Ruth Bates Harris, who in 1973 was fired from her $32,000-a-year job as deputy assistant administrator for equal opportunity for preparing a 40-page report which made the accusation: "NASA's Equal Opportunity Program is a near-total failure."
|From Jet November 13, 1973 issue|
Her report charged NASA with a "lack of commitment to hiring minorities and called for the replacement of Dudley McConnell [a black man] who, as assistant administrator for equal opportunity, was Mrs. Harris' immediate superior at the space flight agency. The Harris report documented that only 5.19 percent of NASA's employes (sic) were members of minority groups, compared to 20 percent for the federal government." (Jet magazine, November 15, 1973)
Just as Google, Yahoo, and Facebook have raked over the coals lately for having too few black people involved with perhaps the only productive sector of the American economy (outside of JP Morgan futures in their EBT/SNAP portfolio), NASA's most successful years - you know, going to the moon - were completely devoid of any black contributions.
The Indianapolis Recorder, a black newspaper, devoted lots of ink to discussing the sordid tale of Mrs. Harris firing, noting on the cover of its November 11, 1973 edition:
Mrs. Harris and her staff accused the agency of refusing to take the steps necessary to hire more persons in minority groups . The report also noted that NASA's minority employees had increased only from 4.1 percent in June 1966 to 5.1 percent as of June, 1973.
The report also noted that the June figure was down from last June, when minority employment at the agency was 5.2 percent.
Supporters of Mrs. Harris contended that she had been discharged because she pressed the agency too much to Improve its record.
"NASA has failed to progress because it has never made equal opportunity a priority, said the document from Mrs. Harris and her staff, dated Sept. 20."
Not only were black people few and far to be found at NASA during its greatest moments, the lack of Orientals (Asians) or Indians (not sure if this denotes the "dot" or "feather" variation...) will be cause for altering the chronology of the space agencies achievements to a date far beyond July 20, 1969.It also said: "A sound equal opportunity staff was permitted to be formed but it has been continuously kept short of resources and under control of insensitive middle management. Field installation have been required to establish equal opportunity offices, but in cases where they proposed to appoint unqualified uncommitted persons to staff these programs, the objections of the headquarters equal opportunity staff were overruled.'
As of June 30 NASA had a total of 27,031 employees, according to the equal employment report. There was 1,227 blacks, 270 Spanish-Americans, 192 Orientals and 21 Indians.
The best breakdown of the horror Ruth Bates Harris uncovered at NASA was described as by Constance Holden - in the pages of Science - as, "Nonetheless, the overwhelming white male domination of NASA is making it an increasingly conspicuous and embarrassing anomaly among government agencies." [NASA: Sacking of Top Black Woman Stirs Concern for Equal Employment, Science 23 November 1973: p.804-807. Vol. 182 no. 4114]
|A headline from the 1973 Indianapolis Recorder...|
"An increasingly conspicuous and embarrassing anomaly among government agencies."
Read that again, and remember those words were published in a major, respected scientific journal in 1973.
"Nonetheless, the overwhelming white male domination of NASA is making it an increasingly conspicuous and embarrassing anomaly among government agencies."
Despite an incredibly positive track record, having a culture and workforce that was "overwhelming white male domination of NASA is making it an increasingly conspicuous and embarrassing anomaly among government agencies."
Those who still believe the idea of moon landing on July 20, 1969 as a monumental hoax, filmed in some Hollywood studio under the directorship of Stanley Kubrick, need to remember the greatest hoax of all-time is the teaching (and legal notion) of racial equality.
Which, of course, birthed disparate impact.
Let's look at a few more paragraphs from Constance Holden 1973 article in Science:
On 25 October, James Fletcher, administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, summoned Ruth Bates Harris, deputy assistant administrator for equal opportunity, into his office and fired her. In so doing, Fletcher may have precipitated just the sort of pressure for improving NASA's employment performance with women and minority group members that critics say it has so far managed to resist.
