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  1. 01 Apr '15 20:35 / 1 edit
    Some right-wing white American men here have been evidently arguing
    that everyone gets paid exactly according to what's one worth in terms of
    productivity under American capitalism. So if white American men get paid
    the most, then that's only because their job performances are the best.

    In _The Powerhouse_ (2015), Steven Levine discusses the efforts of
    American scientists and engineers to develop a revolutionary new battery.
    One of his book's heroes is Khalil Amine (who was born in Morocco and is
    married to a Chinese woman), the leader of a top research group in the field.
    Khalil Amine used to employ white Americans, but he was disappointed in
    their work. So he 'unapologetically' (to quote Steven Levine) began refusing
    to hire US-born people. His research group consists almost completely of
    Chinese, with the few others being (like himself) from Morocco.

    "I have had Caucasians in my group before. Also Indians, Koreans.
    But I will tell you this--I'm very demanding....I have to make sure we produce.
    The Chinese work this way too--they are extremely hard-working." (p. 91)

    Speaking of his Chinese employees, Khalil Amine said that, in contrast to
    white Americans: "They (Chinese) go an extra length. They're smart.
    And they are extremely reliable. That's why (almost all his employees
    were Chinese)." (p. 93)

    I suspect that right-wing white Americans here would like to accuse Khalil Amine
    of racism against white Americans. Steven Levine himself apparently does
    not believe that Khalil Amine's a racist. Based directly upon his experiences
    of working with them, Khalil Amine concluded that white Americans (as well
    as some Asians) were clearly inferior in job performance to Chinese, so he
    preferred to hire Chinese in order to form the best possible team. And the fact
    that his research team is almost completely ethnic Chinese should not be
    any more of an issue than having an almost completely black basketball team.

    "At Argonne, the policy is you hire people based on capability."
    --Khalil Amine

    Is there anything wrong with Khalil Amine's employment practices?
  2. 01 Apr '15 22:28
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Some right-wing white American men here have been evidently arguing
    that everyone gets paid exactly according to what's one worth in terms of
    productivity under American capitalism. So if white American men get paid
    the most, then that's only because their job performances are the best.

    In _The Powerhouse_ (2015), Steven Levine discusses the efforts ...[text shortened]... pability."
    --Khalil Amine

    Is there anything wrong with Khalil Amine's employment practices?
    It isn't clear how this discrimination process works in practice at Argonne, a US operation in Illinois managed for the US DOE by the U of Chicago. Their web site has a section on diversity at Argonne, claiming quite the opposite of discrimination by "race" skin color or nationality. His department's link features an interview with a female PhD who is from Wisconsin and looks Caucasian. Argonne is a huge operation with strong ties to the US government Department of Energy, and blatant evidence of hiring Chinese and rejecting qualified Americans would, it seems, get noticed. So assuming the quotes are accurate, his sentiments may be "More honor'd in the breach than the observance."
  3. 01 Apr '15 22:35
    Originally posted by JS357
    It isn't clear how this discrimination process works in practice at Argonne, a US operation in Illinois managed for the US DOE by the U of Chicago. Their web site has a section on diversity at Argonne, claiming quite the opposite of discrimination by "race" skin color or nationality. His department's link features an interview with a female PhD who is from Wis ...[text shortened]... the quotes are accurate, his sentiments may be "More honor'd in the breach than the observance."
    Ugly people don't make as much as pretty people.

    Fat people don't make as much as skinny people.

    There is institutionalized discrimination all over the place, but only certain special groups get talked about. If you are not in one of the special groups your plight gets ignored.
  4. 01 Apr '15 22:40
    Originally posted by JS357
    It isn't clear how this discrimination process works in practice at Argonne, a US operation in Illinois managed for the US DOE by the U of Chicago. Their web site has a section on diversity at Argonne, claiming quite the opposite of discrimination by "race" skin color or nationality. His department's link features an interview with a female PhD who is from Wis ...[text shortened]... the quotes are accurate, his sentiments may be "More honor'd in the breach than the observance."
    While I cannot speak for him, Khalil Amine apparently was not afraid to get
    quoted on the record by Steven Levine in his 2015 book _Powerhouse_.
    Khalil Amine evidently takes the position that, based on experience (not
    stereotypes), his Chinese employees have worked significantly harder and
    been significantly more productive than his (former) white American employees.

