Diversity, inclusion, and the election

“Diversity of opinion” as a defense of Trump is indefensible.

Ellen K. Pao
Project Include


Vandals burned and spray painted a Black church in Mississippi (Photo by Angie Quezada/Delta Daily News)

“What about diversity of opinion?” That question has been a common response to our real fear for our and others’ safety from the hate- and fear-mongering of Trump’s campaign. Those who ask often define inclusion as requiring all people and views to be included — regardless of how they promote excluding others. We find this definition offensive and reject it.

Trump is uniquely harmful, because his actions are beyond political speech— he actively promotes and festers hate and violence.

This is what that hate and violence look like:

This is how his supporters respond with hate:

This is happening even in progressive places:


This is what the existential threat to those targeted feels like — and it is not going to disappear after tomorrow:

Via https://twitter.com/jozenc/status/793624606418534401

As a society, we cannot have a productive dialogue around your “diverse opinions” if you do not respect us — our opinions and our identities — and instead threaten us.

Trump judges people by race, ethnicity, religion, or gender, and encourages his followers to attack groups based on biases: He has called Mexicans rapists and criminals, discouraged Black renters, bragged about grabbing women’s genitals, advocated banning Muslims, and encouraged physical violence.

The diversity of opinion argument comes with calls for change, for less government, for freedom of speech. We believe safety, freedom from hate and violence, and inclusion are fundamental rights and need to be part of that new world.

Project Include’s focus is diversity and inclusion. Diversity and inclusion go hand in hand, and productive diversity of opinion cannot be based on principles of exclusion. We applaud the many others who have also expressed this view.

If you have not yet voted, please vote for inclusion tomorrow.



Ellen K. Pao
Project Include

Co-Founder and CEO of Project Include. Author of Reset. Angel investor.