Are You Really an Advocate of Diversity, or Are You a Hypocrite?
Diversity is an important topic. The inclusion of people from different races, genders, cultures and backgrounds should be taught and reinforced. In the wake of the George Floyd incident, race has returned as a dominant issue in our country. Calls to protect and promote diversity have increased, with many of the strongest voices condemning those who they perceive to be pushing back against that movement. But what those who insist they are true advocates of diversity don’t realize is that they are, in fact, guilty of the offense they accuse others of.
Here’s what this means:
A group of people comprised of different genders, colors, sexual orientations, and ethnicities but which all hold the same beliefs and value systems is not truly diverse; It’s just an echo-chamber that breeds stagnation and prejudice against others. It promotes the very anti-diverse intolerant mindsets it pretends to stand against. Hypocrisy at its finest, if you will.
Diversity is not just about skin color, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.
It is about free thought and value systems and morals. Let’s take one of the most controversial topics as an example:
Fifty people in a room, who all look differently, speak several different languages, come from different socioeconomic classes, represent an array of sexual orientations, and all agree that anyone who voted for Trump is a racist, or who believes that all cops are bad, or who believes that anyone who does not express their own views about these topics in precisely the same way deserves to be censored and disrespected, does not actually want diversity. What they want is conformity.
In order to be truly diverse, one must be willing to go beyond the superficial aspect of appearance and sexual orientations. One must be willing to have their own beliefs and value systems questioned and introduced to challenges. One must extend the same respect to the rights of fellow citizens who think differently than they do, as they demand for themself and those they deem to be morally correct.
Diversity is not about taking people who look, love, and speak differently and compelling them to think the same.
It is about embracing different thoughts and beliefs, and allowing for the possibility that you can learn from those. It’s about taking the time to explore narratives and look at people you know, who happen to think differently than you do, and put in the effort to understand them. It’s about not insisting some should be ashamed of themself for acting in a lawful and constitutionally protected manner to exercise their right to vote or peacefully protest. It’s about recognizing the same difference between peaceful protestors and those who riot on one side, as you expect to be recognized on yours.
Diversity boils down to respect. Either you respect other human beings, even if you disagree with them, or you do not.
Before we have a chance at moving forward, it’s important for each of us to take an honest look at ourselves and evaluate the integrity of our actions; Do they support our words?
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