Which is more disastrous? Putting a “wise latina” on the Supreme Court, or putting an educated latina in charge of the engineering firm tasked with developing innovative pedestrian bridge designs?
Were six Floridian motorists just killed by affirmative action?
These are not conclusions, these are QUESTIONS.
If the latina in question is the most qualified ENGINEER available, then neither her genitalia nor her ethnic heritage are relevant considerations. But if she was merely the most qualified from an artificially reduced field of candidates, then that left potentially superior candidates passed over, and that ill serves engineering, safety, AND sanity. The optimist wishes to believe that she got the job based strictly on her technical qualifications, but the cynic suspects that the State of Florida is beholden to contemporaneous sensibilities and found her to be more demographically suitable than her paler, betesticled competitors. Do you want the girl who’s better than 95% of the guys, or do you want the engineer who’s better than ALL the others?
Unfortunately, MCM Project Exec Leonor Flores makes rather a big to do about bringing a woman’s “different perspective” into her trade, as if that makes the slightest bit of difference to compressive strength, wind loading, or material fatigue. If it turns out the cynic is more right than the optimist, perhaps Ms Flores might seek refuge from the insensitive math of engineering in the progressive protection of Google.
The racist* Walter Williams has often expressed his appreciation of the fact that he took his degrees before the institution of Affirmative Action called into question the accomplishments of all the boosted “beneficiaries.”
Gender norming, cultural norming, and affirmative action are all offenses to decency and responsibility, as they turn the focus from WHAT is accomplished to WHO is attempting it. If I’m overcome by smoke in a high rise fire, I don’t care what the firefighter is packing between his legs, as long as he can throw me over his shoulder and carry me down the six flights of stairs to safety. If my rescuer turns out to be Lady Brienne or Xena the Warrior Princess then I am singing her praises, but if Steve Buscemi or Paul Reubens show up instead, then I am kissing my ass goodbye.
So it’s possible that Ms Flores IS a decent engineer, and that she was betrayed by her contractors, or her suppliers, or who knows what yet. Disasters like these are the stuff of engineers’ nightmares, and I do not intend to diminish her concerns, nor too hastily impugn her integrity. However, engineers (and Supreme Court judges) handle matters of life and death, and no sane or humane person would want to put anyone into such a position solely to satisfy a quota.
(* Walter Williams would likely be denounced as a racist, were it not for his deep chestnut complexion, for stating such obvious facts as: the greatest danger to young black men in the inner city is other young black men, a child has a better chance of surviving to adulthood and staying out of jail if his parents are married, you are more likely to do well in life if you delay having children until AFTER you are employed, and big cities run by Negro Democrats go broke.)