    Here's what Steven Levine wrote about workplace culture at Argonne:
    "The Americans were suspicious of the Chinese and also themselves
    (Americans) insular....Andy Jansen and Kevin Gallagher threw backyard
    barbecues for department colleagues, but Asians were rarely present.
    Once, when Gallagher...brought along a South Korean scientist named
    Sun-Ho Kang to a gathering, Janssen asked why he had not joined them before.
    'I was never invited,' Kang said." (p. 100)
  5. 01 Apr '15 22:42
    Originally posted by Eladar to JS357
    Ugly people don't make as much as pretty people.

    Fat people don't make as much as skinny people.

    There is institutionalized discrimination all over the place, but only certain special groups get talked about. If you are not in one of the special groups your plight gets ignored.
    Does Eladar have any objection to Khalil Amine hiring more productive
    Chinese rather than less productive white Americans for his research group?
  6. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    01 Apr '15 22:45
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Does Eladar have any objection to Khalil Amine hiring more productive
    Chinese rather than less productive white Americans for his research group?
    I object to hiring based on stereotypical beliefs.

    If Khalil Amine said he didn't hire blacks because they are all lazy or he didn't hire Jews because they are greedy schemers, would that be OK in your view?
  7. 01 Apr '15 22:46
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Does Eladar have any objection to Khalil Amine hiring more productive
    Chinese rather than less productive white Americans for his research group?
    I have no objections to anyone hiring any group or not hiring any group for any reason whatsoever.
  8. 01 Apr '15 22:50
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    I object to hiring based on stereotypical beliefs.

    If Khalil Amine said he didn't hire blacks because they are all lazy or he didn't hire Jews because they are greedy schemers, would that be OK in your view?
    First of all, I don't represent or have any connection to Khalil Amine.
    Khalil Amine has said that his hiring practices are determined by his
    direct experiences of working with various groups of employees rather
    than by 'stereotypical beliefs'.
  9. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    01 Apr '15 23:08
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    First of all, I don't represent or have any connection to Khalil Amine.
    Khalil Amine has said that his hiring practices are determined by his
    direct experiences of working with various groups of employees rather
    than by 'stereotypical beliefs'.
    A person extrapolating his limited experiences with groups of people to a guiding principle in his dealings with all members of that group is a "stereotypical belief".

    I didn't say you did, but this is Debates and a thread you started so you should answer the question.
  10. 02 Apr '15 00:20 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    A person extrapolating his limited experiences with groups of people to
    a guiding principle in his dealings with all members of that group is a "stereotypical belief".

    I didn't say you did, but this is Debates and a thread you started so you should answer the question.
    By definition, everyone has 'limited (meaning not infinite) experiences' with
    members of various groups. At which point, however, can one make
    generalizations (not universal claims with certainty) about these groups?
    I note that 'scientific' political surveys in the USA have arrived at general
    conclusions about all Americans even though they have questioned only an
    extremely small proportion of Americans. At an informal 'unscientific' level,
    people tend to make generalizations based upon even smaller sample sizes.

    According to Steve Levine, Khalil Amine has had years of experience in working
    with people of fairly diverse backgrounds, including white Americans,
    Europeans, and Asians of various nationalities. After such experiences,
    Khalil Amine has concluded that, in general, Chinese (from China) were his
    hardest-working and most productive employees. I am not in a position to
    doubt his professional judgment. Perhaps you (No1Marauder) would say
    that it's premature and unfair to make such a generalization when Khalil
    Amine should require a much larger sample size of diverse employees.
    Not knowing all the facts, I cannot form a definite opinion about it.

    Has Khalil Amine been influenced by traditional American 'stereotypical beliefs'?
    Having grown up in Morocco, he seems to be less influenced by American racism.
    A traditional American 'stereotypical belief' was that Chinese are 'racially
    inferior' in intelligence to white Americans. (This belief was used in part to
    justify racist American laws against the Chinese.) Even today, many right-wing
    white Americans like to believe that Chinese scientists and engineers must
    be incapable of doing any significant original work, and so the only way that
    China supposedly can advance in technology is by copying (or 'stealing' )
    the work done by the 'superior' white American scientists and engineers.
    If Khalil Amine held the traditional 'stereotypical beliefs' common in the USA,
    then he would prefer to hire (heavily Jewish) white Americans, not Chinese.
    So it seems to me that Khalil Amine's preference for hiring Chinese is based on
    his experience rather than on having absorbed a stereotype from American culture.

