Ruling expected soon in Iowa employment discrimination lawsuit
The suit alleges that black employees were passed over for job opportunities because white managers preferred to hire whites.
April 16th, 2012
08:01 AM ET

Ruling expected soon in Iowa employment discrimination lawsuit

Updated April 18, 2012: Attorney: Plaintiffs will appeal dismissal of Iowa 'unconscious bias' discrimination lawsuit

By Stephanie Siek, CNN

(CNN) – According to her resume, Nansi Woods looked like a good fit for the job, an adviser position at the Iowa Workforce Development office. She had a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling, a bachelor's degree in communications, one of several preferred fields related to the job and a minor in social work. She more than met the minimum requirements listed in the job description, which asked for an associate's degree or certificate of education completion.

Another applicant had a bachelor's degree in a preferred field, but was still taking courses toward a master's degree in human resources. A third person seeking the job had no degree, no specific job experience and none of the listed computer skills. These last two applicants – both of them white – were offered the job. Woods, who is black, was never granted an interview.

A class action suit filed in 2007 on behalf of Woods and up to 6,000 other African-Americans who were passed over for jobs or promotions with the state of Iowa alleges that they were victims of discrimination.

The plaintiff's attorneys attempted to remove lead plaintiff, Linda Pippen, from the case after she was convicted of embezzling more than $43,000 in unemployment benefits from the state, but a judge denied the motion. Thomas Newkirk, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs, said Pippen’s conviction should not cast doubt on the others' discrimination claims, and that her misconduct occurred after the suit was filed.

Jeff Thompson, the state attorney representing Iowa, said that the state could not comment on an ongoing case. But in the state's answer to the lawsuit, it denies the allegations of discrimination.

Lawyers from both sides of the case said an Iowa court judge was expected to rule on the suit, Pippen et al. v. State of Iowa, soon.

The plaintiffs' attorneys say the discrimination is not necessarily a result of overt racism. They say the discriminatory hiring was often the result of implicit bias – an unconscious preference of the mostly white hiring officials for white applicants over black applicants.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs faced a key obstacle – proving the existence of something that white people might not be able to see. They had to show that discrimination might take place, even if it's not intentional.

The lawsuit cites the Implicit Association Test, known as the IAT, to demonstrate how unconscious biases against African-Americans might have influenced behavior of Iowa hiring officials.

The test used in the AC360 "Kids on Race" special series, which looked at children and teens' attitudes toward race and interracial interactions, uses some of the principles established in the IAT.

The IAT was created in 1998 by University of  Washington psychology professor Anthony Greenwald as a way to measure unconscious bias. Since then, many different versions have been developed to measure different kinds of biases, but it’s the way the implicit association test measures attitudes toward different racial groups that has become famous. Test takers are shown pictures of both African-American and white faces and are asked to match them with either negative or positive words. The faster a test subject associates a word with the image, the closer the subject's association between the two. The IAT can be taken online at Harvard University's Project Implicit website – click on "Demonstration" and when presented with a list of tests, click on "Race IAT."

The test has been taken more than one million times, and Greenwald and other researchers established that 70% to 80% of American test takers have a measurable automatic preference for white people over black people – regardless of the test taker’s race, gender or age. Greenwald said this preference for whites can be measured in more than 75% of white Americans, and about the same rate for Asian-Americans. Hispanic test takers score a bit less, 70%. A third of African-Americans showed an unconscious preference for whites, a third for blacks, and a third showed no preference for either group.

Greenwald said it is important to remember that most of those whose testing shows an unconscious bias against blacks are not racists – to the contrary, the bias shows up even in those who profess a deep belief in racial equality. Most are surprised to hear that they express any kind of preference for one race over another.

"If we're going to talk about the context of this Iowa case, the question is how can discrimination occur in this large organization when the vast majority of this organization will say they have no racial biases; they don't prefer white to black; they’re egalitarian," Greenwald said. "But this unconscious race preference has been shown in research to be closely related to behavior, so that people with this preference display behavior that indicates their preference for white over black."

Thomas Newkirk, one of workers' lead attorneys, said that the test proves that unconscious bias exists nationwide, among a variety of demographic categories – and that there's no evidence that people in Iowa are immune.

"You can’t assume that bias is not in the room," Newkirk said. "You have to assume it is in the room, and then you can do something about it."

Iowa as a whole is 91.3% white, and 2.9% black, according to 2010 Census results.

A state-commissioned analysis of hiring patterns in Iowa state government from 2004-2006 showed that a significantly lower number of qualified African-Americans than whites were selected for job interviews or hired for the jobs. The data presented in the report by CPS Human Resources Services indicated that the discrepancies between the success of black and white applicants were so wide, the chance of the discrepancy being attributable to anything other than race was approximately less than one in one billion. According to the report, 88.02% of the "qualified applicants" for jobs in that time period were white, and 91.33% of all people interviewed for jobs were white. Black people accounted for 5.97% of the applicants deemed qualified, but only 3.47% of those interviewed.

The lawsuit alleges that Iowa encouraged the belief that affirmative action required them to hire unqualified African-Americans; steered African-Americans into low-paying jobs; failed to give African-Americans credit for experience or considerations for promotions or title changes; kept managers with known racial biases in positions of power and refused to discipline white employees who discriminated or harassed African-Americans. The suit says the state preferred to hire less-qualified white or non-black minorities "to provide an excuse for the failure to hire the African-Americans and to further reduce the number of qualified internal African-American candidates for management positions."

It also said that the head of the state's Employee Services Department used a screening test proven to have a disproportionately adverse impact on African-Americans and to have little relation to the jobs offered as a way of filtering out African-American applicants.

The state work environment was "hostile and offensive," the suit said, "where African-Americans know that their race is a factor each and every day they are at work, knowing that if they complain they will be ignored or punished, knowing that less-qualified whites will be promoted, knowing that if they are promoted their ability will be doubted, and understanding that for them, as a class, there are fewer employment opportunities within state government than for whites as a class."

The suit asks that the state use implicit bias testing to find out how pervasive hidden biases are within the system, and conduct training that educates employees about the history of racial bias against African-Americans and the need for further training about affirmative action and its goals.

Newkirk said the case forces people to examine the subtle ways in which societal stereotypes about African-Americans' work habits, education and capabilities can color their thinking and actions.

"I knew the answer did not lie in the two polarized baskets," Newkirk said. "That is the key to this case, where we’re trying not to force it into the basket of 'All Iowans are racists' or to place it in the basket that 'We blame the African-Americans for not being qualified,' but basically place it right in the middle where reality lies, where there is some negative association with race, where people should be more aware of them. We should always be responsible for it."

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Filed under: Black in America • Discrimination • How we live • Race
soundoff (532 Responses)
  1. isle of wight

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    March 19, 2013 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. Social Media Marketing Consultant

    Really liked that. Highly relevant to what I was looking for. Thankyou. That's why I keep returning here Keep up the great work.

    May 11, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bob

    Black people really need to stop complaining when things don't go thier way. This same situation has happend to countles white people too. Maybe they didn't want to pay someone who was that qualified? Who cares. If this is true would you really want to work for a company that hires based on race? Or hires just becuase they needed to hire black people.
    Find a business that likes you and wants you to work for them. And if you can't find the job you want then your probably aiming too high. Everyone is competing for employment. Not everyone wins. Any good business with a good repuation wants the best individual for the job.

    Someone may not hire you becuase you are fat, ugly, old, too young, shot, too tall , woman or man, black , asain white or spanish. If someone is that narrow minded let them be. How great of a job could it be if that's what the company is hiring based on.

    April 17, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tommy

    Affirmative action ..... is racism

    April 17, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mema

    This country was made great off the backs of hard working people of every race. You wish to run the country with an iron fist and keep people down who through years of uphill battles fought for even the most basic of rights. Battles have been won but the war is far from over. If people do not fight for themselves and those like.them,.who.will?.

    April 17, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ray

    A degree doesn't mean a person is smarter or better educated. I've worked with a lot of people who have a degree and usually the person with common sense and the high school diploma is the better employee. Want a good example , look at Congress and the Senate.. Seems everytime a black person doesn't get their way or agree with what you have to say, they throw that race card in. Truth is, I've seen few blacks who are good employess in general. There are some, but unfortunately they are few and far between.

