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The Diversity and Inclusion Scam

On the heals of Dennis Prager’s article, “The Diversity Con,” which appeared in this column earlier this month (see Issue #299), I decided to add my own observations about the DEI movement which is so fashionable and almost ubiquitous in our society, thanks to Left-wing activism. Although this column won’t address the “E” in DEI, as the notion of equity deserves its own special analysis, the notion of Diversity and Inclusion is something I have some commentary to offer.

First, know that it’s a scam.

What do I mean by that?

I mean the people who most promote it, the people who do a lot of hang-wringing about it, don’t believe in it wholeheartedly. They only believe in it in a very particular way.

Yet, it is important to note that the pure notion of diversity is actually a very good thing, as is the pure notion of inclusion. But what college administrators, corporate HR folks, and Left-wing activists have in mind when they talk about Diversity and Inclusion are not the pure forms of those ideals. They are, instead, a corrupt and counterfeit form.

Diversity in its pure form means it is better to have a wide array of perspectives to consider. When you have people in a room who are, say, problem solving, they are very limited if they only have the same or similar perspectives. Having diverse perspectives is very valuable because no one has all the answers and more people means more bodies of knowledge and experience, as long as everyone is heard. That is helpful because the myriad ideas and viewpoints present in a diverse group can be drawn upon in synergistic ways to produce a very powerful solution. All those diverse views have the potential to make unique contributions.

Inclusion is also healthy in its pure form, where it simply means you are not closed to the notion of giving various people a seat at the table. You are not snobbish. You don’t possess the conceit that comes with imagining you are an elite, or better than others. When someone’s inclination is favorable to inclusion in its pure form, they have the humility and the graciousness to welcome people into their tent.

What is diversity in its corrupt form about? It is about gathering together like-minded people from different ethnicities. It is hyper-focused on diversity in terms of skin color, but with a caveat. It is obsessed with the notion of so-called “marginalized” people who have a victim complex (i.e., they relish the notion of being a victim because they believe it gives them power and special privileges). People who are deeply obsessed with diversity often have in mind a desire to insert people from the LGBTQIA2S+ faction into the mix, as if someone’s sexual preferences or someone’s gender identity confusion is a highly prized factor that must be drawn upon. And that brings me to an interesting observation. Just yesterday I was present for an online event hosted by the college where I teach. The event was all about DEI in the classroom. One of the three presenters kept harping on how important it is that we provide content and learning experiences that allow students to get in touch with their own “identity,” (as if that is the purpose of a college), and to use examples that make the students feel comfortable as they explore who they are. We were admonished to use human illustrations that “look like them” meaning black examples for black students, Mexican examples that look like Mexican students, Asian examples that look like the Asian students. Leaving aside for a moment the question on why a college setting is the place to be worried about students exploring their “own identity” and being exposed to voices that “look like them,” rather than learn something of value, it’s hard not to notice the inherent contradiction between giving students examples using “people that look like them” and the concept of diversity, where people don’t look like them. Which is it?

Similarly, inclusion in its corrupt form is about exclusion – it is about excluding certain people that are looked upon askance as being unwanted or unworthy. Thus, and here is the caveat, Public Enemy Number 1 in the mind of a Left-wing activist who preaches inclusion would be a white male, especially a white male who is both conservative and is a believing Christian. Public Hero Number 1 would be a black trans woman (meaning an African American man who insists he is a woman).

Although it’s hard to believe, some of the biggest proponents of inclusion regularly violate their own ideals on inclusion, sometimes unwittingly. Here’s an innocuous example. I remember when I was doing some work not too long ago for a large non-profit that offered childcare services, the head of HR at the time tasked me with the assignment of ordering some apparel for her entire HR team. She wanted a nice looking sweater with the company logo embroidered over the left breast. There were 19 full time employees on the team at that time, plus 1 person, a young lady, who was a temp, but she was soon to become a permanent employee. The HR head made it explicitly clear that she believed in inclusion, and yet, paradoxically, she instructed me not to include the temp employee in the mix when I ordered the sweaters. In other words, that HR group would eventually be gathered for a team event at some point in the future, and everyone except one person would receive a gorgeous, embroidered sweater. One person would not be included in the fun. One person would be watching the team don their sweaters, but she would not receive one, even though she had been working for that team for several months at that point in time. And this was the vision of a woman executive who claimed she believed deeply in inclusion.

Likewise, there are countless examples of Left-wing shenanigans that are portrayed as an act of inclusion when in fact, there is blatant exclusion going on. Take CNN’s former evening personality Don Lemon. On October 30, 2018, during the handoff for the show that followed Don Lemon’s, Cuomo Primetime, Lemon said, “We have to stop demonizing people, . . .” before continuing with his own brand of demonizing people: “. . . and realize the biggest terror threat to this country is white men.” In other words, don’t exclude others. . . except white men.

Do NBA basketball teams practice diversity and inclusion? If they did, they would have a variety of black, white, Hispanic, and Asian players on their teams. And they would lose games often. Blacks make up about 13% of the U.S. population. Yet 65% of the Boston Celtics players are black; 71% of the Chicago Bulls are black; 82% of the Los Angeles Lakers are black. Does that bother me? Not in the least. I want teams of any kind, including basketball teams, to perform. Black athletes tend to be more skilled than white athletes, Hispanic athletes, and Asian athletes when it comes to the game of basketball. I want teams to be staffed by skilled performers. If the Left had its way, NBA basketball would regress towards sub-par performance, and Leftist activists would be fine with that.

Thus, we come to an unassailable truth: Leftists do not believe in meritocracy. True blue patriotic American citizens do.

And that, my friends, is the latest elephant in the room.

Ara Norwood is a multi-faceted and results-oriented professional. Spanning a multiplicity of disciplines including leadership, management, innovation, strategy, service, sales, business ethics, and entrepreneurship. Ara is also a historian, having special expertise on the era of the founding of our republic.
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