Questioning the Push for Diversity
Forced diversity at any cost seems to be the reigning ideal.
I can’t escape the diversity mandate’s effects for a day — nearly every time I watch a movie or TV episode, there are moments its agenda is so glaring I can’t help but wince. For instance, Jessica Jones Season 2 is loaded with leftist identity politics (typical for Marvel): white men are portrayed as evil and incompetent; most couples are gay; women are strong, dominant, and independent; casual sex makes for an empowered heroine. (Nevermind that even still things never seem to be diverse enough, as Shoe0nHead comically ranted about.)
In the Slack channels of a Google-affiliated scholarship program that I was part of, an individual crusaded for the creation of a Slack channel for “people of color.” When I worked up the nerve (fearing that I would be removed from the program as a result) to state my objections to the proposed racial segregation, saying it would be a racist move and suggesting we should all help each other out as fellow aspiring web developers and look past racial differences, someone countered that it just makes them feel better to be with other black people (yeah, nothing wrong with wanting to be with people who share your skin color) and that black people can’t be racist. (A channel was created, but with the name “diversity in tech.” Somewhat less exclusive, but what is implied by a channel called something along the lines of “diversity in tech” is “white men are unwelcome in this channel.”)
When diversity occurs naturally, I have nothing against it. My attitude is indifference. But pushing for it is sinister and the justifications often provided are illogical.
Forcing Diverse Outcomes Necessitates Discrimination
Socially engineering equal representation in our workforce, schools, and even media is not progress. It is blatant racism and sexism that is not about fixing discrimination, but turning the tables with further discrimination. People should not be privileged or condemned on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation, but on their efforts, achievements, and conscientiousness — or lack of thereof. It was Martin Luther King, Jr., who said “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Today, that desire is interpreted by many as bigotry.
I think people who grew up destitute and/or were abused as children should be given additional help, but race, gender, and sexual orientation are the wrong determinants. Should a white person who was born to homeless high school dropouts, physically abused throughout childhood (in addition to witnessing domestic violence), and eventually placed in foster care receive less assistance/opportunity than someone born into a wealthy, highly supportive, nonabusive family but who happens to be black? I think not.
Regarding race, of course, it’s not just a black-and-white issue. Evidence has come out that Asian people are being discriminated against by colleges implementing racial quotas (such as Harvard) and that they must work considerably harder than those of other races to be admitted.
Forced Diversity Means Sacrificing Better-Suited Candidates
When you need an important surgery, do you want to entrust your life to the most competent surgeon you can find, regardless of their race, gender, or sexual orientation, or do you want one less skilled but a member of group that was historically discriminated against? (In today’s ideological climate I suspect this question may not be received as rhetorical.)
Likewise, if a company is to maximize their profits, should they be hiring on the basis of competence alone or based on race, gender, or sexual orientation?
Of course, I’m not saying every person who is granted a position in order to fill a quota is not the most competent or appropriate for that position when the factor of their group identity is removed. But inevitably this will occur, and to suggest otherwise is dishonest.
Forced Diversity May Lead to Doubting of Merit
When you know some people at a company are being hired on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation, people may speculate that some employees are there as “diversity hires.”
Recall the surgeon example. A patient may wonder: Is this black lesbian female doctor working here because she is highly competent, or is she actually subpar at her job and here to contribute to the projection of a diverse image?
People may have lower expectations for women in tech because companies are hiring more of them to make their companies appear more diverse. Men may resent them because some can get farther with less effort (as a result of something that involves nothing other than luck). The dynamic of certain members of a company being privileged and punished may understandably lead to some resentment.
If you want members of a group that was historically oppressed or simply underrepresented in a career field (such as women in STEM) to be perceived as equally fit for their positions, privileging them in the workplace as a result of something wholly unrelated to their competence is doing them a disservice.
By the way…
Think there’s a wage gap? Think again. Christina Hoff Sommers explains.
Think men have it easy and need to check their privilege? Not so fast. Christina Hoff Sommers, again, elaborates, as does Cassie Jaye.
Further, for a refreshing perspective on racism toward blacks, see Coleman Hughes’ The High Price of Stale Grievances.
Diversity Shouldn’t Be Considered Important
One of the arguments for the importance of diversity is so people see other people who look like them in certain positions and feel like they too can achieve the same thing. If you can imagine it, you can do it, they say.