    April 17, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thor

      "....I've worked with a lot of people who have a degree and usually the person with common sense and the high school diploma is the better employee" ~ Obviously, you are the chief brain surgeon at Indianapolis. Right?

      April 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • KeninTexas

      Well, Thor isn't a brain surgeon himself since he can't even offer a response to your post other than posting some stupid comment. However, in a response to what you actually said, although you may have a point, it doesn't address why this girl wasn't even offered an interview. She may still have washed out, but at least she should have had a chance to try.

      April 17, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. G

    If she was never granted an interview.. then how would they have known she was black??? I am sure she applied for the job online like everyone else....

    April 17, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maybe

      Maybe with all that schooling she didn't have a work history and the others did.

      April 17, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Maybe her name, clubs, sororities, or other groups she belongs to that were listed on her resume.

      April 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hazel

      The fact that the company did not allow an interview with the person who most closely fit the requirements for which they were searching is disturbing to say the least. The fact that someone who did not meet the requirements for which they were searching is telling. That speaks of a bias in itselft. They don't want someone who is qualified to do the job, they just want to cover themselves so that they can say that the position was opened to the public even though the hiring manager has already decided who will get the job, be they internal or external. That is a bias and discrimminatory. It happens all the time. We see in government hiring all the time and it is a disgrace to the system.

      April 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jeff

    If 2.9% of Iowa is black, yet 3.5% of interviews are given to blacks, does this not seem like reverse discrimination? Also, even though blacks are not a significant population in Iowa, if the case is looking at subconscious bias in hiring, should the makeup of businesses with black hiring managers also be taken into account? My guess would be that their staff is well above the state ratio of 2.9% black.

    April 17, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • CrookedRook

      Exactly. CNN are looking for the numbers THEY want to show us. Is this saying that where suppose to support them from birth? Then get them a job?(hate using the term them,staying neutral) They get cheaper education already. Im not racist, but im sure someone will think so,.

      April 17, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mema

    Lee from the actual FACTS more whites sue than any other race. The issues of this county can not be solved with one dimentional viewpoints. Discrimination is just the tip of the iceburg on the social or economical issues we face. Unless we start proactively solving those issues or freedoms and our prosperity will be pulled out from under US ALL. Wake up people! The REAL issues are that this country is being bought up one piece at a time by other countries. Those who would love to take all our rights and freedoms away. Our country is for sale to the highest bidder! We are indebted to them and bow down to their rulers. We are dependent on their goods and services. We need to ween ourselves off their political and economical breast! It will take sacrifice on our part but it is for our greater good. We need to bring home our troops and quit tearing down other countries only to rebuild them for them. We need to stop giving our resourses to countries who do not abide by the resolutions the UN has established. E.g North Korea wanting 200,000 tons of food to feed their needy. Only to use their resourses to build a missle! Especially seeing that the USA is the primary contributer of the UN. Enough. Now I am on a soap box. Uuggg.

    April 17, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  10. Leo

    *sigh* People seem to be missing the details here, and in this case, the details MAKE the case.

    This woman was the only applicant out of the three applicants who actually met the requirements for the job. The other two people were under-qualified, based on the actual criteria listed for the job! And yet, the two under-qualified people were able to get interviews, and this woman wasn't even given an interview.

    Let's say I'm advertising a job, and I say, "Applicants are required to have at minimum a Master's degree in ___, and a PhD is preferable," and we get two applicants. The first applicant has a PhD in the field I listed, and the other applicant only has a bachelor's degree. If I only give an interview to the person with the bachelor's degree and ignore the person with the PhD, then there's something wrong there. It means some other "unofficial" criteria was used. How can you people not recognize that this is wrong?

    Also, when they compared statistics about who got interviews, they weren't counting total applicants. They were comparing QUALIFIED applicants. In other words, we're already talking about people who are qualified for the jobs for which they've applied.

    Oh, and for what it's worth, I'm white. That doesn't give me, as a rational human being, permission to stuff my head in the sand and ignore racism... or worse... start whining about "reverse racism." What's happening is wrong.

    April 17, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • k

      This is the smartest comment posted I have seen on here so far! So glad someone educated and with some sense posted a reasonable post!

      April 17, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Lilly

      I'm not discounting the validity of this case but in general I just want to point out that qualifications are not the only criteria for selection for interviews. Often the minimum qualifications are not that hard to get but the quality of their resume and cover letter can also be a huge factor. Previous work experience does matter as well and if you can show that you've successfully held other positions without the qualifications then that increases your chances. On the other hand, you can have the right qualifications and if your resume or cover letter are poorly written or contain numerous mistakes then that will lower your chances. I'm not suggesting that this is the case in the lawsuit but just that qualifications are over rated.

      April 17, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lilly

        Yes it was over rated since it was so incredibly easy to do. It was like taking candy from a baby.

        April 17, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Actually Leo, the way I read it is that the position asked for an Associate degree OR certificate of education completion. According to the article, the way I read it, 2 of the 3 applicants were overqualified having bachelors and higher degrees; with the 3rd person possibly being qualified via certificate. All the article said was that the 3rd person didn't have a degree.

      There is a very real thing called Over-qualification; when I was laid off a few years ago and was applying for jobs, I was told multiple times that I was over-qualified for the job and they didn't even grant me an interview. I was looking for anything at the time to just work and provide for my family, but it was hard to understand why a company wouldn't even interview me for a position because I was "over-qualified".

      Now, I'm not assuming this is what happened here since I was not in Iowa and involved in this situation. But, I wanted to hopefully clear up the article bias making it sound like someone who is overqualified for a position should be a shoe-in for a job; it isn't always the case. Along with an over-qualified hire comes compensation bonuses – and perhaps the department that was hiring for the position could only offer entry wage etc.

      There are a LOT of factors besides race (I'm not ruling it out, but I'm not sure why everyone jumps to it first). The idea that a company will hire the MOST qualified and MOST educated person for a given position is just not true; in no line of work I've been in has education level and those types of qualifications been the deciding factor. Generally, work experience outweighs all of that, with the hiring processes I've been privy to. Education, certificates and degrees are only entry qualifications. Just because a person has a Masters degree, and a 2nd person has a bachelors degree doesn't mean the person with the masters degree will make the better employee.

      April 17, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Josef

        Andrew is clear you lack the ability to be over-qualified for any job! NOW SHES OVER QUALIFIED? The first line says she iaccording to her resume she appears to be a good fit? How could she possible OVER QUALIFIED if she has exactly what the job requires? By your logic (logic? HA!) The facility places an ad to find the right person who is now over qualified. Everyone knows america is racist EVERYONE specifically the foreigners...remember something Andrew the INDIANS ARABS CHINESE MEXICANS ARE LAUGHING AT YOU...they dont respect you because you dont have respect in order to be respected you have to possess honorable traits...and your kind does not...and so the decline of america continues only in the end will you understand

        April 17, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba™

      And if both applicants were white ... there would be no story, or recourse. So it should be illegal not to give a position to the most qualified person? Well unless you consider affirmative action. Which by its very nature, brings race into it.

      April 17, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      I agree with Tom e 100%. Why are the other commenters ignoring the basic issue in this report? The African-American woman had the qualifications for the job. The other two candidates did not. What is your explanation for why the African-American women who was highly qualified was not even given a phone call?

      April 17, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      Maybe this was a gender issue, not a racial issue.

      April 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • sgtsam2005

      how did she know the other two were granted interviews??? i smell a set up....

      April 17, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thor

      Of course, provided these are all the facts. I do find it telling that the suit is a class action suit against the state. The State! That is a LOT of evidence to refute with counter evidence.

      April 17, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jackie Benjamin

      If they knew they didn't want someone so qualified then they should not have posted such and advert. Thank you, it shows that you understand the issue here. My daughter had the same but the difference was they called her in for an interview, then told her she was over-qualified for the position, but a few months down they offered here a position even much lower than the one she applied for she accepted because she wanted a job and within six months a senior vacancy presented itself and she was promoted to it. What went on there here shows those persons don't know protocol or about Human Resource Management.

