Should we seek diversity?

How do you feel about diversity?  Is it a good thing?  Should it be a goal?  I ask these questions because it seems like diversity, which is often times left open as a definition and left even more vague when it is actively sought.  The idea of multiple racial, ethnic, gender, and social statuses being represented in a particular setting seems appealing.  It seems says something about society — maybe –, that it has overcome the prejudices of the past which were aimed at squelching such strides toward diversity and equality.  But again, should diversity be a goal?

I think it’s something to be reflected upon, not engineered.  And certainly not a goal.  For one thing, engineered diversity is not true diversity, is it.  No, true diversity happens naturally over long periods of time, and not necessarily at the pace or to the degree that will satisfy those most concerned with racial or ethnic parity.   Engineered diversity is a façade, and is inherently flawed.

One of the biggest flaws is the wrong-headed reasons for the lack of diversity in a particular arena.  Most often this lack is attributed to some racial or gender bias when in fact there is a natural attraction in people of like kind to surround themselves with people who they believe are like them in ways they consider important, and these ways are most typically not grounded in racial or misogynistic reasons.  It just turns out that many of the things we consider important split down lines in ways which appear to be racial.  For example, my neighborhood is universally made up of white families.  We didn’t choose this neighborhood because of the skin color of the residents.  We chose it because the neighbors were of retired age, it was a cul-de-sac, it was in the town in which I grew up, and it was a single family home with a great yard for my children with low crime, and they all happened to be white.  Finding these criteria would not be possible in the inner city where most residents are younger, busy streets lined with parked cars, plenty of crime, and I didn’t grow up there.  Someone of a Liberal bent might try to assign racial bias, but they’d be wrong.

I, for one, believe there is more nobility in treating everyone as though their outward appearance is meaningless.  Regardless if there is more or less diversity, the most qualified, the most intelligent, and the most willing people should be sought for the venue.  Nothing can be told about the person from their outward appearance of any value, except whether they help diversify the setting.

This is also why I think diversity measurements are actually built on racist and prejudiced foundations.  Without saying it explicitly, diversity goals essentially say that there are people who are the “wrong status”.  This assessment follows naturally from “too many”.  The diversity crowd might try to deny this, but the entire enterprise trades on this idea.  Diversity says your social status is more important that who you are as an individual.  Diversity actually limits freedom in this respect.   If there are “too many” of one group and not enough of another, those from the “too many” group begin to be discriminated against.  When diversity standards need to be met, people are no longer judged based on their personality, knowledge, skills, and abilities, they are judged on their outward appearance, which ironically is supposed to be what’s purged from the process. Think about this, if there is a certain venue you want to be a part of, a university, a job, or whatever, you have to hope it’s either not diverse enough, or already too diverse, depending on to which group they identify you.

Remember, if you believe there are “too many” or “not enough” of a certain demographic represented within a particular group, you’re prejudiced, and possibly racist.  Racism and prejudice can be pointed at any demographic, not just those you view with sympathy.


  1. Forced diversity is the travesty; i.e., forcing people to hire so that the population of the job reflects the diversity in the population at large.

  2. Real, genuine diversity is amazing when it happens, forced diversity is just sticking a bunch of people who look different in the same room. Shallow, superficial and unsatisfying.

  3. The argument for diversity is an a prori argument.

  4. To actually answer your question, yes we probably should. The problem is that some folks get confused by seek v. force.

    • Craig

      I actually disagree, that racial and gender diversity should be a goal. I think diversity in opinion is more valuable. The liberal idea is superficial as others have pointed out. It ultimately says your outward appearance is more valuable than your inward character.

  5. I think it’s something to be reflected upon, not engineered. And certainly not a goal.

    In a mixed society, where you are going to be representing values of ALL Americans – rich black folk, middle income white folk, poor hispanics, poor disabled folk, rich gay folk, religious black folk, etc, etc, etc… if you’re wanting to represent all these people, then you WILL want to have their views reflected in your base of people. If you have HUGE swaths of society that are not part of your base, then that is generally a sign that you are not listening well and representing well the concerns of all the people.

