Thursday, October 01, 2015

Diversity Thursday

With our military in general joining our Navy by joining the cancerous and sexist political fad of "Lean in Circles" and other assorted commissariat programs of the left - it is tempting to retreat from the previous statements made on DivThu that if you get a broad enough view of things, the trend is heading our way towards a more open, honest, discrimination free, meritocratic culture, and away from the forces of division and sectarianism.

Let not your hearts be troubled, a little buck'n up is due.

Over at the blog for The Chronicle on Higher Education, Ilan Stavans, professor of Latin American and Latino culture at Amherst College, fully embraces what "diversity" really means in 2015. We have another data point - from academia's ethnic study swamps in Yankeedom nonetheless - that smart and honest minds are willing to step forward and call what they see;
I have become allergic to the word diversity. It feels empty, or worse, like a chore. Words lose capital when they are overused or when the cultural climate that fostered their meaning changes. Diversity is a good example.
the fervor behind it belongs to past decades. Our cultural moment is an altogether different one. America is already deeply, irrevocably diverse. Where do we go from here?
Not long ago, I delivered a lecture to 500 students at a small liberal-arts college in the Northeast that uses the phrase “people of color” in its brochures, even though its student body is more than 95 percent white. (Believe me, it takes only seconds for visitors to a campus to recognize a collective lie). I talked about “fake diversity.” My comments received enthusiastic applause from the young audience, while administrators looked embarrassed in the back. Not that they were the guilty ones. In my experience, obstacles to diversity often come from a higher level, like an institution’s Board of Trustees, where outdated ideas may simmer.
It seems to me that when college administrators open a diversity center or appoint a chief diversity officer these days, they are showcasing an outmoded mentality. That center is likely to become a ghetto, reserved for those who aren’t like everyone else. The objective of diversity is no longer to make groups or projects more heterogeneous; instead, it is to find a new normal for a diverse ecosystem.

In short, diversity feels jingoistic, its message old-fashioned. It has lost cachet. Americans no longer strive to be pluralistic; we already are. Our present objective is to find out what kind of balance our pluralism can sustain, and whether such political, social, and cultural transformations will ever truly lead to e pluribus unum, “of the many, one.”

What we need is real leadership willing to stand up for the organization they lead, as opposed to meekly accepting the slander of the hate-filled, bitterness klatsches that assumes that the military is simply a gaggle of racists, sexists, homophobes and generally too full of the one group people are free to attack as unworthy, white (non-hispanic, natch) males.

The US Navy and the military in general used to be at the leading edge of the culture in race relations - yet since the tenure of Roughead as CNO, we have accelerated a backwards drift in to the direction of the most retrograde, patronizing, fraud encouraging, and divisive understanding of diversity as practiced in the bowels of the sociopolitical movement's breakout in the early 1970s.

Until then, we wait.

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