      April 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      If qualifications were the only thing that mattered then why would they have to interview anyone? Meeting a list a qualifications does not mean you are right for the job. You obvisouly have never run a business or did any HR work.

      April 17, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ladylaureli

      Discimination based on race or gender is and should be actionable, but that is true no matter what race you happen to have been bred into. This job may not have really called for a masters degree, the article says she met more than the minimum; maybe she met a lot more than the the minimum and a masters might have required them to pay her more. There is also the concern that when you hire a clearly overqualified person they might go for greener pastures after too short a time frame. I do alot of hiring for our company and over qualification is one reason many do not even get an interview. Why would I interview someone with a masters when I can pay someone with a lesser eductaion, possibly more experience less money, AND probably get someone who will work harder and appreciate having the job more? That can go a long way to a good employee. There are truly valid reasons that one doesn't hire someone with a masters and that one doesn't hire a particular individual.

      April 18, 2012 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
  11. Justus

    The Chinese and Indians will take over soon. Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, and other African Countries are already befriending them the Chinese who are America's credit line. Europe and America are bleeding 200 trillionth dollars in debt. When china pulls the credit lone plug America will tumble and then, the white will know what life is like. Look at Europe. You can fool people but you can't fool them all the time. Time will tell!

    April 17, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • mema

      Justus you are so right! True true. Just watch out for the grammer police, they are out if full force today. Lol. Good post! I think this country and Europe has much bigger things to worry about. We need to stop selling this country out!

      April 17, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bob

    I Im Done with this Topic...Its just going around in circles ................The Bottom line here is that If this person has a problem with not being Hired then just Move on & look for something else Or Leave the State....Bye.

    April 17, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  13. mema

    Proud just what is your point? She applied for a job that she qualified for. The prospective employer set the criteria for what those qualifications were. How could they know she was not suited for the job if she did not even get an interview? It never ceases to amaze me that of all these negative and rasist comments someone like myself who is simply tired of reading negative posts makes a comment and IT stands out. Really proud! Because my comments are more uneducated than all the ignorant rasist comments. You dont know me or my educational background. All I know is that it does not take a Nasa engineer to see how biased and stereo typical most of the comments are. A third grader can see that. But maybe you didnt get that much education or maybe its the inbreeding.

    April 17, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  14. Steve

    The issue at hand is that qualified minorities are not going to be taken seriously when unqualified minorities sue for discrimination every time they aren't offered a job. As much as people want to dismiss the fact, people hire who they are comfortable working with. You may be presented with a candidate who has more qualifications, but comes across as someone who isn't a team player, and in turn, you don't offer them the job. It may not have to do with race, but if the applicant who is turned down is a minority, all of a sudden, race is perceived as the only deciding factor. The sad part of this story is that when a minority gains entrance to a college or university, or gets hired to a position over a white applicant, no one screams racial discrimination. But many managers in corporations are given incentives to hire minorities over whites, and do so even if the person is less qualified, doesn't fit in with the team or has other negative traits – and that is never considered discrimination.

    April 17, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Leo

      Steve, how could they be "not comfortable" with her? They never even OFFERED her an interview.

      April 17, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. thizz

    its a business, they can hire whoever they want and not hire whoever they want. Get over it.

    April 17, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  16. Donna

    If you actually read the article, the Black woman was MORE qualified for the position than BOTH the White candidates. C'mon now, if you're going to try to be a smart-ass at least make it based on facts, not whatever happens to be running through your simple mind at the time. But you can bet, if YOU and others like you, get passed up it's "Reverse Discrimination". Laughable.

    April 17, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  17. Get Real

    I would stay in court if I filed a lawsuit every time that I had been not interviewed for a job for which I had applied! Suck it up!

    April 17, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  18. Lynne

    Since it's illegal to ask one's race on a job application, or share information about other applicants, I'd like to know how this woman know's so much about the other applicants. With soooo many people out of work these days, there are more over qualified people not being hired. Put the race card away, and keep job searching like all the others out of work. Sick of hearing about discrimination because a black person didn't get a job. How many qualified white people have been turned down because of affirmative action? Don't hear you complaining when a job goes to an underqualified person just to meet a quota? Put your big girl panties on and shut up!!

    April 17, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  19. ProudUSMCVet

    Education does not make you smart nor does it make you qualified. I am not dismissing the time and effort this lady invested in her education but let's not automatically elevate her skills just because she had the opportunity to reach her education levels.

    The comments you are making are just validating my point.

    April 17, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  20. Jennifer

    Ignorance is bliss.. This is evident from all the comments left under this article. African Americans face discrimination everyday and it should not be this way. From these comments I see that America still has a long way to go. I hope when it comes to judgement day from the ost high. Everyone on this page could get in (doubt it)

    April 17, 2012 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • IceMan

      Chip off the old block, eh Bob?

      April 17, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Just remember it goes both ways

      April 17, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Donna

      So you're getting those ships for you Europeans too, RIGHT! Means, NO ONE, will be left except American Indians. But you guys seem to conveniently forget that FACT..

      April 17, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  21. Intrepid

    Leave Iowa. It is not like they are holding anyone hostage. That part of the country is only good for Mexicans as field hands, meat processing plants and nothing more. Face the reality of today and move.

    April 17, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  22. Ahardworkingamerican

    And how did this woman know that the other two applicants weren't more qualified than her. Is she psychic? Did she steal their resumes and look? She doesn't know. She is just trying to get money. I doubt with her awesome resume that this is the only company out there looking for someone with her qualifications.

    April 17, 2012 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      Obviously she found out when she filed an EEOC complaint. It's not rocket science to find out these facts. It's really quite easy.

      April 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Reality

    1. She wasnt interviewed. How did they know she was black.
    2. Anybody who thinks a government job discriminates hasnt been to a government workplace. You would think white people are the minority if you did.
    3. The lead plaintiff defrauded the government? Yes, every qualified applicant and great worker does that. Maybe the interviewer for that person had them pegged correctly?
    4. Since when is the resume the only tool for hiring someone? So because Woods had a better resume, she gets the job?
    Sorry people, being white and not liking this story doesnt make me a racist. We are just sick of some blacks working the system. Meanwhile, we all know there are many blacks who do just as whites, they work hard and advance. But the Woods and Pippens of the world look to get a free ride (or steal it).

    April 17, 2012 at 7:04 am | Report abuse |
  24. Africa

    Its sad not because we have racial descrimination but because i see the racist comments posted here.it is a fact more blacks are in american prisons than whites.it is a fact that many of them are involved in drugs compared to whites but it is also true that the blacks suffer descrimination when it comes to job placements and resource allocation.most of them grow up in a violent environment full of drugs.who is to blame?isnt it our descriminatory policies? It is a fact that NO RACE IS SUPERIOR TO THE OTHER! let us not sound like the Nazi regime that beleived that germans were better than other races and was proved wrong by Jesse owens in olympics! The more we argue the more it proves that we are no different!

    April 17, 2012 at 5:34 am | Report abuse |
  25. Chrome48

    I love how we as a country elected a so called black president but we are still a country of racists. Just to let you know without a mojority of the white votes Obama would have never won.

    April 17, 2012 at 4:18 am | Report abuse |
  26. whosurdaddy

    Thats why business fleet this country, one mistake you get sued, as a business owner you can't even hire whoever you like, pathetic.

    April 17, 2012 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
  27. newsgeek

    The research has shown that White women have made the greatest gains due to Affirmative Action policies. In both education and the workplace, they made the most dramatic leap since the 60's. Though they no longer need it for university admissions, they benefitted the most! As for Blacks, when some state universities stopped using race as a point of consideration, the Black enrollment didn't significantly drop. Lastly, it is impossible to get a degree because of a policy or scholarship. You have to work hard and study for years to earn a degree. No program that focuses on class, race, or gender can do the work for you!

