A Test of Your Understanding of Diversity

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

A one-question test reveals that diversity is as much about exclusion as it is about inclusion.

The purpose of this paper is to test your understanding of diversity and its related movements of equity and inclusion.  We’ll begin with the five precepts of diversity and then turn to a one-question test.

The precepts:

  1. The greater the racial and ethnic diversity within an organization, the stronger and higher-performing the organization.
  2. Diversity is furthered by increasing the percentage of racial and ethnic minorities in an organization at all levels, at least to the same percentage as their percentage in the nation’s overall population, but ideally beyond that.
  3. Special consideration and even preferences should be given to members of minority groups that have suffered injustices, that are lacking in political power, that are lagging in income and educational achievement, and that are underrepresented at the top levels of government, industry, media, and academia.
  4. It is fair, just, and legal to make way for groups in the minority by holding back those in the majority, especially given that those in the majority have accrued power and privilege through oppression and racism.
  5. To accomplish the foregoing, it is necessary to track everyone’s race and ethnicity and to intercede in hiring and promotions when diversity isn’t increasing fast enough. This is the primary job of directors of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)

Let’s now test your understanding of diversity.

Below is a partial list of the hundreds of ethnocultural groups in the world and the United States.  Read through the list and pick out the groups that should be included in DEI initiatives, based on the foregoing precepts.  To repeat, an eligible group should be a numerical minority, should be underrepresented, should have suffered injustices somewhere in its history, and should lag in income and educational achievement.

Albanians, Altaians, Armenians, Assyrians, Azerbaijanis, Balochs, Bedouins, Camminanti, Chechens, Cypriots, Doms, Druze, Kurds, Maronites, Moldovans, Pashtuns, Persians, Roma, Samaritans, Semites, Serbs, Sicilians, Slovenians, Tatars, Turkmens, Uzbeks, and Walloons.

Now that you’ve made your selections, here’s the correct answer:  None of the above groups should be included in DEI initiatives.

You might find that answer puzzling in view of the fact that most of the groups, if not all of them, meet the DEI criteria.  But you overlooked an equally important fact:  that all of these diverse groups have a whitish complexion and are thus classified as white for purposes of diversity.  The unspoken DEI rule and automatic disqualifier is that people pigeonholed as white cannot be included in DEI initiatives, regardless of their ethnicity, physical features, culture, history, or socioeconomic circumstance.

If that strikes you as unfair, illogical, and inconsistent, you should keep in mind that DEI, in spite of its lofty rhetoric, is not necessarily about fairness, logic, or consistency.  In keeping with human nature, it’s also about guilt by association, tribalism, self-interest, resentment, and retribution.  Moreover, DEI is based on simple narratives of good versus evil, black versus white, victim versus victimizer, and one tribe versus another. These narratives are stripped of nuance, complexity, historical context, and anthropological and sociological objectivity.

The guilt by association stems from the fact that the United States was founded by White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, who subjugated Native Americans, introduced slavery, and engaged in other injustices.  Therefore, all other people with whitish skin who came to America after them are guilty by association, including Eastern Europeans, Southern Europeans, and Middle Easterners—people who were classified as non-white by the WASPs and treated as such.

DEI dogmatists seem incapable of recognizing the deep diversity among people classified as white.

They also seem incapable of admitting that the WASPs of yesteryear had many positive attributes, including a belief in liberal democracy and a constitutional republic with a bill of rights, or in other words, a government with self-correcting features.  Once these humanistic ideals were institutionalized, it was inevitable that the contradiction between them and slavery would eventually come to a head. Even slave-holding founders saw the hypocrisy.  Also, of course, many WASPs were abolitionists.

Cognitive dissonance pervades the DEI movement, most notably in ignoring the racism, prejudices, and injustices perpetrated by groups that are portrayed as victims and thus supposedly above such human failings.  This is especially so with respect to Hispanics, who are considered eligible for DEI initiatives, although Spaniards and Portuguese were worse than WASPs with respect to the slave trade and the brutalization of indigenous peoples.  DEI makes no distinction between Hispanics who are descendants of oppressors and those who are descendants of victims of oppression.

If Hispanics can be included in DEI initiatives, then for sure there is no justifiable reason for excluding such groups as those listed in the foregoing test.  After all, these groups had nothing to do with the subjugation of Native Americans or with the slave trade, and they certainly can’t be accused of being privileged.

But don’t expect DEI dogmatists to admit that.  That’s because DEI is as much about exclusion as it is about inclusion. 

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