Insistence on diversity is the opposite of diversity

In a letter to the editor of the Daily Bruin, UCLA’s campus newspaper, a UC Berkeley alumnus encapsulates the problem with obsessing over diversity.  His view mirrors my own on this issue.

Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream speech embodies what true diversity looks like.  True diversity is achieved when people are not assessed by some demographic they happen to fulfill.  A person’s qualifications are rarely tied to demographical subsets.  My skin color, gender, and sexual interests are irrelevant to my proficiency as an employee, a leader, or a student.

When you argue that more diversity is needed in a particular arena, you are insinuating that the people currently present are the wrong color or gender.  That is racist and sexist.  Saying there needs more of another race, gender, or sexuality, you are stating there are too many of what’s there.  This usually means there are “too many white heterosexual men”.  The evidence that this is a racist, sexist statement is that in changing it to “too many black, lesbian, women”, is generally accepted as offensive.

We don’t need diversity and we don’t need quotas.  What we need is good people regardless of their demographic.

 

Comments

  1. Hello John Barron,
    In the above comments you and your source are wrong. The problem in the United States of America is that there is an excessive population of white males in all leadership positions throughout business, government and education. Quotas are necessary because from a historical standpoint it is well established that white males have a tendency to promote white males to positions of authority even when such people are not as well qualified as everyone else (essentially 90% of the population of the Earth, that is all of the non-white, non-male, non-Christian, non-heterosexual, non-WASPs).
    True diversity won’t come to the United States of America until the white males become an oppressed whiny powerless minority.

    • David

      So your position is that MLK was wrong. We shouldnt judge people by the content of their character? We should recognize skin color as a qualification?

      I disagree. I think a person’s color is irrelvant to their knowledge, skills, and abilities.

  2. Agreed

  3. paynehollow says:

    John, I have to think that, at least in some circumstances, you disagree with the notion that diversity is not valuable or to be encouraged.

    A simple question: Do you think diversity matters in parental gender? Or are you fine with two moms or two dads as parents?

    Dan

    • Dont change the subject dan. The topic is diversity in employment, education, institution and whatnot. Go ahead and take it there, but I dont have the patience for that with you.

    • I’ll address this stupidity, John.

      Gender roles can only be filled by the proper gender. But to be consistent with the issue, you would have to plead that all mothers must be a mix of races, not genders. Most positions of employment are not gender specific, so attempting to be “diverse” by filling enough positions with either gender to reflect the population at large is idiotic. The idea is to select whomever is best qualified. The best qualified to be a mother? A woman. That’s a fact. A man is not qualified to be a mother. A child needs a mother and a father.

  4. lem with this line of thinking as displayed in this post is that it does not in my opinion lend itself to seeing the big picture of equal societal representation honestly. For example if a 10,000 member church organization with 500 staff members oversees a congregation of 30 percent white 30 percent black 30 percent Hispanic and 10 percent Asian have for generations maintained a 99% White staff, I don’t see that as an adequate representation of the Spirit of the kingdom of God.
    Insert any institution into this scenario. If anyone truly believes that this is a conceptual relic of America’s distant past, then they are dilusional. An honest look in the mirror is required to limit hypocrisy. No amount of words will convince at true mirror to conform in agreement to a person’s desire or a political subset party’s desire to say “I’m not racist or prejudice” yet continue to subscribe to anti middle class and anti equality policies. It’s time to come out of the carnival fun house of distortion mirrors. Reality beckons!

    • The important question is why the staff is white, not whether theyre white. Maybe minorities dont apply, maybe the ones who have werent qualified, maybe its discrimination. The existence of a disparity does not tell you if the disparity is nefarious.

      • The problem is your comments basically say that the inquiry itself is racist. There is no allowance for pursuit of justice with that mindset.

        • Kingdom

          I am saying that. To declare there are too many of a particular race carries an underlying attitude. If I said there are too many blacks in pro basketball, and that we need to institute more diversity, your response would be what?

      • I would say playing athletics is one area of society where black athleticism and intellectual aptitude have been allowed, I repeat allow to florish for the capitalist value they represent. But is the number of black NBA players suffeciently represented in black team coaching, management and ownership?
        No? Then I quote your comment, “The important question is why…?”

        • Would you say that not enough blacks are applying for those executive jobs? Not enough of the black and latino and asian applicants are sufficiently qualified? Who lives in that fairytale land where your reality is that all applicants for all or even many of the nation’s executive jobs are given equal consideration? In that world, does the phrase “does not possess the desired qualities” given to minorities who lose out on the jobs that are ultimately given to equally qualified or slightly less qualified White applicants mean that the White guy gave the interview answers with a better sounding accent or something?

        • The answer is that those black players have proven themselves to possess the level of skill necessary to dominate the league. I simply don’t want a white guy on my team just because he’s white. I want him because he’s better than other players available. And that’s the only way players are selected in collegiate and pro-level sports.

          Yet in business and industry, we’re not allowed to do that. Both a business and a professional sports team are privately owned, but there’s a double standard. A business wants to compete and win. The owner will, if not forced otherwise, to select those applicants that qualify by HIS standards and those standards will change if his goals aren’t met.