    April 17, 2012 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  28. Eric

    Wow; love the race-baiting article. Here's the deal; if you're black and you live in Iowa, the odds are you're going get beat out by a white person. Not because of racism but because you're a blakc person in a seas of white. It's like if you're a white person in Detroit which is 85% black, at some point you may get beat out by someone of color.

    And while we're talking about race determining hires, what about the qualified white person who gets waitlisted or not accepted to their university of choice while a less qualfied person of color gets in? Could it just be that Iowa is rectifying the error of the racist university acceptance policy? So let's get this straight. Hiring or accepting people based on race when they're black is ok, but hiring people based on race when they're white is wrong.

    See, I always thought MLK said it was wrong to judge people based off of their skin color.

    April 17, 2012 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  29. Africa

    Its people with ua mentality that give america a bad name.the superiority of whites over whites is just a mirth.in this century and time we ought to do better.

    April 17, 2012 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  30. what?

    What is this about?
    Bunch of ignorants!!!

    April 17, 2012 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  31. retphxfire

    Did any of you little, little minds even read the article? I already know the answer, you couldn't have and still post the stupid, false and just plain ignorant comments. Hint: The best candidate WAS the black person....fools.

    April 17, 2012 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  32. Nichole

    Maybe she was overqualified and they did not want to pay her a lot.

    April 17, 2012 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Lany

      Could be. Would have made more sense to let her know

      April 17, 2012 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
    • eville11

      uh.. most advisor state employee positions have a set salary, she could have asked for more than the position was willing to pay, and was refused. But there's not enough information other than what you're lead to believe here IOWANS are RACIST... do not go there, so If CNN is thinking they did those dirty racist Iowans a favor and made it a "No place for blacks advertisement. "

      April 17, 2012 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
  33. George

    Funny how the lead plantif was arested for fraud. They should have thrown the case out at that point. Im so tired of black people complaining.

    April 17, 2012 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  34. jb

    At the end of the day you either have the brains for the job or you don't. So tired of minority groups complaining every time they don't get their way. They blame their misfortune on race then launch lawsuits.

    April 17, 2012 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Angela Birch

      Sounds to me like the one person who was qualified was not even granted an interview while the two that were offered the job were not qualified. I would like to hear the explaination of that.

      April 17, 2012 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
      • hmmm

        why would she attach a photo to her CV at the first place? nonsense

        April 17, 2012 at 5:12 am | Report abuse |
    • retphxfire

      Did you people even read the article or the facts!?!?!?! All you have proven is that too many in 'white' America have shot themselves in the foot with their self-inflicted ignorance. You think all you have to do is be born with light skin and you are smarter and better than everyone else. If that were true, ATT wouldn't have to be spending billions to try and get qualified entry level, physcial laborers.

      April 17, 2012 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
      • mema

        Habu why do Americans in general and statistically rate 34 in the world as far as IQ and other intelligence testing? Why do Asians, Indians, Middle Easterners rate and rank so much higher than whites in IQ tests? Please explain...

        April 17, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  35. Ray

    The video clip jayzee Rhodes has posted leads me to believe that because a few misguided thugs don't know how to respect person and property that somehow every person of color should be viewed as a potential criminal first. White kids beat the hell out of each other following baseball and hockey games, its no different but you don't us judging a whole group of people based on the reactions of some rogue individuals.

    April 17, 2012 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  36. habu

    What about the flip side of this story? I used to work for the USPS in San Antonio Texas. San Antonio is about 60 percent Hispanic according to the last census. Whites make up about 31 percent. But in the USPS the top 34 positions are made up of 94 percent minorities. How can Whites who make up 31 percent of the population only make up 6 percent of the highest positions? This is the same question I've asked Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Senator John Cornyn and President Obama. No one wants to give me a proper answer. If you screw over a minority you will never hear the end of it...Screw over a White person and no one wants to hear about it. Yet Whites typically score higher on college SAT's, IQ tests and Military entrance exams. So why aren't they getting promoted in the USPS? If this isn't reverse discrimination I don't know what is.

    April 17, 2012 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      Perhaps you are unaware that during WWII, all inductees into the armed forces were given I.Q. tests. the results are very interesting. Whites in the North scored the highest. Northern Blacks scored much higher than Southern Whites. any explanation for that? The racist assumptions from commenters are so distressing. I thought this country had made some progress. Clearly racism is alive and well.

      April 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  37. gdaym8

    How about MAYBE, just MAYBE they weren't qualified...?

    April 16, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • MsT

      Maybe you should read the article again. Ms. Woods had more education than both of the people who were offered the job and she was not even granted an interview.

      April 17, 2012 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      Who is the "they" who were qualified??

      April 17, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Jason

    If you only voted for Obama because he's black, you are a hypocrite to complain about hiring on the basis of race.

    If we want to finally END racism in America, all races need to support it equality. Claiming it's okay for your race to do it, cancels any credibility to your argument.

    April 16, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zulu

      Wonder why

      April 16, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Many people legitimately voted for him because they support his policies. However, most of my black friends admitted they didn't know his policies and didn't actually care about them. And I'm not saying they were wrong to vote for Obama. I'm simply saying you can't vote for someone based ONLY on their race and then say racism is bad.

      April 16, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • leon

      That is downright silly! Black people voted for Obama for the same reason whites, chinese, hispanic, and every other race.....because he was a change of pace. It is amazing that people say that blacks voted him into office! At one time, he was in third place among blacks in the democratic primaries. Young people, regardless of race, voted him into office

      April 16, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jason

        @Leon – I had posted a clarification and it recently dropped off. I understand some people voted for him for legitimate reasons (didn't like the other candidate, liked Obama's policies, etc). However, many of my black friends have admitted they voted for him because he is black, without regard to his policies or because they thought he was the best candidate. And you know what? I thoroughly support their right to vote that way. I'm simply making the case that anyone who put him in his job ONLY because of his race, really shouldn't complain about a private company using race as a factor. (FYI – I'm opposed to anyone using race as a hiring factor)

        April 16, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • gdaym8

      Well said!

      April 16, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ned Racine

      Not really, but don't try to understand.

      April 16, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ned Racine

      The main reason I voted for President Obama is that this country can't more Republican irresponsibility. We were on the road to recovery under President Clinton, then look what happened under Bush.

      April 16, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  39. GeorgeMc

    Is Iowa different from any other state?, ....Uummmmhh, ...NO!!!!

    April 16, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Captain Obvious

    That sounds like a terrible situation to deal with within your family. I too am originally from Iowa and most of my family is still there. My experience has not been the same, most Iowans have been what I would consider to be fair. However, these allegations still do not surprise me because of the extremely low count of Blacks in Iowa, situations like these are probably more common in areas where Blacks make up less than 10% of the populations. To put it in the simplest format possible, birds of a feather flock together. Of course this doesn't mean it's OK, the first step is recognizing and accepting the problem.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Bubba™

    Who was the person who thought of bringing blacks here as slaves anyway? Shouldn't he be part of black history?
    Do blacks have any history, except for American history? There's no written record of it in Africa?

    April 16, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba™

      Maybe? But it doesn't answer the question. Perhaps because the answer would destroy all your reasons for holding white people responsible???

      April 16, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba™

      Do you blame the people buying the drugs for the epidemic, or do you blame the people who sell them??

      Now ask yourself that question about slavery ......

      April 16, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba™

      And its gonna take another hundred years of crying and whining for them to get assimilated into society. Even the ones that make money still act like they are in the hood. Spike lee trying to give out zimmermans address just to start trouble and he got it wrong too.

      April 16, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom e

      History has shown that Africans sold their own people to slave traders. Also Lincoln { a Republican } freed the slaves after thousands of Whites died to set them free. it was call the Civil War. Remember to tell the truth and not make history to conform to your ignorant ideas.

