What have you done for me lately?
It’s a question we sometimes pose, especially when we’re after someone to do something nice or useful for us, or to grant a favor. There’s no such thing as a perfect quid pro quo in life, but every so often it’s appropriate to ask what the other party has done to help in an hour of need. Every parent knows children always ask for/demand things without offering to “pay for” the trinket or service in return. Well, what have you done for me lately, kid?
In our ever-evolving fractious political context, we hear a lot about diversity these days. The dictionary defines “diversity” as thus: “the condition of having or being composed of differing elements, especially: the inclusion of people of different races.” A lot of us have been instructed since childhood that “diversity” is a good, desirable and noble thing. If that were always true, then why do teams have “uniforms” or countries adopt one national anthem and national flag?
In other words, even in “diversity” there are contradictions. President Joe Biden and his Democrat colleagues seem particularly proud that his cabinet is ethnically diverse, frequently brag about how it “looks like America” and includes a virtual rainbow coalition membership of national origins, sexual orientations, genders (including transgender), religions and creeds. Instead of the proverbial melting pot, Biden’s bunch is a salad bowl full of different ingredients.
Again, we’re told by the powers-that-be that this is a good thing, though I’m not quite sure how any individual benefits just from being in the same room with someone whose genetics originate on the other side of the globe. Someone needs to explain this so we can gather the true meaning of “diversity” apart from the political class’s and establishment media’s blabbering about it.
As is clear from the Democrats’ overuse of “diversity” to describe warm and fuzzy advantages, there are those who are quite “diverse” -- from the majority -- yet still feel as though they’re being singled out for unfair scrutiny because of it. Former first lady Michelle Obama is one such person.
“In an interview on ‘CBS This Morning’ that (aired yesterday), Obama explained why she felt she needed to speak out after a Minneapolis jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty in the murder of George Floyd last year...
“Speaking to CBS’ Gayle King, Obama said despite the verdict, many in the Black community still feel certain anxieties. ‘Many of us still live in fear, as we go to the grocery store, or worry about our — walking our dogs — or allowing our children to get a license.’
“Obama also elaborated on the fears she has for her daughters, Malia and Sasha Obama. ‘Every time they get in a car by themselves, I worry about what assumption is being made by somebody who doesn't know everything about them,’ Obama said. ‘The fact that they are good students and polite girls. But maybe they're playin' their music a little loud. Maybe somebody sees the back of their head and makes an assumption.’”
Who knows, maybe the Big O’s main squeeze was referring to her family’s ritzy Washington DC neighborhood, or possibly their seaside multi-million dollar flat on Martha’s Vineyard. No doubt the police in both of those locales are a collection of backwards-butt Trump supporters who instinctively see gangbanger criminals anytime they spot black hair on a well styled head.
No doubt these non-diverse fools haven’t yet received the proper federal indoctrination into “diversity” being a great thing! What about economic “diversity”? Shouldn’t the Obamas embed themselves in a poor community and then send their daughters out to drive around? Or are they too afraid there aren’t enough police (white and otherwise) who will protect their offspring from random gang violence and drive-by shootings? If Michelle is from Chicago, she certainly knows all about the subject.
Wasn’t “diversity” supposed to save America from itself? While I concede that it’s good for school kids and adults to get to know people of different backgrounds, cultures, languages, political affiliations and religious beliefs, it’s extremely hard to tell how “diversity” in skin color alone automatically enriches anyone’s life.
There’s an old saying that goes something like, “If everyone in a room is thinking the same thing, then not everyone is really thinking.” Place five adult humans at a table and you’re likely to have five different opinions, though some pronouncements may be close to the same. Similarly, place five citizens from five countries in the same place and the dynamic’s not likely to change much regardless of ethnic background.
The same “diversity” crowd who’s obsessed with skin color fails to recognize there could be vast distinctions in beliefs and cultural values, even among people who look the same. I was fascinated by a conversation I had with my Zambian pastor a few years ago where he described how each African tribe had its own customs and it often differed from their neighbors, even if the groups were only separated by short distances. Or how about Christians, Muslims and Jews all occupying the same neighborhood in an American city?
It’s common knowledge that there are Muslim “enclaves” in Europe where local police don’t dare cross the line to enforce their own laws. Can someone say how “diversity” has benefitted the people of Europe? Has the massive influx of millions of north African Muslims helped the French people understand themselves better? Where’s the value in this?
My folks’ ancestors settled in Minnesota (you know, the Land of 10,000 Lakes and Derek Chauvin), where the residents’ skin color was mostly the same (primarily pasty white with maybe a smattering of native Americans), but their geographic backgrounds were very “diverse”. Settlers from Germany were intermingled with those from Scandinavia and to a lesser extent, the British Isles and Ireland. My DNA is primarily from Germany, England and Scotland with traces of French and Irish. I’m a “mutt” like most Americans (except for Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren, of course).
Does this make me “diverse”? Back in the old days, the German immigrants were suspicious of the Scandinavians, and vice versa. Protestants and Lutherans didn’t mix with Catholics. The town cemetery had both a Catholic and non-Catholic section. Yet they eventually melded together to become Americans, mostly losing their native languages within a generation or two. They lost their “diversity” yet still prospered. How can it be?
Why, then, are American educators so hung up on “diversity”? And why doesn’t Michelle Obama give it lip service?
I remember having a conversation with an older family member when I was in college. Fresh off a quarter’s worth of indoctrination, I was armed with lots of meaningless platitudes such as “America’s strength is in its diversity.” My sibling looked at me and said, “How do you benefit by being in the same class with someone who’s ‘diverse’”? I guess it didn’t really hit home until then, because at Ucla, I had lots of foreign-born classmates. Did it broaden my education because I sat next to a Vietnam-born girl in my political science class studying the Supreme Court?
Aside from the definition listed above, what does “diversity” even mean? The late Michael Jackson certainly seemed confused by the notion. He came from a traditional black family yet evolved (devolved?) into the white skinned “Wacko Jacko” that we recognized for his eccentrics and odd fetishes as much as his dancing and singing talent. Jackson seemed to downplay “diversity” in preaching that we’re all members of the human race.
If it can be said that all liberal ideas are based on false assumptions, there’s probably no greater example than in the fallacy surrounding “diversity”. It sounds nice for Joe Biden to boast about having the most “diverse” cabinet ever, but what does it mean in practice? Institutionalized and sanctioned prejudice? Seriously, what has “diversity” done for you lately?
Joe Biden cabinet
European Muslim enclaves