    That said, I think that every qualified applicant should deserve at least a fair
    hearing in a job interview with Khalil Amine. (I don't know how Khalil Amine
    conducts his job interviews.) A white American deserves to have a chance
    to convince Khalil Amine that he or she could work as hard as the Chinese
    whom he now usually hires. A woman deserves a chance to convince him
    that she's so dedicated to her career that she plans never to be distracted
    by having children. If Khalil Amine's refusing to interview some qualified
    applicants just because they don't fit his desired profile, he would be wrong.

    Given that I am far from being the kind of employee (a Chinese man from China)
    that he now favors, if I were qualified (Ph.D. in the field) to work for him,
    I expect that I would face considerable resistance in a job interview with
    Khalil Amine. I suspect that I would encounter some adverse discrimination.
    Nonetheless, I don't know if I would necessarily take it personally because
    it seems to me that Khalil Amine's obsessed with attempting to find the
    best people to work for him (not necessarily for someone else) and producing
    significant results. If Khalil Amine has been guilty of unlawful discrimination,
    then why hasn't his boss done something to stop it and to discipline him?
  11. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    02 Apr '15 12:47
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    By definition, everyone has 'limited (meaning not infinite) experiences' with
    members of various groups. At which point, however, can one make
    generalizations (not universal claims with certainty) about these groups?
    I note that 'scientific' political surveys in the USA have arrived at general
    conclusions about all Americans even though they have ques ...[text shortened]... awful discrimination,
    then why hasn't his boss done something to stop it and to discipline him?
    Slave overseers in the first half of the 19th Century in the South of the United States had plenty of experience observing African-Americans. Is their "professional judgment" that blacks were mentally and morally inferior to whites due the same deference that Mr. Amine's conclusions are?

    Stereotypes change over time; at present a more common stereotype about Chinese and other Asians is that they are really smart and hard working. Perhaps Mr. Amine is subconsciously laboring under that stereotype rather than ones prevalent in societies long ago.
  12. Subscriber Sleepyguy
    Reepy Rastardly Guy
    02 Apr '15 13:33
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Some right-wing white American men...
    Yeah, and you want to discuss other people's bigotry. Pass.
  13. 02 Apr '15 15:01 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    By definition, everyone has 'limited (meaning not infinite) experiences' with
    members of various groups. At which point, however, can one make
    generalizations (not universal claims with certainty) about these groups?
    I note that 'scientific' political surveys in the USA have arrived at general
    conclusions about all Americans even though they have ques ...[text shortened]... awful discrimination,
    then why hasn't his boss done something to stop it and to discipline him?
    "If Khalil Amine has been guilty of unlawful discrimination,
    then why hasn't his boss done something to stop it and to discipline him?"

    That's a good question. It seems like a slam dunk Title VII violation.

    http://employment.findlaw.com/employment-discrimination/employment-discrimination-overview.html

    "The best known of employment anti-discrimination laws, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits an employer with fifteen or more employees from discriminating on the basis of race, national origin, gender, or religion. Under Title VII, it is illegal for an employer to take any of the following actions against an employee based upon his or her race, national origin, gender, or religion:

    Refuse to hire;
    Discipline;
    Fire;
    Deny training;
    Fail to promote;
    Pay less or demote; or
    Harass."
  14. 02 Apr '15 19:23 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Slave overseers in the first half of the 19th Century in the South of the United States had plenty of experience observing African-Americans. Is their "professional judgment" that blacks were mentally and morally inferior to whites due the same deference that Mr. Amine's conclusions are?

    Stereotypes change over time; at present a more common stereotyp ...[text shortened]... subconsciously laboring under that stereotype rather than ones prevalent in societies long ago.
    It's absurd to compare Khalil Amine to a slave overseer or his employees to slaves.

