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This Job Posting is Racist and Illegal
(in America, but not in Canada)
Two weeks ago I published a 4,000-word deep dive into Canadian affirmative action laws:
In this article I conclude that Guelph’s job posting stating that “Candidates must be from one or more of the following equity-seeking groups to apply: women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, and racialized groups.” is probably legal in Canada, but definitely illegal in the United States.
After publishing that article, I was pointed towards an ad for a “Black or Indigenous Scholar” at the Smith School of Business at Queen's University.
Queens is Western’s main rival.
Queens’ ad states that "applicant must self-identify as Black persons from Africa or from the African diaspora, or they must self-identify as First Nations, Inuit or Metis. Recognizing that identities can intersect, Black and Indigenous people who also identify as women, persons with disabilities and 2SLGBTQ+ are encouraged to apply.”
Guelph’s ad was probably (?) legal in Canada, and so is Queens’. It is what it is. This is life in Canada. There are special jobs explicitly designated for those who can’t compete on merit.
There is one key difference between Guelph and Queens, though: Queens posted their job on 3 American job boards (American Economic Association (AEA), Econjobmarket, and Interfolio), explicitly saying to American professors in American jurisdictions that only Americans who “self-identify as Black persons” may apply.
These American based association must follow American law.
I contacted the 3 American job boards. AEA responded first:
Thank you for bringing the Queens University job listing in JOE to our attention. It is similar to the McMaster listing of last year to which you referred that we took down because it discriminates in seeking applicants.
Under AEA policy an employer can "welcome or encourage applicants from underrepresented groups, but cannot require that applicants be members of underrepresented groups. Therefore we have taken the Queens listing down and offered Queens the opportunity to rewrite it to conform with the policy or withdraw it.
Kudos on them for taking it down right away, although I would argue that Queens shouldn’t even be offered the chance to post an edited version of the ad because the demographics of the hire have already been decided.
It should also be noted that this is not the first time the AEA have “accidently” posted a race-based job and then taken it down upon being notified. The AEA shouldn’t need EJMR and/or Substack to police them.
Interfolio responded next:
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are looking into it.
Okay. The job is still up on Interfolio for now.
The 3rd job board, EconJobMarket, didn’t answer me at first. But I happen to know that EconJobMarket is the official job market site of the Econometric Society. Here is the Econometrics Society policy on discrimination:
The Society seeks to create a professional environment with equal opportunity and fair treatment for all economists, regardless of age, sex, gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, health condition, marital status, parental status, genetic information, political affiliation, professional status, or personal connections.
I contacted the Econometric Society and informed them that Queens’ ad violated their policy, and here is how they responded:
Thank you very much for bringing this issue to our attention.
The Econometric Society is a law-abiding US-domiciled non-profit corporation.
Therefore, if an ad contradicts US laws, it cannot be posted on the Society web page.
For that reason, we have asked EJM to take it out.
Great! While the job is still up on EconJobMarket for now, I expect it will be taken down soon.
So 1 out of the 3 ads have been taken down so far, and I expect the other 2 will be soon. I probably won’t write another Substack article to notify you when they other 2 get taken down — it won’t be newsworthy enough to dedicate an entire Substack article — but I probably will write another article *if* Interfolio and/or EconJobMarket decide to leave the job up. So, if you hear nothing else from me about Queens University, consider my silence as good news.
At that, ladies and gentlemen, is the power of independent investigative journalism to police bad woke actors.