      April 16, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • sekulas11

        Actually contrary to popular belief slavery stopped not because white people wanted it to stop. It stopped because it was becoming more and more impossible to control the slaves in Haiti and other islands slaves had actually managed to overthrow their masters. Secondly yes africans do have a history and even written history look at the ethiopian empire, the Monomutapa empire( now Zimbabwe and Mozambique) in Southern Africa and others scattered around the world at one point racist ueropeans denied their origins and claimed they were cities build by King solomon or some ancient white african race (imagine the stretch of their imagination just so they can deny black people their history). Just because Americans don't bother to watch or learn about African history it does not mean the history does not exist. Anyway that is history we should learn to love and leave together now as 1 people

        April 16, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Retreat Hell

        hey tom e the reason Linclon went to war was to preserve the union because the south seceded. Otherwise he would have issued all those anti slavery declarations at the beginning instead of 1863 such as the Empication Proclamtion.

        April 17, 2012 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  42. joeinalabama

    I just checked, the percentage of blks very from less than 1% to over 25% by state, that sounds like segregation to me, we should have forced busing to even that out, like they do for schools.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Andrew

    OMG you make it sound like they are all extras from Mississippi Burning lol.
    Not making excuses for your family, but they probably just haven't had any "real" interactions with people of other ethnicities. At least, probably not enough to realize that we're all just humans. Getting out and getting a worldly view of things unfortunately does not seem to be highly valued by rural America.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  44. outawork

    Which one?

    April 16, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  45. multi-racial rainbow

    Grade 0-12 is free in this country, why can't you spell or is that someone blacks fault. I had a 12 grade reading level by the end of first grade and that was not from affirmative action. Go blame your failure on someone else.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Donald in CA

    People of color are catching hell across america. America will always be a racist place because half of america wants it that way.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • William Pelegrini

      Stop the non-sense. The United States of America has set slaves free way before latin america and africans were slaves for europeans and middle east people for centuries and centuries.
      Is in the USA that black people have the best life standard. It is in USA that people from midwest elected a black guy. America is NOT a racist place.
      That is a such whinning lie, typical of loosers.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bubba™

        Let's not jump to conclusions. Just because white brothers killed each other during the civil war for "Black Freedom" I think Lincoln may have been the first black president.

        April 16, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Karen

        Actually Mexico freed their slaves in 1829, In 1821, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela adopted a gradual emancipation plan. Two years later, Chile. The US was much later. .

        April 16, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Howard

    On one hand, it's wonderful that you've managed to escape the racist culture you describe. On the other hand, it must be really painful to have to choose between exposing your children to it or cutting them off from their extended family.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Dodd,T

    Some of you people chomp at the bit waiting for a story like this so you can spew your hate. Haven't you all expressed all the racial hatred on the Trayvon Martin stories? Get a life.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom e

      All the racial hatred will stop when Zim walks free and whites dance in the streets. Remember that was the response to the OJ verdict. Or riot when the Rodney King verdict did not go your way. No jury in Florida will ever convict.

      April 16, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jessica

        well said, Tom!

        April 17, 2012 at 5:29 am | Report abuse |
  49. No hired either

    Well we have the opposite her in Los Angeles, if you are not black and do not have a friend or family working for the County, you will not get hired.... nepotism is running rampant here!

    April 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  50. multi-racial rainbow

    Discrimination can start the minute your resume is received. But I've seen it across the board. If someone is unfamilar with a name they will Google the origin of the name. We were interviewing a guy and one of my co-workers looked at his resume and the first thing she noticed wasn't his skills but his last name and the possible origin. Funnier yet during his interview, at one point he stopped to ask me my ethnicity because "I can't quite tell." It happens to every race and ethnicity unfortunately.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • RJK

      Absolutely correct MRR! There was a study done by a university professor of sociolgy on ethnic names and racial descrimination. How found that applicants with traditional black names were 2/3 less likely to get return calls from potential employers than applicants with traditional white names, even when the applications and/or resumes were drafted to be identical in qualifications.

      April 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Really

    This is no surprise...white america is racist by default and they try to say they are not...who are you kidding!

    April 16, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Andrew

    What about the "white hispanics"? This article completely ignores them.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Howard

      Have you considered that the article doesn't discuss "white hispanics" because they're not a party to the lawsuit? The article is centered around this particular lawsuit. (duh!)

      April 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Andrew

        Exactly. The fact that they aren't mentioned at all is discrimination. I mean, it's a real race, isn't it? CNN said it was with the whole Trayvon Martin thing.

        April 16, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mai Li

      what about us, asians? i feel discriminated cause article doesnt mention us either!

      April 17, 2012 at 5:32 am | Report abuse |
  53. Jason

    The article specifically says the results also showed "A third of African-Americans showed an unconscious preference for whites..." Does that also make them racist?

    This smacks of the same media coverage that accused politicians of being racist because they disagreed with some of Obama's plans and policies. A non-black person disagreeing with a black person is NOT automatically racism!

    April 16, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • peaceonearth

      it only becomes racist when the Obama, the president, is called a liar in the chamber...1st time it ever happened in history that a President is called a liar during his speech...and then they contribute more money to the guy who shouted it...wake up

      April 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jason

        I disagreed with the tactic of shouting out "you lie" during a President's speech and agree it was rude. However, the man was proven to be right when Obama's plan did include certain coverages for illegal immigrants.

        April 16, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Bubba™

    And its also the only reason 99% of blacks vote for him. You in a glass house, don't throw stones.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Steve

    More reality here than is quoted in the article. I work in an area of CA where diversity is paramount in hiring. However, the bias is towards EDUCATION many times. Employers do not want over-qualification in many situations because of newly-hired applicants won't stay long and the investment in training is lost. I saw nothing in the article talking about this common issue.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Black

      yeah i thought of that too... clever point

      April 16, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Most businesses wil not hire someone who is overqualified. They will cost more and want to move up faster.

      April 17, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  56. gimarie

    Racist whites use any reason to not hire a black, people lie and pretend all the time, you can't know anyones performance unless they are given the opportunity to perform the duties of the job.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  57. blake

    Why is CNN obcessed with race?

    April 16, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Captain Obvious

    Read the article, it addresses your hypothetical scenario. The information there does not support your hypothesis.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  59. njemnu

    Not Africa this time? You just gave a discount?

    April 16, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  60. John

    If she wasn't granted an interview, how did the person granting interviews know she was black?

    April 16, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Captain Obvious

      The article address this. They had a filtering system for applicants.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bubba™

        Good system!

        April 16, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  61. btlprod

    If she was never granted a job interview, how did anyone know to discriminate against her?

    April 16, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Captain Obvious

      Read the article, it tells you. They had a system in place for filtering applicants.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba™

      Maybe she was over qualified?

      April 16, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Bribarian

    CNN, biggest racebaiting network?

    April 16, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • carlisimo65

      To say that is to deny race has ever been a problem is this country and continues to be so.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joe

        And always will be. Not only in America but all over the world. The color line is just ad prevalent in south america and europe. Wonder why?

        April 16, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  63. mattyng

    Even CNN tends to block posts that are from minorities!

    April 16, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  64. gimarie

    So, I guess when people are full of hate they have to find something about someone else to unleash it on.

    April 16, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Mikey

    We better start producing something as a Nation or black, white, red, brown, yellow will become irrelevant. Hard work and morality built this country. There is no free lunch. 13 trillion in debt equaling our GNP is causing great concern to me. Again republican or democrat get our head out of the sand. As Gomer Pyle was yelled at move it, move it. Or lose it.

    April 16, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Captain Obvious

      I couldn't agree more!

      April 16, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Carl

    Why does all the discussion center around two races of people? Does the lawsuit address any possible discrimination toward Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, etc.? It seems that many folks of the Black race are quiet concerned about injustice perpetrated by the White race. However, it appears that all races and skin colors (Black, White, Red, Yellow, Brown) should be concerned and willing to address racial inequities. It seems to me that racism is not confined to the actions of one race of people. Rather, injustice and hatred by black, white, red, yellow or brown people is sin in the eyes of our creator.

    April 16, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • njemnu

      Let the other races/ethnic group speak for themselves. Maybe all is well with them.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  67. randy Pall

    I went in for a job interview at a consulting firm last month and decided to "test them". I am black for your information. I went into the upscale high rise building wearing my baggy pants sagging beneath Calvin boxers, brand new Timberland boots unlaced, my thick fro as uncombed and wild like the Amazon. I wore a golden grill to cover some crappy teeth, had a diamond stud in each ear and walked with that all too familiar thug swagger. I sat next to a guy dressed in a suit who promptly moved away. They took one look at me and called security saying i was dressed inappropriately. The case is pending and I am ready to collect my millions.