    If you suggest, “Well, you know what? I don’t CARE about 47% of the people,” people are going to hear that and take note of it.

    No, if you’re going to represent ALL the people, then your base should look like ALL the people. If not, then there’s a good chance that you’re not representing everyone and that will not work well long in a representative gov’t.

    To say, “Well, it would be NICE and SWEET if diversity happened, but I’m not willing to do anything to help make for a more diverse base…” then what people hear you say is, “To heck with you and your desires for our great nation. I don’t care enough to try to make diversity happen… IF you want to agree with all our positions and join with US, then we will welcome your diversity…” and when you’re saying that, you’re saying, “We welcome your diversity as long as your ideas match ours exactly… otherwise, we don’t want to hear what you have to say. Get lost!”

    And that is no way to run a representative group of people. That’s top down authoritarianism, not bottom up grass roots representation.

    The Dems, for all their faults, understand that and make deliberate efforts to be inclusive – and because of the nature of people, diversity oftentimes won’t just “happen,” and, God bless ’em, the Dems ARE diverse, naturally so.

    But “Naturally so,” only because they make plans to make it happen.

    As the saying goes, “A goal without a plan is just a wish…”

    And based on your words, John, it’s not even a goal OR a wish. Just something that would be “nice,” IF it happens…

    And that, my friends, is why you are fast becoming obsolete.

    Oh, and Craig, no one “forces” diversity in the Dem party, but they do PLAN for it, make room for it and with planned efforts, it does happen, naturally (ie, not “forced”).

  6. The more I think about it, the more I think even diversity of opinion is pie-in-the-sky. Of what value is it? I’m only interested in the best opinion or idea, and no opinion or idea can help but be so judged. Sure, one might wish to cling to an inferior opinion or idea, and that’s fine for them. But I don’t have to like it or support it or certainly, I don’t have to feel good about having it forced to stand on equal footing with the best ideas or opinions. It’s foolishness.

    Diversity of ideas cannot benefit a culture or society if all are regarded as equally valid. To accept that diverse ideas or opinions might arise within a community is not the issue. But we cannot pretend they are all equally valid or beneficial, as that is impossible.

    In the end, I have no issue with differing backgrounds or races. But true diversity would insist that I accept diversity of character and that I won’t do. For the sake of this discussion, I will concede that this isn’t a part of the point. But it is diversity nonetheless. Can I live with people who think differently that me? Of course I can. Can I live with people who act differently than me? To a point. But in either case, I do not intend to grant to everyone equal consideration for their opinions and behavioral choices. None of that has anything to do with ethnicity or race or gender. But character, talent, ability…I prefer to surround myself with such and to aspire to rise to the highest levels of all of them to the exclusion of alternatives.

  7. As the saying goes, Sunday morning is the most segregated hour of the week. The reason for that? People think it would be “nice” if diversity happened “naturally,” but they don’t make the effort to be inclusive.

    As someone from a diverse church (black, white, other, gay, straight, poor, middle class, able-bodied, disabled, and rich-ish, conservative-ish and liberal-ish), I can tell you it IS nice – indeed, it is beyond nice; it is the Kingdom of God Almighty! – but it doesn’t just happen with wishful thinking.

    Anything you want to happen and believe should happen takes effort. It’s a beautiful thing, this reaching out to all people and not just those like you…

    Lilly Di Mikaela

    Jordan Connie

    Laura Tatiana

  8. Marshall…

    The more I think about it, the more I think even diversity of opinion is pie-in-the-sky. Of what value is it?

    Um, because we want to be a nation of and for and by ALL people and not just a white elite?

    Because we are flawed humans with no one of us having perfect ideas and, with a diversity of ideas and values, we have the potential for wisdom beyond one limited set of view points?

    Because there is strength in diversity of ideas and types?

    Because, if I dismiss an opinion out of hand because I don’t think it’s as wise or good as MY opinion, I demonstrate a bit of arrogance that is not conducive to community living?

    Because, with a diversity of opinions comes a diversity of buy-in.

