[Congressional Record Volume 140, Number 128 (Wednesday, September 14, 1994)]
[Page H]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]

[Congressional Record: September 14, 1994]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

                       STATE DEPARTMENT'S QUOTAS

  Mr. HELMS. Mr. President, we are left to suppose, in horror, that the 
Serbs are ``ethnically cleansing'' the former Yugoslavia of both 
Moslems and Croats. In Rwanda, Hutus and Tutsis are slaughtering each 
other. The world has always been polarized but it now has become 
violently so.
  Meanwhile, the State Department is drumming up a new brand of 
polarization called diversity. Foggy Bottom would rather fulfill ethnic 
quotas, thereby creating divisions and resentment, than choose the best 
qualified people to tend U.S. interests abroad.
  The State Department's problem is that the American people reject 
ethnic and gender quotas. It is an absurd policy and it is unfair. It 
is an insult to basic American precepts and principles.
  I hope Senators will take note of a cable written by Lewis Anselem, 
the political counselor at the United States Embassy in Bolivia. This 
cable, highly critical of the State Department's quota policy, was 
published in the July edition of Washingtonian magazine. Mr. Anselem 
raises a number of significant questions about the Clinton 
administration's pursuit of ethnic quotas at the State Department.
  Mr. Anselem deserves forthright answers to his questions but I 
recommend that nobody hold his or her breath until answers are 
forthcoming from the State Department.
  I recall Hubert Humphrey's asking the Senate 30 years ago, ``Do you 
want a society that is nothing but an endless power struggle among 
organized groups? Do you want a society where there is no place for the 
individual?'' If Hubert were still around he would instantly recognize 
that this administration has made clear that it values special interest 
groups over independent individuals. And Hubert would discover that the 
``politically correct'' crowd in charge today is making the ground 
fertile for polarization.
  Mr. President, the State Department should reject its misguided 
efforts to enact quotas. I ask unanimous consent that W. Lewis 
Anselem's cable, published by Washingtonian magazine, be printed in the 
Record at the conclusion of my remarks.

                  [From the Washingtonian, July 1994]

                         Undiplomatically Yours

       (A cable from W. Lewis Anselem, political counselor in the 
     United States embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, on diversity within 
     the State Department has been making the rounds in Foggy 
     Bottom. Here is the text of the cable.)
       1. I am taking advantage of your call for a full exchange 
     of views of personnel issues to send you this message on 
     ``diversity.'' I probably should use the ``dissent channel'' 
     but given my prior experience with that channel on a 
     different issue (i.e., eight months to get a reply), I have 
     chosen to address you directly. A previous cable I sent the 
     Director General (93 La Paz 15382) on diversity issues was 
     replied to six weeks later by the acting DIRGEN (State 
     384875) in a ``form letter'' which ignored the bulk of the 
     issues I raised. A follow-up cable (La Paz 734) was ignored.
       2. I realize senior department officers cannot provide 
     personal answers to all cables they receive; I certainly 
     don't expect that. But given repeated calls by those 
     officials for a full and frank exchange in diversity and 
     other personnel issues, those officials should be ready and 
     willing to address such issues in a full and frank manner 
     somewhere and somehow. That has not happened. What statements 
     these officials have made on diversity reveal a lack of 
     understanding of basic issues, are contradictory, deceptive, 
     condescending in the extreme, insulting, and, above all, 
     confusing. It is that sort of behavior, I think, which led 
     the department to be the target of prior lawsuits and creates 
     an unease in the ranks today that could result in new ones 
     tomorrow. Current AFSA leadership seems to be management's 
     pet puppy on diversity, eager to please its master (I urge 
     everyone I know to stop paying AFSA dues).
       3. I won't repeat what I stated in previous cables on 
     diversity. I want to discuss two articles in the February and 
     March issues of ``State Magazine.'' Those articles contain 
     statements by the director general and the legal advisor that 
     need clarification; anything you can do would be 
     appreciated. I apologize for this cable's length, but the 
     topic has many facets.

