Friday, August 01, 2008
There are lots of posters for internships, being as internships are seen by many recruiters and placement officers as a great way to get into a potential position with an organization. But some are more interesting choices. Here's one to intern with Working America, an arm of the AFL-CIO, whose job is political activism. You have a chance to "get paid to fight back" -- now that's an educational experience, isn't it?Most workplaces have posters that ask workers who are victims of discrimination to report their experiences to the proper office. I had paid this one no mind at all until I read the small print. Did you know if you discriminate against someone who is a member or active in "a local commission as defined by law" you get the same rights as someone discriminated against them for their race or sexual orientation? Who thought that law up? I haven't heard of such crimes, or even that it was one. I don't think I've ever had a beef with the parks commissioner.Two comments about this. First, it is on a board in a very high-traffic area and has been on this board for almost a year. So thousands of people walk by a brochure about female genital cutting. Towards what end? I probably have passed this a couple hundred of times without figuring that out; maybe I'm just dense. Second, this is a criticism of a practice that happens "extensively in Africa" and many countries in the Middle East. Many years ago I knew an Egyptian immigrant couple whose son went to school at SCSU. They ran a long-since-gone restaurant that was the only place I could get a good plate of baba ganouj back then. One night the wife of this couple came to me quite upset; her son was supposed to write a paper about the practice, and it was clear that he was surprised to hear it happened in his home country. The son did not know what to write.
There are over 100 students studying here from countries that appear on that list; the ESL classes for intensive study each summer are taught in a classroom close to this poster. I wonder what they think about this.