    Because other people are coming from a different place than I am and may have insights that I may never have considered – or even would have been ABLE to consider because it was outside my range of experience.

    Because ideas are not One-Size-Fits-All. Obviously, the healthiest, wisest, most prudent way of handling transportation – clearly – is to rely upon walking, biking and mass transit. There is no contest in this battle of ideas – the personal auto, motorcycles, monster trucks… these are not healthy, wise or sustainable. Should we then force this idea on all people in all places with no exceptions? OR do we realize that One Size Does Not Fit All and allow for diversity of options?

    Because forcing people to accept our ideas and goals builds resentment, whereas, allowing for all ideas to have input and respect, makes us more united and stronger.

    I could go on… Do you want to stand by that claim?

    The conservatives who do are the ones who are going the way of the Whigs

  9. John, my point was that we should seek it rather than to avoid it or to seek non diversity. I agree with you that there is more to diversity than simply the shades of melanin. I’ve been in some wonderfully diverse groups of people who share similar skin tones. The problem, it seems, comes when folks want to quantify or define diversity as only this or that. Or to manufacture diversity where it doesn’t exist. This whole notion that all we want is a nation of rich old white men is a great talking point, it’s an easy shot, and a great way to marginalize your opposition. The problem is it’s just not true. Seriously, does anyone think that the republican party sits around thinking “Now how can we get rid of those pesky non white folks?”, ? It’s just one more easy club for the left to wield. Does anyone think that Dan would somehow magically change his views on anything and vote for a GOP candidate, just because the party got more diverse? Ask pro-life democrats how diverse they think their party is. This is just one more non issue, that gives folks a chance to gloat about how superior they are.

  10. I, for one, am not suggesting you seek ways to “get rid of pesky non white folk…” Rather, I think there is a large segment of conservatism that just does not see value in diversity, or believe in seeking to promote diversity.

    Again, it seems to be more a manner of, “I wish black folk would just wise up and agree to come to our meetings, and them hispanic folk, too (although I’m not so sure about those gay folk – we probably DON’T want them to join us)… BUT, I’m not willing to try to reach out to these folk from different backgrounds and acknowledge their collective wisdom and experiences… I value diversity ONLY insofar as it would be nice to have folk of color to agree with us and they’re really pretty stupid not to – stupid, or maybe they’re just immoral enough and greedy enough to be ‘bought out’ by Dems giving stuff away…”

    But that approach to wishful thinking for diversity is not going to make the GOP more diverse.

    And “superior…” to you all? No, but the Dems have established an advantage over you all, in that they have actively worked to be inclusive and, as a result, they really do represent a great swath of America, rich in color and culture. Good for them, I say. They DO have superiority in representing a wider group of people and including them in their tent. That’s not for gloating, that’s just stating an observable fact.

  11. Many of those people also support Planned Parenthood receiving federal subsidies despite the disproportionate number of African American babies they abort each year.

    It’s kind of funny since I know tons of white conservatives who would have been thrilled to vote for a JC Watts, Marco Rubio, Condi Rice, or any number of conservative candidates who happen to not be white. What do the dems call folks like that? Uncle Tom’s?

    • Craig

      That was my point when writing about how minorities arent allowed to be republicans. Not because they arent welcome, but democrats and other minorities excoriate those who try to side with republicans.

      I voted for a black republican running for congress, but my congresswoman isnt going anywhere. But youre right, I wish I lived where I could vote for Mia Love, Marco Rubio, or Condi Rice.

  12. It’s shocking really that conservatives would want to populate the republican party with folks that share the same values and convictions, no matter what their skin color.

  13. Personally I’d love to see Watts make a comeback.

  14. Dan,

    “Um, because we want to be a nation of and for and by ALL people and not just a white elite?”

    You see, here’s the problem. We already consider our nation to be just that. As suggested by Craig, YOU want to run that crap about “not just a white elite”.

    “Because we are flawed humans with no one of us having perfect ideas and, with a diversity of ideas and values, we have the potential for wisdom beyond one limited set
    of view points?”

