We need to talk about “Diversity”

You’ve probably heard these words before. Something to the tune of, “To promote a more diverse environment where going to do_______.” It doesn’t matter what is present in that blank. Because it won’t be a kind of diversity that is helpful, or makes people appreciate women and minorities.

The whole idea of having a more diverse environment, is meant to try and give women and minorities a leg up in the workplace. The general idea being, that the reason there isn’t a more diverse crowd, is because those people are somehow being disadvantaged from being a woman or a minority.

But where is the proof of this? There’s been no concrete proof that this is even a problem everywhere. A lot of this relies on location. You’re going to see more diverse faces in a work place when you live in a diverse multi-cultural city, than when you live in a mostly white rural area.

Diversity isn’t something that you can force into being in a given field. If it has to be promoted in this day and age, when there are so few barriers, then surely there must be some other reasons for why a job place isn’t more diverse. Reasons that may have nothing to do with an employer.

However, in all this talk of affirmative action and diversity quotas, there are questions not being asked. There are important questions that demand an answer. For example, why is it that people only care about diversifying high paying jobs? You don’t see people pushing for there to be more female ditch diggers and trash collectors, but they will endlessly complain about a lack of women in STEM fields.

When was the last time you heard someone say, “We have a diversity gap in agriculture!”? Now certainly there are Black, Hispanic, and even Asian farmers in the U.S., but a good majority of farmers are still white and male. When was the last time that you saw people showing up to high schools to try and convince inner city kids to enter the fine career of agriculture?

But you know that’s how the politics of promoting diversity works. Women and minorities complain about there being a diversity gap in high paying jobs, then companies get bullied into enacting affirmative action policies to avoid accusations of racism and sexism. Rinse and repeat.

In this muddled realm of identity politics, you are defined by your race and gender regardless of your economic background. Due to this push to create a more diverse environment, people have rolled out the red carpet for women and minorities that might not even be as skilled as their seemingly less diverse counterparts. Which leads me to my next question.

What sort of moron believes that this cures racism and sexism? If there are people getting a job just for being female or an ethnic minority, how is anyone supposed to take them seriously? It’s the equivalent of seeing an incredibly inept rich kid who gets a job because his father is someone important. As a result you respect that person less because they didn’t earn their position in the company.

Even worse is the notion that it isn’t obvious to people when someone is a diversity hire who doesn’t take the job seriously. Which is another thing. How do you expect someone to take a job seriously when it’s obvious to them that they were only hired for a diversity quota? How does this not mess up things for women and minorities that actually had to bust their asses to get where they are? How does this help them?

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have people in STEM fields that know what they are doing. I would not give two shits about STEM fields being mostly white and male if it meant that the job was done properly. At least then the people who made it in that weren’t white or male would know that they got in on merit alone.

Imagine how it feels to work your whole life trying to do something that most people can not even begin to conceive of doing. You get good grades in high school, then college, and finally you land a job. Then you find yourself unable to know if you were accepted because you are an asset or because you’re a novelty that makes the workplace look like one of those cheesy kindergarten posters of multi-cultural children holding hands around a globe.

That is what affirmative action really does. It turns women and minorities into novelties, and assumes them to be disadvantaged by definition. It makes it easier for people with lesser skills to get in by lowering the bar, which screws things up for women and minorities that actually work hard. It removes the incentives they might have for pushing themselves beyond their limits, and rewards mediocrity. All so that people can please the PC police and convince them that these work places are progressive.

Don’t get me wrong, discrimination absolutely happens. But it isn’t something that is only done by white people. Everyone discriminates to some degree by having certain preferences. For example, a family owned restaurant might only want to hire family members. Maybe all of those family members are all Asian, Hispanic, or Black. Maybe an Asian food store in an urban area refuses to hire a black teen because they assume he’s a gang member. A decision that is based entirely in racist stereotypes.

But this is not the kind of discrimination that people crack down on. This is the kind of discrimination that gets a pass. It’s as potentially harmful as other kinds of discrimination, but people only care when the employer is white and the job is high paying.

The sad thing is that, a diverse environment has the ability to be so much more than an assortment of multi-colored individuals. Yet we let it be reduced down to appearances. The benefits of a diverse workplace, are there in a variety of ideas and viewpoints. But we’ve let it be about the most visible kind of diversity and not the kind that makes one valuable for their mind and what they bring to the table.

This is a tragedy of the worst kind and it will take years to sort out the damage done by the push for affirmative action. But hey at least you have the one-dimensional aesthetic appearance of giving a shit about the people that society assumes to be socially and economically disadvantaged.