    April 16, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Captain Obvious

      You are such a Tr oll. Good luck in life, you're going to need it.

      Quit pretending to be something you are not.

      April 16, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • gimarie

        It takes one to know one.

        April 16, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      I wouldn't hire you either.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Eric

    Quit asking for special treatment because of your color. NO MATTER WHAT YOUR COLOR IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 16, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Captain Obvious

      That is the point here, Whites were given special treatment.

      April 16, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • njemnu

        I don't know why it is so hard for others to see. Positive preferential treatment was given to one group and negative preferential treatment was given to the other.

        April 16, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dennn

        Actually there is NO point here.....many times job experience far outweighs education. If the person in question attended school for 20 years but never had held a job or participated in an internship in the field and the other two candidates did, then they were the most qualified. Possibly, they didn't want to pay for that amount of education. Many time a Master's coincides with a higher pay rate especially at the state level. Plus, do African Americans indicate race in their resumes and cover letters?

        The only possible outcome will be that if an African American applies for a state job, they must be hired regardless of best fit.

        April 16, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Brian

        How were whites given preferential treatment if they were 91.3% of the population and 91.3% of those given interviews?

        April 16, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      I went to apply for a job years ago at a government-run utility. I was told not to bother because of my race and gender. Basically, they said they don't hire white men. Didn't help them with their quotas.

      Let the lawsuit play out in court, then make sure the loser pays all the legal fees of the winner. It's the only way to ensure something untoward didn't happen and to ensure people don't file frivolous lawsuits.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • gimarie

      You make to statement because you know your white privilege, white affirmative action, birthright will get you in all the time.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  69. wolfpackbob

    "Woods, who is black, was never granted an interview." There has to be more to this story. If she only submitted a resume, how did they know she was black to be able to discriminate against her due to race? Either this claim of racial bias is bogus or someone at CNN need to learn how to write a complete and factual story. My bet is that CNN dropped the ball again as their journalistic standards have turned to yellow gibberish.

    April 16, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Captain Obvious

      Read the article, it is hard. Also, Woods is common last name for Blacks, as is spelling first names a little different.

      From the article:

      "It also said that the head of the state's Employee Services Department used a screening test proven to have a disproportionately adverse impact on African-Americans and to have little relation to the jobs offered as a way of filtering out African-American applicants."

      April 16, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ervin

        During high school I had a job as a dish washer at a Woolworths store when they had lunch counters. I continued to work there during my first two years of college that I attended part time among other types of jobs I could fit around my class schedule. I waas never in a financial position to attend school full time. Of course taking only 6-9 units at a time I very soon received my draft notice. After BCT at Ft. Polk LA. I was sent to Ft.Sherridan for A.I.T. My MOS was Personnel Specialist Finance. I learned every type of accounting imaginable and subsequently transferred to 7th Army Headquarters Europe I was promoted three times to SP5(E5) I had about 500 people reporting to me from various units all over Europe.. I finished my tour, returned to the states , and enrolled in school full time. I received my undergraduate in business and a graduate degree in finance. I then started applying for jobs of course no one would hire me. Some of those interviews were absolutely Orwellian. 1 personel person called me over the phone we talk for about 30 minutes, he became so excited he wanted me to come in that afternoon, the guy simply raved over my, back ground, education and knowledge of Military contracts I told him that was impossible as I lived in the Valley and could not get to down town Los Angees on such short notice we agreed on 9:00 the following morning. I arived, spoke to the recepionest she offered me coffee, I declined. The receptionist and I heard extremely loud voices she looked at me I looked at her she shrugged she appeared to be as mystified as I was.. the time became 9|15, then 9|30, then 10:00. Finally a red eyed person about my age came out, stated the job had been filled I noted tears coming out of his eyes, of course he could not look me in the face. As I turned to leave I noticed the receptionist was crying I simply left as there was nothing to be said. I have wondered over the years was it possible that this was the first time two 20 somethings had seen such unadulturated bigotry? I was the same general age they were and I not only had seen it all my life but I had been on the receiving end of it. I must have interview 100 times with people who having seen my resume and my undergrad and gradute transcripts would be so giddy with enthusiasm until I arived. I finally ran out of money, so out of desperation I returned to Woolworth to earn gas money. The manager was so happy to have a multi degreed dish washer he rehired me on the spot for my old dish washing job. He then spent the next two weeks bringing every white person he could find to look at me, these people were as excited as he was the novelty was irresistible, a black dishwasher with two college degrees. Given my personal life experience I believe every cause of action in the Iowa discrimination suit is true. I hope the plaintiffs prevail, do not give up or settle for chump change and fight to their last breath.

        April 16, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • mema

        Ervin excellent post. I do hope your employment situation has improved to reflect your experience and education. And last but not least, thank you for your service to OUR counrty.

        April 17, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  70. Audrey Evans

    Where are you getting your information from? Let's face it, this is a racist country and it always will be. Ask Ward Connelly.

    April 16, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Girlfriday

    ....But the white man didn't build this country. He was too lazy to do the actual work and decided to import his labor. What country do YOU live in?

    April 16, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Unfortunate Truth

    Yes, race-based discrimination does still exist. Did it exist in this case? I doubt it. Did 6000 black people in Iowa experience employment discrimination based on race in the past few years? I'd stake my life on "no." Maybe a few dozen at most. Did 6000+ white people experience employment discrimination in Iowa based on affirmative action? Money's on "yes." Diversity is just another way of saying "racial quota," which is another way of saying "that white guy may be hands-down the best candidate, but we have to hire this barely qualified black guy to avoid a lawsuit."

    April 16, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Captain Obvious

      There is nothing accurate nor truthful in your post. Nice fabrication though. The truth is, there is no "racial quota" in America, most analysts agree that the make up of a company should directly reflect the demographics of the community. If they do not there is a good chance there is a cause for this effect, in this case it appears they are claiming that cause was a systematic profiling system which targeted Black applicants and employees.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • peter

        Same MUST apply to NFL, NBA and NCAA basketball. No more black talent wall-to-wall. The stupidity above requires proportionally represented white players, irrespective of ability.


        April 16, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Ghandi

    Because of the actions of blacks in general, the rapes, the robberies, the whole criminality picture, blacks will never get over the hump of trust in America. They will always be perceived to be criminal or lazy or whatever. They need to reign in the criminal element of blacks in order to ever be a real part of society and be treated as equal. They need to quit screaming racism, injustice and discrimination every time something doesn't go their way. Look at the actions of Eric Holder in order to better understand this. His refusal to bring charges of voter intimidation against the Black Panthers is a perfect example. If the whites cant trust that black person to do what is right they will never be able to trust any black person to do what is right. So jobs will always go to the ones they can trust irregardless of any perceived ability. Currently blacks, by the actions of a few are a disgusting lot. This is the basis for all the racism perceived in America. Sometimes the truth hurts but that's the way it is.

    April 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimbo

      Best analysis of the real problem that blacks have. Clean your act and then we can respect you.

      April 16, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • newsgeek

        Clearly the article is demonstrating that even if your act is cleaned up, you are still left behind. So if Blacks did clean their act up, would Fortune 500s hire them at a drastically higher rate? Would their wealth as a group ever parallel Whites in this country? Based on the evidence, no.

        April 17, 2012 at 3:27 am | Report abuse |
      • Josef

        It would seem that with a masters degree her act is pretty clean BIGOT

        April 17, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • njemnu

      You sound like an intelligent going out of their way to refute something that is a truism. In simpler words you are trying to be the devils advocate. No matter how hard you try day will be day and night will be night. You see scientists say Africans where the first humans on this planet, and we will be the last man standing when it all ends. You see you are making a big mistake continuing this nonsense against these people. Africans are the last allies you can get when it's gonna get real rough on this earth. that opportunity is being lost slowly but steadily. You have 1.5 billion Indians who want to subjugate you, nearly two billion Chinese who want to do what Genghis Khan failed to do, Arabs frothing at the mouth bewildered by what kind of retribution they want to mete out on you. And all you can do is blather? It will happen my friend maybe not in your lifetime, but your descendants may not have the luxury of saying 'why am I being blamed for something I did not do"?