    This is meaningless. The net result is just what I’m promoting, the best ideas rising to the top. Diversity of ideas is a rhetorical construct and not a reality.

    At this point, I will say that I don’t believe we have the same definition of “diversity of ideas”. If you truly think that there is something special and unique about an idea because it sprang from the mind of a black dude (for example) as if it could only spring from a black dude, I’d say you’re nuts. That suggests there’s something unique because he’s black. I reject that outright as the foolishness it is.

    “Because, if I dismiss an opinion out of hand because I don’t think it’s as wise or good as MY opinion, I demonstrate a bit of arrogance that is not conducive to
    community living?”

    If you dismiss an opinion out of hand, that just makes you a lefty. I dismiss an opinion because upon full consideration, it’s crap. That’s not arrogance. That’s discernment.

    “Because, with a diversity of opinions comes a diversity of buy-in. “

    What the hell does this mean? If people buy in to bad ideas, they’re idiots. The only way this makes sense is that differing groups might buy in to differing ideas because it isn’t yet clear, without making a commitment to a given idea, if it has true value as opposed to merely looking good on paper. At the same time, if you are talking about something like the example of each state deciding how to handle health care within its own borders based on its own idea of what is best for them, then it still comes down to “best” ideas trumping all others. No diversity.

    “Because other people are coming from a different place than I am and may have insights that I may never have considered – or even would have been ABLE to consider
    because it was outside my range of experience.”

    That’s not diversity. That’s just bringing in pertinent info not yet considered by all to arrive at the best idea. No diversity once the best is discovered.

    “Because ideas are not One-Size-Fits-All.”

    Covered in the last two, but your example is not even close to the “best” opinion as it is flawed. Walking is slow, bicycling not much better and mass transit forces people to take a route not necessarily the most expedient. Thus, these are not wise, particularly since other means of supporting one’s health exist, and freedom of movement is important to most people.

    “Because forcing people to accept our ideas and goals builds resentment, whereas, allowing for all ideas to have input and respect, makes us more united and stronger.”

    There is far more forcing of ideas and opinions by you and lefties in general than is common amongst conservatives. And once again, not every idea is worthy of respect. Many, possibly most, are worthy of scorn and derision for their abject stupidity. The best ideas trump all others and render them without value.

    So yeah, I stand by my position.

  15. …and that is why you all will become irrelevant and disappear.

    Sorry, tough luck.

  16. “…and that is why you all will become irrelevant and disappear.”

    Because of logic and reason? I’m good with that.

    “Rather, I think there is a large segment of conservatism that just does not see value in diversity, or believe in seeking to promote diversity.”

    It is hard to see what does not exist, Dan. What does not exist is value in diversity. Conservatives see value in logic, reason and and simply give no regard to the source of them. That is why we are and have always been open to people of all races, ethnicities and genders. It doesn’t matter to us if a good idea comes from a Mexican woman who is an atheist lesbian. A good idea is a good idea and it stands on its own merits regardless of the person from whom it sprang. The benefit to society is the idea, not the fact that the woman is a woman who doesn’t speak English, has no chance at salvation and suffers from mental disorder. It doesn’t even matter what her personal life experiences are unless those experiences can bring information of value to anyone else.

    “Again, it seems to be more a manner of, “I wish black folk would just wise up and agree to come to our meetings…”

    Only to those lefties too hateful of conservatives and conservatism to view our positions honestly and objectively. We want LEFTIES to wise up regardless of their race, gender. And we indeed would prefer that the mentally disordered would wise up and recognize their character flaw and transcend them as we strive to do the same regarding our own. There is no benefit or wisdom in succumbing to one’s flaws.

    “BUT, I’m not willing to try to reach out to these folk from different backgrounds and acknowledge their collective wisdom and experiences…”

    I know of no conservative who does not maintain an standing invitation to all who believe they have a good idea or proposal. The problem is that people like you believe it requires us to give value to ideas and proposals that have none inherently. It’s apparent that YOU believe stupid ideas have equal value as you continue to vote for people who push them. We value our society and culture too highly to pretend we do any good by doing the same.

