. Cole also contracted with two Manhattan-based news agencies, covering conflicts in Haiti, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Thailand and Cambodia. His work has appeared in dozens of magazines, as well as most newspapers in America. Cole is currently a freelance photographer and novelist living in Northeast Pennsylvania, where he spends afternoons in a virtual running race around the equator, and evenings watching his daughter's magical stage performances. You can find him online at ColeAlpaugh.com.
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