“out of many, one people”.

I hate the word diversity.

Prior to moving to the US, in particular Boston, diversity to me referred to different kinds of species, it was a word confined to my zoology and botany classes. It was only occasionally used in other contexts, but not in the way I now constantly hear it. I was listening to an ad on the radio for a Diversity Employment Fair, and then heard a lady in a store remarked on how diverse Fields Corner was, when it occurred to me that I despise the word.  

Maybe I don’t hate the word it self.  It is a poor helpless word.

I despise the way in which it is immediately equated to mean the inclusion of blacks, Asians and Latinos in a primarily white space and the assumed ownership of spaces to any particular race.  

My country’s motto is “out of many, one people”. Mind you, I had no idea what it really meant growing up. I took “diversity” for granted. My best friend in high school was Chinese with a Syrian mother; I am as Afro Caribbean as it gets with a maroon descendant for a mother.  I lived nearby a predominantly Indian neighborhood and had German classes taught by a black Jewish teacher.  I knew whites who spoke Jamaican Creole; towns were named by the dominant people like Irish and German Town. I ate food hyphenated by Asian country names and countless other things I didn’t realize were diverse. This diversity thing makes more aware of my race. I now realize that people call groups diverse to make me feel included. Geez. Thanks. 

This ‘diversity word” is the complete antithesis of what it is supposed to be. It’s a very exclusive word that really says, “We are dominant, and more powerful than you are and our inclusion of you in our workplace, schools and elsewhere is our extension of a helping hand to you.”  Like those job ads that say - women of color are encouraged to apply. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problems with what grown folks want to do to feel better. It’s just funny to see it play out. Maybe diversity is a movement. Similar to the many that passed years ago, and in twenty years, diversity will mean the inclusion of gays or people who speak only one language or have no access to technology into our workplace and schools. Since we would all, by then, be so integrated and over ourselves that we look for another group to exclude with our politically correct terms.   

In closing, we need to be more careful of the labels we use. We are so much alike than we recognize. If we learn about a person beyond their name, skin and ethnicity and do away with prejudice then we are less inclined to have Diversity Employment Fairs.

 

 

Tammyanka

Comments

American Diversity

I think this is a great perspective on diversity. But you have to look at it from an American perspective. IN the US we need things like Affirmitive Action and "diversity fairs" because the truth is, without them, many people would never get any opportunities. In America the dominant culture does not need to say they are dominant because it is evident everywhere you go. I look forward to a future where diversity is not something that we strive for but is is reelected in the culture we live in. I respect your perspective but when the system is set against certain people for so long there has to be some policies to balance it out.