    ” I value diversity ONLY insofar as it would be nice to have folk of color to agree with us and they’re really pretty stupid not to – stupid, or maybe they’re just immoral enough and greedy enough to be ‘bought out’ by Dems giving stuff away…”

    This is idiocy. First, for continually pretending it has anything to do with race. When Romney spoke of bribery, he in no way limited the notion to race, but rather, gave examples that weren’t racial in nature at all.

    Secondly, it is NOT about “agreeing with us”, but is only about good ideas and opinions and not crappy ones. The fact is, give a good idea and we will agree with YOU. It is about ideas upon which there IS agreement by the most people FOR the most people. Not little groups of people in the name of “diversity” which is actually maintains the separation between all people.

    So the last quote I copied and pasted is clearly NOT an approach in the least bit considered by the right-wing, but instead, is more demonizing of the right by people like YOU. I believe, if done in reverse, you’d call it “slander”.

    “No, but the Dems have established an advantage over you all, in that they have actively worked to be inclusive and, as a result, they really do represent a great swath of America, rich in color and culture.”

    Bullshit. You’ve actively pandered to various groups, setting up false opponents in order to do so and offered group specific bribes in order to maintain power and control. You represent a too great swath of America, rich in greed and self-interest; a real “gimme” society. There’s nothing to brag about in THAT reality. I prefer the truer America that is evident in the conservative tent wherein all people work toward higher standards for the nation and themselves. Unfortunately, I fear that BETTER America is and has been disappearing. May God have mercy on us.

  17. Hello there…There are some communities or countries that don’t apreciate really different cultures amongst themselves. Take a look at how France banned burkas for example. They say that the reason behind it is because they do not support inequality between men and women but at the same time I see quite unfair to stop people practicing their culture.

    Another perspective to that would be that people only like diversity they are ok with. I don’t find communities, for example, really happy with gay couples around them. I know this takes us to another level and we’re going into discrimination but my point is that even if diversity is looked for, it is formed in an unatural way, and it only by approved cultures and this will never be true diversity.

    • While cultures can be diverse, there is not a need to respect all cultures because not all cultures are right and moral. I cannot respect Muslim culture because it is a culture of death, violence, abuse of women, intolerance, etc. Burkas are too often used to hide ID, and society needs to be able to identify people.

      As for “gay couples” being around, I don’t know anyone who has a problem with being around homosexuals; I know I’ve worked with many over the years. Their sexual proclivities do not have a bearing on their job (usually). But what we don’t want is what is happening now – redefining what marriage is and then forcing by law everyone to approve of it. That is not accepting diversity – it is being forced to accept sexual perversion. It has nothing to do with diversity. And it is another culture that I cannot respect any more than I could respect the culture of pedophiles, prostitutes, or adulterers.

      • You have a very strong view….it’s interesting to see what you think of the Muslim culture. Are you sure they are all like that? I have written a post on this issue and I have some views on which I am REALLY interested to see your opion. So,what do you think? Am I right or wrong?

        • Ethical Blabbing,
          Muslim culture does not equal Arab culture. Arabs may or may not be Muslim. In fact, as with those who call themselves Christians and yet have no clue about the faith and nor do they practice it, there also those who call themselves Muslims and yet have no clue about the faith nor do they practice it. But I was discussing real Muslim culture.

          Even if we are in other cultures, we should never compromise our own Christian values in order to prevent offense. For example, it is only Muslim cultures which require the burka, and there is no way a Christian woman should wear one just to avoid causing offense. That would be like locking oneself in a prison cell while in a foreign country just so as not to cause offense by mere appearance.

          If you study Islam instead of accepting what the media and politicians tell you, you will find that Islam is as I described it above, and not worthy of anyone’s respect.