This is an irrational and toxic mentality. While it comes naturally, it is wrong to identify with others based on things like skin color, gender, or sexual orientation. This is the worst breed of tribalism: one based not on ideas or actions, but on things one cannot change.
[Identity politics] is about defining ourselves based on the most biological — the most boring — aspects of our identity, and not being able to move beyond that. This is not transformational — this is limiting.
— Joanna Williams (from a panel discussion)
If you want to do something, don’t let “external messages” influence you. If people who look like you don’t happen to be equally represented, so what? That doesn’t determine what you can or should do with your life. So long as you have an equal chance to pursue whatever endeavor is of your liking, that’s all that matters. I am a champion of equal opportunity for all, but vehemently against discrimination — even when it benefits individuals belonging to a category that was historically oppressed.
The Ironic Responses to the Anti-Discrimination Stance
As Thomas Sowell said, “If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 60 years ago, a liberal 30 years ago and a racist today.”
In my experience anytime someone publicly voices an anti-racist, anti-sexist position or even a fact-based stance regarding forced diversity, they are attacked as a racist, sexist, and so forth.
It happened to James Damore, who was fired from his job as a senior software engineer at Google (despite having had just gotten the best possible performance evaluation) for posting this on a skepticism message board that was only visible internally. Essentially its message was that it’s unlikely that discrimination is the only reason for the discrepancy between the number of men and women in tech given the ample evidence that women tend to (at the group level) prefer to work with people, while men tend to work with things (many ignore or deny this inconvenient detail, attributing the disparity entirely to discrimination), and that it’s immoral to have female-only groups and policies that privilege women while punishing men in the company. See also feminist Christina Hoff Sommers’ commentary on the memo and James Damore’s interviews with Jordan Peterson and Joe Rogan.
Listen to Dave Rubin’s intolerant, hostile treatment by protesters at a lecture he gave at the University of New Hampshire. His message was essentially the same as MLK’s: that we shoudn’t prejudge people based on immutable characteristics; yet students continually tried to drown him out with loud noises and robotically chanting “black lives matter,” and when given the opportunity to respond to what he was saying, they couldn’t produce anything of substance. (One female who did bother addressing him in some way other than a droning chant ended her spiel accusing him of not wanting to hear a woman speak defiantly — a nonsequitur, unrelated to anything he has said — followed by fervent applause from her fellow hecklers.) This encapsulates the word “farce.”
The only way we can truly get beyond identity politics is to make the case for universalism, and to look at what we’ve got in common rather than constantly obsessing about what it is that that divides and separates us.
— Joanna Williams (from a panel discussion)
Bret Weinstein, a professor at Evergreen College, was castigated and eventually resigned (as students called for) because he refused to stay home on a day on which a group of people at that college ordered white students, staff, and faculty to absent themselves from campus. Here’s an uncut video of his treatment by a vicious, thoughtless mob of students subsequent to his act of defiance. He attempts to reason with them: “I’m interested only in dialectic, which does mean I listen to you, and you listen to me,” to which a female voice spews, “We don’t care, you white turd. We are not speaking on terms of white privilege. This is not a discussion,” followed by the group’s sputtering of obscenities and chasing him down the halls, chanting “Hey hey, ho ho, Bret Weinstein has got to go!” Listen to an excerpt of his interview with Joe Rogan in which he recounts the debacle and provides his justification for choosing not to participate.
I know that voicing my views — clearly wrongthink and heresy in this atmosphere dogma — will bring me enemies. When I have done so in the past, I have been accused of being a white supremacist, sexist, and other antithetical labels. And of course, it would be more convenient for me to remain silent on these issues. But as the late Christopher Hitchens advised, “Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. The grave will supply plenty of time for silence.”
By the way…
I anticipate that in reading this article and you are from a leftist background, you’ll probably lump me together with right wingers in your head. You may be surprised to learn that apart from being against discrimination in the name of diverse outcomes, my views coincide with many liberal positions: I am staunchly anti-religion (while I was never a believer, Sam Harris’ The End of Faith solidified this stance); I find national pride/patriotism thoughtless (tribalism based on where someone happened to be born); and I think abortion, marijuana, and gay marriage should be legal. Ergo, my views on forced diversity generally are not a result of tribalistic adherence to a political party. I came to these conclusions as a result of independent thinking — in spite of where my fellow liberals have steered. Whether or not you agree with me, remember to do the same: Think for yourself.