      April 16, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • multi-racial rainbow

      Don't blame a race for something that a segment chooses to do. You've not mentioned Italians, the original gangsters and what about Germans and what they did to the Jews and anyone else; what about the English trashing the true Australians (Aborigines)?

      Fair is fair. When a black person does something against society you cry crime, when its your child then its 'a prank' or 'they are a smart person who did a stupid thing'. Frankly I don't like the black people who commit crimes or anyone of any other race but don't try to blame everything on black people.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  74. SmartMan

    To all you folks that think this isn't true may need to try to be Black in this country ! You really think that all jobs should go to a Black person ! Let's flip this script ! Why do all White folks feel that everything should go to them when they aren't even in the same league than most Blacks that go for that professional job ?? You have to understand that when a Black person puts in for that job you better believe they are qualified and for those of you who say that Black got a degree from affirmative action you need to have your head examine because we know how you got your degree , you either Bought the test or the teacher gave you a pass !

    April 16, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      "SmartMan" – ironic.

      April 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Patrick

    How did they get all the info about the other applicants and who was given the job?? I've applied to many jobs, been to many interviews, but didn't get the job for some reason. How can I find out who got the job and see if they were more qualified than me? I already know the answer – I can't.

    Besides – everyone knows that government jobs are a 'who you know is more important than what you know' thing. Doesn't matter what color her skin is – if she didn't know the right people, she won't get the job.

    April 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  76. les

    How many people over 50 years old were hired? How many older than that were hired? All these "isms" mean nothing when they start asking your age at interviews...everyone gets old not matter what your race...and they will not hire someone who is 45 over someone who is 26.

    April 16, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Patrick

    Do you really think all the facts were in the article? Do we know what all the factors were taken into consideration when making the decision?

    April 16, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  78. gimarie

    Just like most whites got theirs through the White Affirmative Action, the same avenue except of course you whites don't call it affirmative action, you call it birth right as a white American.

    April 16, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  79. horsesmouth

    Even if that's the case AFFIRMATIVE (notice SPELLING) action gets one in, it doesn't allow one to forgo performance once there. So even if AFFIRMATIVE (notice SPELLING) action gets someone in, it doesn't prevent them from failing out or getting horrible grades. That will eventually come out if the person wasn't qualified in the first place. Needless to say, anyone who performed well, yet got in by way of AFFIRMATIVE (notice SPELLING) action, clearly is more educated than you and can spell basic words, like AFFIRMATIVE (notice SPELLING).

    April 16, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  80. eroteme

    I wonder how many, if any, Swedish Americans have been hired to work in the Iowa Workforce Development office. Norwegian Americans?

    April 16, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Swanx

    These things happen every day, whether it is in America or elsewhere in the world. In America it takes on the form of racism, in other places it may take on the form of tribalism, and still in others it may take on other forms of isms. It happens all the time and it is not an Iowan problem nor it is an American problem. It is a human problem. Now the question is, what can we do about it as individuals? I think the best place to begin from is first to be aware that this is a real human problem.

    April 16, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  82. john

    Blacks always want to use race as the problem when in fact they discriminate when they are in a position of power. Why do you think in cities where they are the majority that just about ALL of the employees are black. Racism is prevalent within all races...

    April 16, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • gimarie

      Of course, john in this country white privilege is your affirmative action and it's always working on whites behalf 24/7.

      April 16, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • les

        "white privilege" you are an idiot to use this tire worn out cliché. No Caucasians I know are so called privileged. Wake up, when you don't get things to go your way, you want to blame someone, today its "white privilege", isn't that race card getting a bit worn out?

        April 16, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  83. EQ620

    This is such bull. I have been trying to get a job for over a year and a half now and am discriminated against because of my age and the fact that I am white. Now doesn't that sound ridiculous? I know it does, but that's how I feel.

    April 16, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Swanx

      I agree with you EQ620. Discrimination happens all the time against all groups of people. I think it is just acute when it comes to race than other kinds of isms. It's sad but we can't be discouraged. I think humans have come from far historically and we are on a good trajectory forward. Sometimes it may seem like nothing good is happening but surely, a lot of positive change is taking place. A good example is the fact that we are chatting about this and pointing out some of these human maladies.

      April 16, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Alexander

    "an unconscious preference of the mostly white hiring officials for white applicants over black applicants."
    An unconscious preference. If I have an unconscious desire to do doughnuts on my neighbor's lawn for being a jerk do I get charged with vandalism even though I did nothing?
    If I have an unconscious desire to throw trash out my window should I be charged with littering?
    Does anyone else find it disturbing that our unconscious desires will soon be classified as evidence?
    This case is basically about suing someone for unconscious thoughts, it may be unfortunate but what is worse; equalizing the workforce in terms of race, or getting hit with a lawsuit simply because of a gut feeling?

    April 16, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allen

      You are right. This is just more of the tired old race baiting that goes on in the U.S. It is strange that this can be found in a court of law. The idea being that only provable facts can be used as evidence. If something is subconscious, how can that be proved or disproved?...Your dreams don't include minorities, you are a bigoted racist.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  85. sgtsam2005

    hmmm now how wouls she know who had what degrees or who did or didnt get hired{ other then her self} unless she had insider info....sounds like a set up to me

    April 16, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • S1n

      It's a matter of public record. They will redact personally identifiable info such as SSN and phone numbers while releasing the rest of the candidates info and hiring status.

      April 16, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Mini ME

    Sadly no one will hire her again....

    April 16, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Hustles

    Ah, ah funny you see it that way what a joke!

    April 16, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  88. MJB

    I don't feel sorry for you if you're white....all you have to do is go to school and stay out of trouble and you will acheive the so called "AMERICAN DREAM" without looking your shoulder and feel that you have prove that you belong in this society.

    April 16, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al Sharpton

      Yep you said it, go to school and stay out of trouble. That's all it takes. Now I know why most Black people have the problems they have. Has nothing to do with hard work, just sitting under a tree in the hood drinking beer at ten in the morning will work too! See it everyday on my way into work.

      April 16, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • multi-racial rainbow

        You know what I use to see every day at work? A boss coming in high and hung-over or drunk. He let his buddy basically build his home on company time. They stole computer equipement from the company and this other buddy usually arrive after the noon hour because he was usually hung over. He use to tell me all the time "I do my best work drunk." Stop stereotyping please.

        April 16, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • crunch

      Oddly enough, as a white person, I dont want you to feel sorry for me. As for your gross overstatement? I do feel sorry for you for being so ignorant to state it. And white affirmative action? The majority of whites know this but refuse to talk about. Really? Then how do you know about it? Please keep commenting, your idiot factor is amusing.

      April 16, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allen

      MJB you are so right. I graduated from high school and someone handed me the keys to my first BMW. After I got a college degree ( Didn't pay for it or even study,as I am white), someone else handed me my first fat pay check. Being white I didn't even go to the office. A few weeks later another total stranger gave me a deed to my house. That was after they kicked all the minorities out of the neighborhood to make way for the new white kids to get their free house. You sir/madam are a fool...

      April 16, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  89. J

    Why don't they report on the fact that more blacks kill blacks than whites kill blacks. How about reporting on the blacks committing most of the crimes in america. How about reporting that most blacks between 18-30 will end up in jail. hmm...don't like to report that truth.

    April 16, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • iris

      Maybe some of those that are killing were denied a job or passed over for a promotion that they knew they were more qualified for than the person hired.

      April 16, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • gimarie

      J, you are out of touch with reality, please stop with this false stat reporting and realize that because whites don't report the truth because once again white privilege in the media is used to dupe people into believing such rubbish.

      April 16, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Austin T

    honestly, i feel more whites are discriminated against daily than blacks. why should a black get a job over a white so the company that hired them gets a tax write off? affirmative action is bulls***. thats all there is to it. not nearly enough whites have the nads to stand up against the true discrimination in the country.