  18. I think we ought to seek diversity. That is not to say that all ideas are equal, or all goals are equal- but there are different ways at arriving at common goals and we should seek to bring as many voices to the discussion as possible.
    In the case of “affirmative action”- the main thrust of this post- I think that we would be better off in a society where it was less necessary, but I don’t disagree with the concept. I think in many cases we seem to be practising “reverse racism” because of the ways in which companies and governments implement policies- when we could simply be increasing diversity by having certain hiring goals as opposed to quotas. It would be nice, for example, for companies that serve Latinos to have Spanish language employees- and target a certain percentage of their hires accordingly. Companies that sell product primarily or proportionally to women, for example, are going to be better served with women in decision making roles. The fact is that in many cases diversity is an asset that is as important as a functional skill set, so in cases where there are two candidates and the WASP is more qualified than the minority- the minority might still be the better hire. Companies and governments should have proactive goals to increase diversity, because it is profitable and better for the company. I don’t think that governments should be telling companies who to hire or promote, but I believe in companies, institutions, and governments right to institute “affirmative action” policies that benefit their wider goals.

    As far as the burqa ban in France goes- no one is saying that Muslims cannot practice Islam. They are saying that a Catholic man cannot walk around Paris wearing a ski-mask- no matter what he very personally and intimately believes. He cannot do this because it is a public safety concern that has very real potential consequences. So why can someone get a “pass” on this law for religious reasons? Sikh’s wear ceremonial daggers, should they be able to shop in Walmart with it strapped to their belt? Some Charismatic Christian sects believe in handling poisonous snakes- does this mean I should have to tolerate a guy in line at Walgreens with a cobra wrapped around his arm? You can practice your religion any which way you want up to and until it impacts the reasonable security of the public.

    • George

      I agree with your comment except (if I understand correctly) companies serving Latinos and women hiring a disproportionate number of those demographics is not “diversity” it is the perfect example of hiring the person best suited for the job. It’s smart business to hire a Latino or a woman.

      • I did not say “disproportionate”- I didn’t give a number. I think that you should hire as many bilingual employees as is necessary to deliver exceptional customer service to all customers. I think you should hire as many women as is necessary for a well represented female opinion. If you want to hire all women, or all men- or all WASPs, Catholics, Blacks, Latinos- whatever- that is up to you.

        • I know you didn’t “say” disproportionate, it was implied. I don’t see that as a bad thing either. I agree you should hire the best people for the job, and as you said if it means all women or Latinos so be it.

    • Oh, and George, I don’t think up in Canada celebrate Thanksgiving, so happy moose day or happy mayonnaise on french fries day or whatever you people celebrate up there.

  19. Sorry, I misread what you were getting at……
    I disagree that it is not diversity. It is organic diversity- and if you are going to redefine diversity to mean “any time someone is hired/brought in for the sole purpose of neo-liberal, post-modernist, relativist aesthetics” then, yes, I’m totally against diversity.

    We do not have any holiday this week-end. Our Thanksgiving is on your Columbus Day. But thank you for the warm wishes, and you should try mayonnaise on your french fries- it is really good.

    • George

      When I say diversity, I mean engineered diversity. As in diversity for diversitys sake.

      But I’ve had mayo on french fries and I do like it. I just don’t eat it because Im already too over weight and don’t need something else contributing to it.

  20. So I guess that nixes fries with cheese curds and gravy then? Better still, fries with cheese curds smothered in pulled pork in barbecue sauce. Somehow Canadians remain less overweight on average than Americans.
    You can’t redefine words to mean what you wish they meant. Diversity has a specific definition, and the answer to your titular question would be answered almost universally in the negative if you take diversity to mean “forced diversity”. Even most Liberals don’t want that kind of diversity.

  21. Let’s say that Company X has a customer base that is 20% Hispanic. They feel that they could serve this demographic better and potentially increase their customer base by having at least 6 employees who are capable of communicating in Spanish- better still if those employees are culturally Hispanic since their customers have cultural as well as linguistic needs. Company X presently has only 3 bilingual employees- who find their work days taxed by having to serve Hispanic customers in departments they do not work in.
    Why should diversity not be a “goal” in the hiring process of this company? Why is this goal “forced” when it is organically apparent based on customer demographics?

