top of page
  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Off with the keffiyeh, on with the job search: Employers 'resist' hiring activists


They got into elite colleges by proclaiming their devotion to social justice and political activism. They tented on the quad, occupied a building, harangued non-believers, chanted slogans at the college president. Now it's time to take off the face mask and the checkered scarf and find a job that will support an urban lifestyle. (DoorDash isn't free!)


But there's a problem. Many Ivy League graduates who've been "resisting" what they call "late-stage capitalism" for most of their young lives want to work for finance, consulting and law firms. However, corporate employers don't want to hire activists who will disrupt the office if they don't get their way, writes Pamela Paul in the New York Times.


You might say employers are resisting late-stage Marxism.


Many elite college students got in by touting their activism, she notes.

“Where are you on your journey of engaging with or fighting for social justice?” asked one essay prompt Tufts offered applicants in 2022. What are you doing to ensure the planet’s future?

A Vanderbilt student, suspending for breaking into a building, told AP he'd written his application essay on organizing walkouts and been awarded a scholarship for activists and organizers.


Cornell, which celebrates the armed occupation of a campus building in 1969, suspended protesters in 2024, writes Tyler Austin Harper in The Atlantic. “Universities spent years saying that activism is not just welcome but encouraged on their campuses,” he writes. “Students took them at their word.”


Risk-averse employers look for people who will work well with others, including colleagues with different viewpoints, writes Paul.


However, many elite college graduates have been encouraged to "see the world in terms of opposing groups: us and them, black and white, good and evil, and, most importantly, oppressor and oppressed," writes Chris Swanson on the Martin Center site. They demand purity: No dissent is allowed from the group's consensus.

4,934 views4 comments

4 comentarios


humphrey
04 jun

Bless their little hearts.

Me gusta

Ralph Gizzip
Ralph Gizzip
03 jun

Another classic case of karma running over your dogma.

Me gusta

m_t_anderson
03 jun

Quell surprise! Experience tells me it's easier to take a pass on hiring pain-in-the-ass employees than it is to terminate them. Unless you use a gun.

Me gusta

Craig Randall
Craig Randall
03 jun

As it should be. This is an excellent example of the concept of "cause and effect" or "choice and accountability." It's also a clear example of "academia vs real life." The business world is more concerned with shareholder value than it is with the feelings someone may have--especially if those feelings clash with generating shareholder value. Even Larry Fink doesn't believe in ESG anymore.

Me gusta
bottom of page