                             role of exams

       4. In the February ``State Magazine'' report on the January 
     11 ``townhall meeting'' the director general (pg. 2) is cited 
     as stating on the issue of FS [Foreign Service] employees who 
     enter without taking the exam, that ``while some `assume that 
     we want to give a free pass to people who couldn't pass the 
     exam' it is rather the opposite, she said, explaining there 
     are persons who are so highly sought after that State could 
     never hope to recruit them if it had to wait for the lengthy 
     exam process.''
       5. Is this an accurate characterization of the director 
     general's position on the exam issue? If so, is that an 
     accurate reflection of Department policy? Who are these 
     persons ``who are so highly sought after?'' What special 
     skills do they bring to the promoting of American overseas 
     interests? Does the department consider those who took the 
     exam and put up with the lengthy exam process as second-class 
     citizens? Why have exams if they only draw second-raters such 
     as myself? Will a warning label be placed on the exam so that 
     potential test-takers know they are not ``highly sought 
     after?'' Perhaps something similar to what we have on tobacco 
     goods: Warning: The Director General has determined that if 
     you take this test you are second-rate.
       6. Will the same attitude of disregard for the exam extend 
     to the EER [employee evaluation report]? Can we anticipate 
     that certain persons will be promoted outside of the EER 
     process (because they are so ``valuable'') while only we non-
     valuable ones need worry about EER ratings?

                           the evils of merit

       7. In the same issue of ``State,'' the department's legal 
     advisor (identified as black although no one else's race is 
     mentioned, a matter which should be taken up with the editor) 
     is portrayed as claiming the following (pg. 3): ```We must 
     get rid of the notion that merit has been such a success that 
     we don't have a problem * * * It just doesn't do to walk into 
     a bureau and to see no one or only one person who looks like 
     me.' The fact is, he added, that white males are 
     overrepresented in the department * * * He continued: * * * 
     `We shouldn't assume that because a woman or minority winds 
     up as a DAS [deputy assistant secretary], that this was 
     reserved for a woman or a minority. What we should assume is 
     that the person was qualified for the job.'''
       8. Is this an accurate characterization of the legal 
     advisor's position? Can we conclude that, under this 
     administration, merit is no longer the basis for employment 
     and advancement in the department? If, indeed, merit is no 
     longer the basis of assignment, advancement, etc., why should 
     we assume a person holding a particular job is qualified for 
     the job? Why shouldn't women and minorities feel stigmatized, 
     as the director general rightly worries they are? How can the 
     legal advisor's statements be reconciled with repeated 
     assertions (including in that same article, pg. 2) by the 
     director general and others that no dichotomy exists between 
     diversity and merit?
       9. Is it department policy that white males are 
     ``overrepresented?'' What others does the department consider 
     ``overrepresented?'' Are there too many Jews in the 
     department? How will the department solve the ``Jewish 
     problem?'' Too many Catholics? Too many Baptists? Too many 
     Asians? Too many Mormons? Too many left-handed Protestants? 
     What else is there too many of? Is the legal advisor out to 
     cull the herd? What is the legal advisor's position on the 
     Chicago Bulls? That organization doesn't have too many people 
     who look like me, but as a team based on merit, not 
     diversity, they play great ball. Should we lower the net 
     and shorten the court so short, fat, cigar-smoking white 
     guys can play? What about the engineering school at UCLA? 
     Not many folks who look like me there, either, but they 
     sure are good engineers. From the charts provided in the 
     director general's article in the March ``State'' it seems 
     minorities are ``over-represented'' in the government 
     workforce in general (see chart on pg. 20). Will the 
     advisor propose minorities in other agencies be fired to 
     bring down their representation to the ``proper'' level? 
     Or is it only OK to insult and degrade white males?
       10. The legal advisor is also quoted as saying (pg. 3) that 
     litigation is ``a blunt instrument but one that gets our 
     attention.'' I predict that if the department adopts the 
     attitude apparently held by the legal advisor, a lot more 
     ``blunt instruments'' will get your attention.