    Khalil Amine works at the Argonne National Laboratory, which is managed for
    the US Department of Energy. Khalil Amine does not have absolute power.
    He's bound by federal law and regulations, and he must answer to his boss.
    In contrast to the slaves, his well-educated employees know they have rights.
    If an employee feels unfairly treated, one can go through channels or take
    legal action to pursue a remedy. I suspect that Khalil Amine's evaluations
    of his employees may be subject to review by his supervisor(s) as well.
    I have no reason to believe that Khalil Amine's a 'loose cannon' running
    around with no accountability to anyone else. Whatever Khalil Amine has
    been doing, his supervisors evidently know of it and approve of it in general.

    "...a more common stereotype about *Chinese and other Asians* is that
    they are really smart and hard working."
    --No1Marauder

    Khalil Amine does *not* quite share that stereotype. He has said that he
    was disappointed with his non-Chinese Asian employees, who were less
    productive on average as his Chinese employees. Khalil Amine does *not*
    lump 'Chinese and other Asians' together in the same stereotype. He has
    made distinctions based upon his direct observations of their performances.

    Khalil Amine (the son of an Arab father and a Berber mother in Morocco)
    has praised his Chinese employees for being extremely hard-working, intelligent,
    and reliable. Not having observed any of them, would No1Marauder like
    to claim that Khalil Amine's evaluation of his employees must be wrong?
    By the way, other people who work in American science and engineering
    have also told me that ethnic Chinese tend to be very hard-working,
    intelligent, reliable, and even (shocking!) more productive on average
    than most others (including white Americans) in these fields.

    I don't know how many employees Khalil Amine has observed over the years.
    Let's say it's 500. If that's too small of a sample size from which to make
    generalizations, how big should the sample size be? 5,000 employees?
    50,000 employees? 500,000 employees (which is getting ridiculous)?

    Given what Steve Levine described of him, I suspect that I would find it very
    hard (perhaps unbearably so) to work for Khalil Amine. But Steve Levine
    (a white American who spent a lot of time talking with him) evidently does
    not believe that Khalil Amine's a racist, and I accept Levine's judgment.
    Steve Levine knows more about the context of Khalil Amine's comments
    than any of us do.

    By the way, there's ample objective evidence (it's not just a stereotype)
    that Asian (particularly Chinese) students excel in mathematics and science
    in the USA. In recent decades, Asian (particularly Chinese) students have
    tended to dominate the competitions (not based on subjective evaluations)
    that identify the top American students in mathematics and science.
    It does not seem unreasonable to infer that an exceptional student in
    science would be more likely to become an exceptional scientist later.

    For political reasons, however, I suspect that many Americans would feel
    better if Asian (particularly Chinese) students suddenly declined in academic
    performance so they became no better than white students on average.
  15. 02 Apr '15 19:34 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by JS357
    "If Khalil Amine has been guilty of unlawful discrimination,
    then why hasn't his boss done something to stop it and to discipline him?"

    That's a good question. It seems like a slam dunk Title VII violation.

    http://employment.findlaw.com/employment-discrimination/employment-discrimination-overview.html

    "The best known of employment anti-discrimination ...[text shortened]... ;
    Fire;
    Deny training;
    Fail to promote;
    Pay less or demote; or
    Harass."
    Khalil Amine (who's not stupid) has felt free to speak openly on the record
    with Steve Levine (a white American writer), making some unflattering
    comments about his white American employees. His 'politically incorrect'
    comments seem to have upset some white Americans in this forum.

    My point is that Khalil Amine's *not* attempting to conceal his attitudes
    or his hiring practices. His supervisors must know of it. Indeed, anyone
    who reads Steve Levine's book would know of it. A lawyer (who practices
    anti-discrimination law in employment) who reads the book could know of it.
    Yet Khalil Amine's apparently not afraid of being found guilty of violating a
    federal law, regulation, or guideline. I would assume that may be because
    Khalil Amine and his supervisors have received legal advice that what he's
    doing is acceptable. (I am not qualified as a legal expert on this issue.)

    If anyone believes that what Khalil Amine's doing is illegal, wrong, or racist,
    then one should hold his supervisors accountable as well. I suspect that
    some of his supervisors probably are white Americans. Would they endorse
    alleged unfair discrimination against white Americans in the workplace?