Eric Adams doesn’t need photos to determine the best candidates for jobs in New York
Mayor Eric Adams’ recent request for photos of potential senior executive hires in the city rightly rings alarm bells.
« There was no doubt, » a former City employee said of the request. « That was the first thing everyone said, ‘We’re going to start counting complexions now.' »
The mayor’s excuse is that he just wants it to help him recognize his employees, but tying it to staff decisions tells everyone it’s about hiring more minorities.
This, while the city agencies are already plenty diverse, with approximately 71% of new hires in 2020 being people of color. According to the city’s own data, an average of 31% of employees across all agencies are black, 17% Hispanic and 11.5% Asian, in a city that is roughly 20% black, 28% Hispanic and 16% of Asians.
The city may not have broken anti-discrimination laws (yet). But he hardly needs to make hiring even more convoluted and strained: the pandemic left him with 8% vacancies in April.
Here’s a brilliant idea, Mayor: How about hiring people based on their ability to do the job, not to fill an arbitrary quota? Asking for photos smacks of the country-club racism and anti-Semitism that has plagued America’s elite institutions for decades (and still plagues our top colleges when it comes to Asians).
You said the photo move was about respect: « I should know my employees, I should approach them and say thank you. » Better show some real public respect and putting the best people on, no matter what they look like.