  5. Hello John Barron,
    You ask, “So your position is that MLK was wrong. We shouldnt judge people by the content of their character? We should recognize skin color as a qualification? ”
    I would suggest that you failed to comprehend MLK’s sentiment as expressed in his speech within the context of a nation which had a history of 400 years of slavery, 100 years of segregation, and (at that time and still so today) an overwhelming if not exclusively white elite WASP ruling class.
    Have you forgotten that Martin Luther King was assassinated because of expressing these ideals?

    • His context was not so hard to understand. It was as we hold, that skin color is absolutely insignificant. He was shot because the shooter felt otherwise, but you seem to support the shooter’s position. We don’t. We’re on board with the reasons why he was shot. To say one should judge on the content of character does not support a push for diversity. It supports a push for merit based hiring and promotion.

      What’s more, we hold with King that we are all of the same race, the human race, and the fact that all businesses, schools and organizations are comprised of members of that race indicate we’re as diverse as we need to be.

  6. paynehollow says:

    The point is, John, that MANY conservatives not only value diversity, they would INSIST that a child needs both a male and female parent for an optimal childhood.

    The point being, there are times and places where a diversity is good, even conservatives think so, as in my example. Another example: I’ve a relative with dementia. She has all sons, no daughters. But the thing is, she likes having female visitors. Now, the sons can visit regularly and be truly great sons, but they can NEVER be female visitors and that is what this patient needs/wants.

    Many kids in schools could benefit from having male role models, especially black role models. Now, we can hire a great number of fine female teachers, but none of them will ever be a male role model.

    Valuing diversity is NOT to say “We don’t like white males, white males are BAD.” Rather, it’s valuing what is contributed by having diversity. You are mistaken on that point.

    I have to think that, if you think about it, you will agree on the principle, given that I believe you have argued in favor of both male and female parents.

    Respectfully,

    Dan

    • Dan

      Why are you changing the subject? Like I said, im talking about diversity in employment, schools, and institutions. Why are you changing the scenario?

    • Dan,

      Your examples are incredibly stupid. You demented relative is not an argument for diversity, though the argument does indicate your own dementia. In fact, it demonstrates your relative does not want diversity if she like female visitors. Liking her sons does not have any bearing on her preference for visitors (unless she prefers ANY female visitor over her sons), Most mothers do not regard their own children the same way they regard people who are not their children. A mother might love her son more than anyone in the world, but hate dealing with men. This is not uncommon, especially with regards to mothers who are leftist feminists. So this example is just as stupid as your parental example.

  7. Let’s try to focus our ideology.
    James 1:8 KJV
    A double minded person is unstable in all his ways.

  8. paynehollow says:

    Me, too. I value diversity in schools, in employment, in churches and in every day life. And I value diversity NOT because I devalue the dominant, but simply because I value diversity. As do you, in some arenas that apparently must go unmentioned here.

    So, to be clear, I’m NOT “declaring there are too many of a particular race.” I’m declaring that diversity of ideas and backgrounds is a good and noble thing.

    It’s akin to saying, “While I like vanilla ice cream just by itself, it’s so much better with chocolate sauce and rainbow sprinkles and nuts and gummy bears.” To note that you like the whole congregation of flavors is NOT to denigrate vanilla, just noting the great value added by having more diversity.

    Is that not reasonable? (Or am I not allowed to bring up analogies?)

    ~Dan

    • No Dan, its not reasonable unless youre advocating that I can just as easily say I dont like those things in my bowl with my vanilla ice cream. Allong your analogy, I can just as well have only vanilla ice cream in my bowl.

    • You shouldn’t bring up analogies because you have shown a great inability to form a valid one.

  9. paynehollow says:

    My point, John, is that it is not saying anything negative about “vanilla” to say that I value having all the other flavors added. Do you agree that the person who likes many flavors added to their vanilla ice cream is NOT saying there is something wrong with vanilla?

  10. The problem here with the arguments put forth by people like Dan is that diversity for diversity’s sake has value. But there is little that a person brings to the table simply for being a different race or ethnicity that has value simply because of that person’s race or ethnicity. One might say that a black man has experiences no one in the room has had. But that could be true if everyone else in the room is also black. It isn’t the race, it’s the experience of the individual. By the same token, there could very well be a person of a different race with the same sort of experiences.

    I have absolutely no problem with being in a group of all one race, from one country of the same age and gender if all of them are there based on their ability to do whatever the group was formed to do. In the same way, I have no problem if I must transfer to another area, join a different group formed for the same purpose, and the existing members are all of different ages, genders, nationalities or races. None of that matters if they are the best people for the purpose. The second group is in no way superior to the other, nor is the first superior to the second, especially if the results of their work is the same.

    The push for diversity highlights differences of no significance. It prohibits the culture’s ability to get beyond meaningless differences that divide us and maintains the division.

  11. Question is: if you needed heart surgery and you happened to be white would you want a. a black surgeon, b. the most qualified black surgeon or c. the most qualified surgeon who happened to be black. I must say ,not my original thought but from Walter E. Williams whom I respect very much.

    • Gary

      Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell are my favorite economists who write on a popular level. They seem to fish out the data for what people instinctually already know about society.

      I choose C.

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