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Satirical Rent-a-Minority Site Mocks Fake Diversity

For all your all your "I'm racist, but I don't want to look racist" needs!

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Hey companies! You hear about this whole “diversity” thing going on? I know, the outside world is being really, really mean to you about demographic numbers, those all-white conference panels, and totally-not-discriminating application questions. Life is so hard when you have all that power! Well, now there’s an answer to keep those pesky Twitter users off your butts about being something-phobic: Rent-A-Minority!

The company that Rudy Kipling says “relieved my burden quite considerably” and Marc Angryseen calls “The best thing to happen to Indians since British colonialism,” Rent-A-Minority will accommodate all your “I’m racist but I don’t want to look racist” needs. You need an ethnically ambiguous minority? They got you. Need a “Cheerful Woman of Color,” a “Smiling Muslim Woman,” or an “Intellectual Black Guy” you can point at to deflect allegations of racism? They got you. I mean, we’re all Africans right?

Minorities! Tired of “sitting dormant with no possibility of being monetized?” Sign up to be a minority today for some extra cash. I’ve been the token several times in my life, why shouldn’t I get paid for it? Cha-Ching!

Hilarious but also painfully accurate, Arwa Mahdawi created Rent-A-Minority to draw attention to institutional inequality, tokenism, and the ways that companies seem to love stock-photo diversity, but not actual diversity. The first question on their FAQ is “JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, IS THIS A JOKE?” to which they respond:

Yes, obviously, you can stop getting angry now. Or get angry, but get angry at what Rent-a-Minority is angry about. The site is a #satire on a type of tokenism that is particularly rife in the tech and media world. Rather than address institutional inequality in any meaningful way, diversity is something that is generally just for (temporary) show. Companies tend to be very careful to ensure that their websites contain an acceptable ratio of women and non-white people; on their leadership boards, however, it’s another matter.

Rent-A-Minority is very funny and Mahdawi also offers some advice for how companies can make real change:

Not through Rent-A-Minority, obviously. Ultimately it comes down to increasing social mobility by closing socioeconomic gaps. Ensuring equal access to education for everyone. Obviously that’s a big ask and not something that happens overnight. However, companies can help change structural inequality by:  1) drawing attention to the problem; 2) offering paid internships instead of unpaid internships that only wealthy people can afford to do; 3) finding a way to recruit that looks at talent beyond the boy’s club; 4) constantly auditing themselves to see that they are doing what they can to advance the careers of the top talent, no matter race/gender/religion etc; 5) LEARN HOW TO SEARCH. Seriously. It’s not actually that hard to find qualified people who aren’t straight, white, men to sit on your panel. Here is a useful tool to learn how to search.

In addition to being able to sign-up on the site, you can also alert them about upcoming all-male, all-white panels and they’ll send a handy link to Rent-A-Minority.

(via BostInno, image via Rent-A Minority)

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