Even granting NASA the best of intentions, it faces special difficulties in increasing its professional female and nonwhite personnel. As an agency strongly preoccupied by its dramatic scientific missions, it has tended to be dominated by scientific and technical rather than administrative types. Almost half the NASA work force is made up of scientists and engineers, but the national manpower pool contains few women and minority members. Only 1 percent of engineers are female, for example, and 3 percent are nonwhite. Critics point out that NASA contractors, who draw from the same pool of talent, have a far better record in equal employment than NASA. But contractors do not operate under the Civil Service constraints, veterans' preference, and periodic reductions in force that characterize the NASA of the 1970's. What's more, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance is a considerably stronger enforcement agent than the Civil Service Commission, which is responsible for seeing that affirmative action is taken within the government. (p. 804-807)
|From the Washington Afro-American in 1974... the moon landing wasn't a hoax people. This is what killed NASA and man's (white man's) ambitions of the heavens|
The woman Fletcher hired was a self-described “Harlem princess” whose first marriage had been to a Tuskegee Airman.
An honors graduate of Florida A&M University, she had gone on to earn an m.B.a. with a specialization in personnel and industrial relations from New York University.
What Fletcher called her “distinguished career in human relations” included service as the executive director of the District of Columbia commission in human relations, a civil rights oversight and implementation group. her nine-year tenure at the DC commission began with a successful push to get The Washington Post to stop carrying racially restricted housing ads, and moved on to an increasing variety of housing, community–police relations,and other work.through several “long hot summers”of racial discontent in the late 1960s, Harris was among those who exercised front-line leadership in restoring peace and stopping (or avoiding) riots.
Because inhabitants of the nation’s capital had only gotten the right to vote for local government in 1967, Harris not only became a De-facto affirmative action officer for city government in a majority African-American metropolis, she also learned to work well with the congress and senators of all political persuasions who were the overseers of DC government. (p. 427)This is a Hollywood blockbuster without any need of liberties taken by a room full of script writers!
Her first marriage was to a Tuskegee Airmen?
Fought against segregation and restrictive covenants?
Appeared after the black riots had burned much of Washington D.C., scaring away almost all of the white population in the process, to restore order?
Check, check, and check!
So what was Harris, before she was fired (and, who NASA officials told a senate inquiry in 1974 was “little more than a lobbyist for the cause of minorities and women.”) really trying to overcome in her position?
An almost all-white NASA had gone to the moon and was prepared to begin space exploration.
But Ruth Bates Harris, with the federal government granting her a legal blank check to correct the racial incorrect demographics of NASA employees, had other designs than building a bridge to the stars.
She was working to, as all federal departments would be, build a bridge to the middle-class for otherwise unemployable in the private sector black people. More from Societal Impact of Space Flight:
NASA, then, talked about wanting “the best equal opportunity program in the federal government,” but using part-time and all-white organizations to do it was naïve. NASA employed fewer minorities and women than any other agency in government. it claimed this was because of its elite and expert technical structure, but far from everyone at NASA was a rocket scientist.this disparity between NASA and other federal agencies also grew even as African-American professionals sought out government agencies as employers because those agencies also most often obeyed federal civil rights laws. NASA’s own statistics showed that it did as well as private corporations in employing minorities and women in the technical half of its operations (at 3.5 percent), but NASA’s leaders did not go on to ask why NASA employed only 6 percent of racial minorities in the nontechnical half of its operations. people like Harris were about to pose such uncomfortable questions. (p. 429)Though she was fired in 1973, NASA rehired Harris in 1974. Jet magazine reported the great news with this announcement:
Social activist Ruth Bates Harris, who was fired from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in Washington, D.C., as deputy assistant administrator for equal opportunity programs, returned recently as deputy administrator for community and human relations.A hero.
In her travels, she will be able to promote NASA and attract minority employes (sic) and women to join the agency. (Jet, 9-20-1974)
There are plenty of conspiracies touting how we never went to the moon.
It was all a hoax.
Yet the proof of why NASA never went farther than the moon, established a base on the lunar surface, or dared consider a mission to Mars, is found in Ruth Bates Harris "Cheshire Cat" smile...
Chapter 22 of Societal Impact of Space Flight ends with this note:
It was also a period during which an all-male and all-white astronaut corps came to exclude too many other Americans. NASA’s human spaceflight program would have ceased being “manned” and become “human” without Ruth Bates Harris or her supporters, but it would have taken significantly longer than the 20 years it did take. NASA and America’s space programs would only have been poorer for it, in terms of public interest, understanding, and regard. Ruth Bates Harris deserves to be remembered as an important actor in the social history of the Space age. (p. 449)We went to the moon.
This was no hoax.
Racial equality is the hoax.
When this movie is eventually made by a Hollywood studio, and the writers go up on stage to garner their Academy Award for best picture, you can be sure to thank Paul Kersey.