(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 began his newspaper career in the early 1980's at a daily paper on Maryland's Eastern Shore, where he covered everything from bake sales to KKK meetings. He moved on to a paper in Massachusetts to specialize in feature essays, where his stories on a Hispanic youth gang and the life of a Golden Gloves boxer won national awards. His most recent newspaper job was at a large daily in Central New Jersey, where he was given the freedom to pursue more "true life" essays, including award winning pieces on a traveling rodeo, and an in-depth story on an emergency room doctor. The doctor's story ended when the physician brought back to life an elderly woman who'd once been his children's babysitter. The essay was nominated by Gannett News Service for a 1991 Pulitzer Prize. Cole also did work for two Manhattan-based news agencies, covering conflicts in Haiti, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and guerrilla raids conducted out of the refugee camps along the Thai/Cambodia boarder. His work has appeared in dozens of magazines, as well as most newspapers in America. Cole is currently a freelance photographer and writer living in Northeast Pennsylvania, where he spends his afternoons watching his daughter hit fuzzy yellow balls and ski through slalom gates. You can find him online at ColeAlpaugh.com.
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