          on definitions and the plastic medium of statistics

       11. In the March issue of ``State'' (pp. 18-25), the 
     director general presents a number of statistics on the 
     department workforce. Most of these are partial and 
     misleading. I note, however, that the second chart on pg. 21 
     clearly makes the point that there is ``gender bending'' 
     going on in promotions. Since 1989 female officers are 
     consistently more likely to be promoted than are their male 
     colleagues. The 1993 figures are very telling. In that chart 
     alone, I suspect there is enough for a lawsuit. What that 
     chart doesn't show (but previous stats laboriously squeezed 
     out of the department do) is that women are much more likely 
     to cross the FS-1 to senior officer threshold than are men. 
     In addition, they are much more likely to get DCM [deputy 
     chief of mission] or P.O. [principal officer] jobs in 
     desirable postings than are men (a glance through the ``Key 
     Officers'' book shows that). And, please, despite what the 
     director general claims, we all know some positions are held 
     as long as possible for applicants of the ``right'' sex, 
     race, or ethnicity; it's one of the worst kept secrets in the 
       12. Nowhere in the article does the director general 
     provide a definition of ``minority.'' This is a critical 
     failing I have noticed throughout the discussions of the 
     diversity issue. What is a minority in a country of 
     minorities? From what I can tell if you don't file a lawsuit, 
     you ain't a minority.
       13. The issue of defining ``minority'' is a critical one. 
     When we join the Foreign Service we have to auto-declare 
     ourselves Hispanic, black, white, Native American, etc. Is 
     this the only means we have? Surely this is not very 
     accurate. Many Americans (myself included) are of mixed 
     background. How do we know who is ``truly'' white, black, or 
     Hispanic? How many white ancestors must you have before you 
     are no longer another race? What if you have one black great-
     grandmother? Would a person with one European-origin parent 
     and one African-origin parent be white or black? What about 
     one with an Asian and an African parent? How does the 
     department know it is not being conned by unscrupulous race 
     and ethnic jumpers? What if you are currently a man but 
     ``feel'' you are really a woman? Can those of us who listed 
     ourselves as in one group get reclassified?
       14. If you are serious about racial labels, then department 
     medical services should be brought in to determine degrees of 
     racial ``purity.'' You can hire phrenologists and other 
     experts on racial traits. There are lots of those people now 
     unemployed in South Africa or under false names in Paraguay 
     (better move on this last group fast, they're getting old).

                   AH, YES * * * ONE MORE DEFINITION

       15. In the whole debate on diversity, including in the two 
     articles I mention, I have yet to see a definition of 
     ``diversity.'' I just can't believe personnel officers would 
     launch a policy without knowing what it is. Please provide a 
     definition of ``diversity.'' How will we know when we have 
     it? What are the exact quotas established? Once those are 
     reached, will the department have a ``diversity maintenance'' 
     program to ensure old devil merit doesn't upset the correct 
       16. Will only race and gender be considered? What about 
     regional diversity? Are there too many Californians? Too many 
     Alaskans? What about elderly Americans? What about those of 
     Albanian descent? I have an Albanian-American friend from 
     Chicago; I would like him to know what his quota is. Would 
     Albanian-Americans from Philadelphia have a different quota 
     than those from Chicago (my friend has a brother in 
     Philadelphia)? What's the point system?


       17. I find diversity's obsession with race and gender 
     repugnant and potentially dangerous. Despite what the 
     director general claims, it is not those who object to 
     diversity who corrode efficiency and morale in the service, 
     it is those who promote diversity who do so. I might add, the 
     director general takes a cheap shot in her March article (pg. 
     18) by implying that those opposing diversity so do either 
     out of fear of change or resentment over diminished promotion 
       18. There are many legitimate and idealistic reasons to 
     oppose diversity. Not the least is that qualified women and 
     minority officers are being stigmatized by diversity and the 
     obvious ``white man's burden'' mentality behind it. The 
     assumption is that women and minorities (however defined) 
     can't compete unless the Great White Father designs a 
     ``special program'' for them (what would the Bulls say about 
     that?). Diversity is causing serious, perhaps permanent 
     damage to a service already battered by years of abuse as a 
     playground for unqualified political appointees (not always: 
     I've served under some very fine political appointees). Can 
     you imagine a used car salesman commanding a nuclear aircraft 
     carrier? No? How about one as ambassador of the world's most 
     important country?
       19. My parents did not immigrate to America so their kids 
     could face quotas. They came to get away from prejudice. The 
     social engineers in the department and its AFSA sidekick have 
     forgotten that the idea of America is to let people be their 
     best and in that way we all benefit. If engineering schools 
     have an ``overrepresentation'' of Asian-origin students, it 
     doesn't bother me. If for whatever reasons one group or 
     another has a greater tendency to go into one sort of 
     business rather than another, that doesn't bother me at all. 
     Diversity zealots are toying with explosive issues; no matter 
     how ``civilized'' we think we are, eventually, as we have 
     seen in Yugoslavia and only God knows how many other places, 
     we all will come out to defend our ethnicity, race, religion, 
     etc.--and at times violently. Call it tribalism or whatever 
     you want, but it's there under the surface. Let it stay 
     there; don't stir it up with misguided polices.
       20. Thank you for this opportunity to express my views.