The content of an article in today’s New York Times, In Job Hunt, College Degree Can’t Close Racial Gap, by Michael Luo, will surprise no one who has thought about the role of race in American hiring; only a handful of the hundreds of comments posted online in response to the piece today fail to corroborate its claims. It would appear that one year into the Obama presidency, even this only intermittently progressive paper worries about the limited change that election brought to U.S. race relations. It is a brief piece, but it airs a variety of concerns expressed by minority job seekers, drawing attention to a range of motivations behind workplace discrimination and varied managerial attitudes towards corporate diversity. We could of course wish for more frequent and deeper coverage. This article, like many on racial inequities facing U.S. workers, seems to find the unemployment of minority Ivy League graduates especially telling, as if those cases demonstrate with particular potency the failure of our merit-based system. We might do better to ask how our ideas of merit enact discrimination at all levels of education and employment. But at least a small flare has been sent aloft this morning.