    April 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • anyone but wolf

      Well maybe it has hurt whites.. but perhaps blacks as well. Looks like with the law, that employers make sure to interview one black for every 10 candidates. Baybe being forced to interview a person of color makes the interviewer predjudice against them.

      April 16, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Mack Johnson

    You hear all the fuss about affirmative action for minorities, you are increasingly seeing the affirmative action which is embedded in the American fabric and is practiced throughout the country every hour–it is white "affirmative action". This case simply highlights a continuing problem. Try reading the Arkansas football department hiring scandal carried out by Bobby Petrino, the head football coach, for his 25-year old girl friend who had absolutely no requisite skills or experience for position responsibilities as did the other two interviewees. Of course, she merited (earned) and was the best fit for the position!

    The white card carries the benefits.

    April 16, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • gimarie

      This is exactly what you call white affirmative action in America, and the majority of whites know this, although they refuse to talk about it. Once again they believe it is their birth right. Whites believe that this country is theirs and they ration the resources to everyone else for fear they won't have enough to stay on top.

      April 16, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ted

        Your anger will kill you one day, better watch that blood pressure.

        April 16, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom e

      The biggest difference between black and white affirmative action is that police, fire and colleges have to lower the standards for blacks to qualify. It happens everyday to meet minority quotas

      April 16, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • newsgeek

        But then we can ask the following: Who created this standards in the first place? You speak of lowering standards but whose standards are they? Also, who were these standards created to include?

        April 17, 2012 at 3:31 am | Report abuse |
  92. David Claytor

    I have not and will not read any of the posts on this article-racial stereotyping and flat-out ignorant racist-laden remarks are depressing.

    April 16, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al Sharpton

      Living with these people is depressing!

      April 16, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Chris

    "It also said that the head of the state's Employee Services Department used a screening test proven to have a disproportionately adverse impact on African-Americans and to have little relation to the jobs offered as a way of filtering out African-American applicants"

    Probably a reading test, or basic arithmetic test, for a job that doesn't specifically say you have to read or add 2+2 to do the job...yeah, soooo racist.

    April 16, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill


      April 16, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al Sharpton

      Black people have proven themselves to be so wonderful and productive . No slavery in Africa, but look how much they have done there. Nothing other than what White Europeans have given them and shown them. Just look at the country as a whole. The Blacks have so much more here in America. Why is that? Slavery? No, because of the hard work of White Europeans. Name one great contribution or inventions of a Black American and I can name a hundred White contributions. If you can name any! Keep believing we are not different!

      April 16, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • El'jai

      It's really sad that you have such a negative view about blacks, especially, when there are black on the front line in a foreign country sacrificing their lives, along with whites and other races. If I cut you, you will bleed red blood just like me!
      I understand that you have a fear factor of the unknown, but most people do! You are forgiven!

      By the way, I am a black woman, with two degrees and working on a Doctorate degree! I have a six figure income and have traveled all over the world! I can say that it's mostly in the US where I have been treated impartial. Because I have a forgiving heart and truly understand ignorance, I can read every negative response on this blog, and laugh! Now, any response that you should send me will not make me lose sleep or make my days any shorter! Nor will my check be smaller on my next pay period!
      Just remember, God is watching, and one day you just may be in the need of one of those blacks to save your life or the life of a love one. When I love people, I love them with NO color in mind!
      If there was one complaint, and the young lady was not a good candidate, then she would be wrong! But there must be some truth in that number of 6,000. Maybe not all 6,000, but there is a problem somewhere!

      How about we do an experiment and send you to a few interviews and see what happens. The trick is that we send you as a black or Hispanic man!

      April 16, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  94. J-Man

    My question is, if they weren't granted an interview how did anyone know that they were black? Did their resume say, i am black or did they attach a picture? Based on that instance I would say that this suit is bogus. If there were other factors that weren't mentioned here let's hear them. Once you get into an interview there are a million things that can make it go well or not. Do you speak well (or are you speaking Ebonics) and are you confident. Do you click with your interviewer or is communication strange. I have interview well over a thousand people and just because sombody has a degree (or more degrees than the next person) doesn't make you fit the job being offered. The interviewer has to consider how you will work with the others in the office. The fact that someone is black and isn't hired doesn't always equal discrimination.

    April 16, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marigold1

      She may have filled out an equal employment opportunity form – I am job-hunting and I fill them out all the time; or, the hiring manager may have searched for her online. I just did a search for her, and I *did* find a picture.

      April 16, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  95. DeeNYC

    Referring to the opening story, how did they know Nansi Woods was black and the other two were white if she was never granted an interview? do people still go to offices to hand in their resumes?

    April 16, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Mike

    One big problem with hiring people with Masters degrees: They tend to require a higher starting salary. People with bachelor degrees will usually be willing to take a lower wage, whereas the person with the Masters feels they deserve more. Also remember: Degrees don't mean squat unless you have experience. Maybe the person hired instead of the lead plaintiff might have had more experience in the field or more experience in similar fields. It's not always racism.

    April 16, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      You're right, maybe the other guys had more work experience. they were working while she was still in school. Just because someone has a masters doesn't automatically make them more qualified for anything.

      April 16, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • ComeOnMan9

      You are so right. The person with a higher degree is going to expect more money, pay it and expect that they should perform to a standard. It is not always racism, but sometimes it is. I am a black female and invariably when I am alone with anybody, they will cast aspersions on another group and think I will can agree if I am not of that group. People, all people need to get over themselves. Your life is a blessing and not a privilege or right!

      April 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  97. angryed

    Race should have NOTHING to do with getting a job, promotions, etc.....so lets end affirmative action now..let all people be judged on abilities and performance...time for everyone to look past skin color

    April 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Medallion

      Wow, so you understood nothing about the article.
      By ignoring prejudice, it does not mean it goes away. Even an ostrich knows that.

      April 16, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • PugPower

      You're absolutely right. If a hiring manager is viewing two identically qualified candidates, one a black female in her 50s and the other a white male in his 20s, it could be argued that the black female represents a higher risk to the business. If you need to get rid of this person later, for any reason, you have the inherantly greater risk of a discrimination claim with the older black female. The more special protections we build into our laws for people of one race over another (or gender, or age), the more risky it becomes to hire the "protected class". It's counterproductive.

      April 16, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Clarion

        A female friend of mine worked for a NY bank. She had a masters degree and was a top performer, yet after many years was overlooked for promotion after promotion. She decided to file a lawsuit and as the lawyers dug into the records of the firm and interviewed the suit became a class action. Eventually the bank decided to settle out of court and paid extra for the members of the suit to keep it out of the media. You must stop the garbage. There is discrimination. It is because we continued to deny discrimination why so many Jews were slaughtered by Hitler in WW2, we continue to deny its existence in America to our own detriment. When black soldiers go to war the bleed just as and white, die just like any white. Stop denying racism. Let us work insted to end it.

        April 17, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Laila

      RACE should have nothing to do with getting a job, so let's end PREFERENCES FOR WHITES and we can then all be considered for employment on equal footing.

      April 16, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • PugPower

        "...so let's end PREFERENCES FOR WHITES..." and QUOTAS FOR BLACKS.


        April 16, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • PB Short

        I say lets end ALL GOVERNMENT contracts for whites, that includes food-stamps, because the food-stamps are used at white stores...this would certainly balance the budget...

        OOPS, Obama said WHITE CORPORATIONS are too big to fail...so he gave one trillions dollars to white criminals and drug users...and they still do not have respect for the man who saved their jobs...bail-out their mortgage because they took the money to use drugs...

        April 16, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  98. LukesCorner.net

    Wow, this post really brought out some of the ignorant trolls.

    This is why i hate seeing fools screaming racism at every possible chance when race has nothing to do with it,, because it allows the truly ignorant racists to claim that all we do is use the race card when instances of blatant racism like this take place.

    In workplaces, the 'not what you know but who you know' slogan rings true often and in those cases more qualified candidates of all races get screwed over.

    But this doesn't seem to be one of those cases so that excuse don't even hold weight.

    April 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
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