Two years ago, economic figures released by the Park Finance Office confirmed definitively that The Park’s striped and spotted Animals were having a more difficult time finding full-time employment than those who had coats of solid or mixed colours. Now, after the release of the PFO’s latest report, it appears that little has changed.
The statistics, which are known colloquially as the “Employment and Enjoyment Stats,” are collected annually by The Park’s Departments of Statistics and Records, Well-Being and Safety, and Employment and Economic Opportunity. They are used by the Finance Office and the governing Archons to aid them in assessing the Park’s social and economic progress. The reaction to today’s release was anger from a number of The Park’s citizen groups.
“This is an outrage,” said Aiofe Badger in a radio interview this morning. Badger, who is President of Sisters and Brothers of the Narrow Band is a vocal advocate of equal rights in The Park. His group is now calling for a full study of the situation, including a plan for its resolution.
“We knew things were bad, but we let ourselves believe we were making progress. Obviously, we were mistaken,” he said.
Keeva Moffatt, President of The Park’s Spotted Skunk Sedan Patrol, says she supports a full inquiry, but she also questions the accuracy of the figures.
“I actually think things are worse and, if I may say, worse even for the spotted than for the striped,” she says.
Former Chief Archon Dewi Rhinoceros, current Chair of the Board of Directors of the Centre for Interspecial Harmony, said she wasn’t surprised by the figures.
“Clearly, we haven’t done nearly enough,” she says. “‘Stereotype Sundays’ and the establishment of the Centre are only a beginning. We have to dig deeper to find the roots of this prejudice [against the striped and spotted] and figure out why it persists. That is our only hope,” she says.