Tags: Defining | 'Diversity' | Down

Defining 'Diversity' Down

Monday, 18 October 2004 12:00 AM

But today, the word “diversity” is used by organizations and the media simply as a shibboleth for someone’s idea of racial, gender, or sexual orientation proportionality.

Over the last decade, regardless of how simplistically defined or applied, the diversity concept has become the “politically correct” mainstream view, an article of faith among college admissions officers, corporate human resources, newspaper publishers and many other private and public organizations. It is rarely questioned.

Such officials energetically argue that their institutions are much better off when persons with identifiable racial, gender and sexual characteristics are admitted, hired or otherwise given preference for these reasons, among others. In practice, these usually have to meet some agreed-upon statistical norm that is generally kept secret from the public.

Buttressed by the choplogic of the U.S. Supreme Court, university officials assert that better education for all students is a direct result from diversity admissions. Corporate hiring managers claim that diversity hiring is imperative to meet the demands of the marketplace. Media publishers say that columnists and reporters chosen along diversity lines speak directly to the concerns or represent the thoughts of many in their readership.

These assertions are manifestly baseless. Although it might sound counterintuitive, no direct connection has ever been established between hiring people on the basis of these particular group characteristics and the overall benefit to any of these organizations. It tacitly assumes that racial, gender and sexual-orientation groups think monolithically, make unique contributions, and that such groups can only be represented if their advocates come from their midst.

At bottom, this is a crafty way to introduce political ideology and opinion into the organization. As a method of ensuring a wide range of thought, however, it is only another example of the Big Lie, one that has established its currency by banging the can for many years.

Conservatives and other critics of diversity hiring have long noted the hypocrisy of such pious claims. Colleges and universities expend great efforts on trying to assure a diverse student body. But in case after case, these efforts seem only to extend to racial, gender and sexual issues, not to diversity of thought. This virus has now reached down to infect high schools and even lower.

The solons at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Mich., for example, recently got their collective knuckles rapped by a federal judge for excluding the views of a Catholic student from a discussion about gays and lesbians held in March 2002.

A few weeks ago, the judge ordered the school to pay the $102,738 legal bill of senior student Elizabeth Hansen, who sued the school for refusing her request to include a clergyman on the panel who represented her traditional Catholic beliefs.

In setting up the panel, it seems, the high school organizers only invited pro-homosexual clerics to participate, wishing to promote the view that religion and homosexuality are compatible.

The judge’s 70-page opinion cut to the quick: “The notion of sponsorship of one viewpoint to the exclusion of another hardly seems to further the school’s purported objective of celebrating diversity.”

Earlier this month, another case of diversity bungling captured headlines across the nation when South Brunswick, N.J. middle school language arts teacher Shiba Pillai-Diaz was ordered by administration officials to remove a photograph of President and Mrs. Bush and their dog from her classroom bulletin board, after receiving complaints from various parents.

Although it’s not clear if Ms. P-D engaged either in denigrating the opposing party, or in the attempt to proselytize any students, her diverse opinions gave way to the bulletin board being taken down and herself having been reassigned to non-classroom duties.

Notwithstanding the legion of diversity-mongers currently active throughout the warp and woof of our society, diversity as we know it will someday prove to be only a passing fad, relegated to that immense waste bin of stale language, when and until another pompous and vacuous phrase comes along to be eagerly dribbled from the lips of those who mindlessly repeat them.

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But today, the word "diversity" is used by organizations and the media simply as a shibboleth for someone's idea of racial, gender, or sexual orientation proportionality. Over the last decade, regardless of how simplistically defined or applied, the diversity concept has...
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2004-00-18
Monday, 18 October 2004 12:00 AM
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