Jonah Goldberg

Well, imagine you are a white or Asian or Arab employee at the DNC. Your friend John or Jane almost got fired last week, but, thanks to a last-second reprieve, they won't be -simply because they're black. The DNC still has to cut costs, so now your head's on the chopping block. Do you still believe diversity is cost-free?

Remember, you're a good liberal working for the Democratic Party battling the evil forces of the Republicans. So surely you see no problem with sacrificing your job for the sake of diversity. Never mind the fact that, as the DNC has pointed out in its defense, some 30 percent of its employees are black, which means African-Americans are overrepresented there.

Or, put yourself in the shoes of one of the black employees who almost got axed. Now the guy in the next cubicle's going to be fired instead of you - just because he's white or, rather, not black.

No wonder Terry McAuliffe has been incapable of coming up with a straight explanation. He's run head-on into the dilemma of diversity-think.

If the motive behind the intended firing wasn't racism (and I think it's fair to say it wasn't; blacks comprise 30 percent of the DNC staff, more than double their representation in the general population), then it must have been efficiency. And if that's the case, the DNC Ten are being given a reprieve because they are black. Period.

This doesn't necessarily mean these black individuals were the worst employees in their department. Some may have been canned by vindictive or inept bosses. But the most likely explanation is that their jobs were simply redundant or too expensive.

Well-qualified and capable workers are fired all the time because a company -or political party -doesn't need their services anymore. Indeed, the DNC has suggested that the layoffs were intended in part to defray the costs of new hires elsewhere in the organization -including five blacks.

But it doesn't really matter, does it? No matter how you try to explain the decision, the DNC isn't judging these employees by the content of their characters. It's only going by the color of their skins. And that should give us all a little better insight into the party that claims to keep the tradition of Martin Luther King Jr. alive.

Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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