    • George,

      Here’s a better example. The Columbus, OH police dept. couldn’t hire whites in 1975 (when I wanted on) because the percentage of blacks on the force did not equal the percentage of blacks in town. They had to hire blacks until the percentages were equal. It seems not as many blacks applied as did whites, and their performance on the entry tests weren’t as good so they were not qualified. A lawsuit by a black man who wasn’t hired because he couldn’t pass the written test is what caused this forced diversity.

    • George

      I’m not sure what you’re not understanding, and I say that as nicely as possible because you are one of the more reasonable dissenters here. You are talking about diversity as a goal for a better business model. There is nothing wrong with hiring people for what they bring to the company. In your example their hispanicness is actually a benefit to the bottom line and not mere tokenism. I am opposed to diversity for diversitys sake.

  22. I don’t think I’m not understanding. I’m using the word “diversity” to mean “a group of people who bring heterogeneous experiences and skills to the larger whole”- and that can be useful or useless experiences and skills. This is why I think the question of diversity is nuanced and case specific.
    You are using the word “diversity” to mean “impelling people to bring in uninterested or unqualified parties for the sake of being politically correct”- and by that definition diversity is horrible.
    How about you link to one of the many dictionary sites around the internet that shows your definition is more common usage than mine (or even proper usage) so that you can prove me ignorant?
    So in my case of Company X the “diversity hires” were bringing diversity into the workplace that was beneficial to the organization, but in Glenn’s case the Columbus PD was trying to reach a noble goal in a way that was counterproductive and deleterious to the force as a whole. There is a way that the CPD could have reached those goals in a productive way, but they trusted bureaucracy as opposed to reason.
    Both of those cases involve “diversity”- both have well intentioned and reasonable goals- it is the execution that changes the success of the process.

  23. George,
    In your own example, the point isn’t diversity and that’s, uh, the point. The hiring of Hispanics to serve a Hispanic clientele is not a conscious push for diversity regardless of the fact that the employee population might indeed become more ethnically diverse as a result. I can’t imagine how having Hispanic employees would make a difference if the WASPish employees all spoke Spanish in order to communicate with customers whose first language is Spanish. Your example suggests that communication is the main issue. But, even if somehow having Latinos as employees increases the likelihood of more profits, more profits is the reason for hiring Latinos, not diversity. Indeed, this would even be true if the employer stated, “We need more diversity in our staff to insure more profits.” when in fact, he is moving toward a less diverse staff by insisting they be more Latin.

  24. My example is a conscious push for diversity- it is a conscious push for a diversity of skill sets. What you and John want is to narrow the scope of diversity to only non-functional diversity; you seek to redefine it as something that is either good or bad. I’m not saying diversity is always good. I’m saying diversity can be functional or superfluous. It can be reasoned or unreasonable- it is situation dependant.
    Even in Glenn’s previous example the reason was functional but the results were deleterious because some bureaucrat decided that ethnic background should be the primary hiring criteria as opposed to a weighted factor. The Columbus PD would be better off if it included officers who had shared experiences with the population it served. Does that mean that it should only hire blacks until it reached parity with demographics? No. Does that mean that if a black man with an appropriate skill set applies for a position he should be weighted more positively than someone with more policing experience who happens to be a WASP? Yes. He should be the preferred candidate because policing experience is just one of the criteria for hiring someone to fill that position. The black candidate might bring many other skills and experiences that make him a more well rounded addition.
    That is a case of hiring for functional diversity. They are not hiring for diversity’s sake- they are hiring to fill a void in the skill set of their existing workforce.
    I’m not denying that we can seek diversity for the wrong reasons, or for the right reasons but go about it the wrong way. I’m saying that you insist that diversity only mean “unnecessary diversity”- and unless those two words are redundant beside each other, then the former word modifies the latter.

    • We aren’t narrowing the scope, we are speaking of a specific kind of diversity. The fact that you recognize this and agree with my premise tell me you’re just being difficult.

  25. Then change your title to “Why we shouldn’t seek diversity”, since the only kind of diversity you wish to acknowledge is the superfluous, deleterious, and shallow kind.
    We obviously shouldn’t seek that kind of diversity.

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