Category Archives: race

Diversity or Reversity?

american diversity

DIVERSITY?

Unleashing the Power of Our Diversity”. That’s the slogan used by some dear friends of mine, to promote their course for diversity education. I suspect that it also describes what many in corporate America hope they’re getting with their investment in diversity education, though the primary motivation for this investment still seems to be avoiding discrimination-related litigation. Sadly, though diversity has been increasingly emphasized in recent decades, this latter-mentioned attitude reflects, perhaps in most cases, the ongoing misapplication of the term “diversity”.

MISAPPLICATION

Just within the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen two glaring examples of this misapplication at the national level. One is the case of Brendan Eich being forced to step down from his position as CEO of Mozilla because he donated $1,000 to back California’s Proposition 8, a 2008 referendum to amend California’s constitution to define marriage as relationship between a man and a woman. And, on the heels of this event, came the news of Attorney General Eric Holder very publicly implying racism, in that both he and President Obama had been mistreated by Congress.

brendan-eichWhen Brendan Eich was forced out at Mozilla, it was the culmination of an effort that began in 2012, with the L.A. Times publishing a 2,000 page list of over 100,000 donors who had supported California’s Proposition 8. At first, when Eich’s name was found on the list, there was some social media outcry. But, when those who were fussing over this stopped to consider that this was the same Eich who was responsible for creating and promoting a most successful open, collaborative, and inclusive tech firm and that he hadn’t allowed his personal views on same-sex marriage to impact this in any way, the clamor died down. That is, until Mozilla’s board named Eich, then CTO, as the company’s new CEO. At that point, the outcry resumed with overwhelming fervor. The misapplication of the term “diversity” in this instance and its resulting mayhem were summed up well in an article, entitled The Truth Behind Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich’s Demise, that said:

“Some (Mozilla) employees revolted and openly called for him to step down. A dating site called for a boycott of (Mozilla’s) Firefox. And the way some in the media grilled Eich – hounding him to publicly recant his opposition to gay marriage and throwing around words like racist – you’d think the guy wanted to bring back Jim Crow laws or something.

Funny thing is, fanatical activists never see the hypocrisy in their own actions. Politically correct zealots that march to the diversity drumbeat are only inclusive of those who agree with their own groupthink. They’re only interested in being collaborative within their own hive collective.

Never mind that Eich helped to create the hive and its culture. Once he was tainted with the stench of a different viewpoint – an unaccepted viewpoint – the hive turned on him and brutally attacked him as an outsider.”

Eric HolderThe case involving Attorney General Eric Holder stemmed from a speech he made at a meeting of the National Action Network, a group founded by Al Sharpton. According to an ABC News report, entitled Holder Rips “Unwarranted, Ugly” Congress, a heated Holder went a little off-script, as he was lauding Sharpton’s organization’s efforts to advance racial equality, when he said:

“Forget about me [specifically]. Look at the way the attorney general of the United States was treated yesterday by a House committee,” Holder told the crowd. “What attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment? What president has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?”

On Wednesday, with a finger raised, Holder told the crowd in New York that his tenure as attorney general has been “defined by significant strides … even in the face of unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive adversity.”

No doubt, the Republican Majority Congress has severely challenged our current Democrat President and his appointee, Eric Holder. Holder’s testy back-and-forth with Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX), when the Attorney General was recently testifying before a House panel, was a clear example of this. However, there is no basis for the implication that the treatment received by Holder was the result of racism. And, in fact, there is no basis for Holder’s statement that he and the President have been treated more harshly by Congress than any of their predecessors. It’s really just another instance where a minority person, in this case an African-American, claims mistreatment due to their minority status when, in fact, what they’re demanding is favorable treatment due to their minority status. Here too, the misapplication of the term “diversity” is summed up well in a statement from the previously mentioned article on Brendan Eich, when it said:

“Funny thing is, fanatical activists never see the hypocrisy in their own actions. Politically correct zealots that march to the diversity drumbeat are only inclusive of those who agree with their own groupthink. They’re only interested in being collaborative within their own hive collective.”

REVERSITY?! Continue reading

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Thumping Bible Thumpers

Thumping

HARM

Here’s an image I saw recently, when a friend shared it on Facebook. At first glance, it may seem to be intended to convey the simple message that it’s wrong to commit hateful acts towards people because they are homosexual. I would agree with that and I suspect that’s all my friend was trying to say with her Facebook post. However, closer examination reveals more complexity to the ideas presented by this illustration, ideas that result in the whole of the communication being more harmful than helpful.

SCRIPTURAL CONTEXT

Let’s begin our closer examination with a look at the Scripture quoted, Romans 13:10. One thing you have to watch out for when Scripture is quoted is that it can be taken out of context, often to support a specific agenda. To put this verse into context, it’s necessary to first remember that the Book of Romans was a letter written by the Apostle Paul to the church in Rome. As with most letters, both then and now, they aren’t written with each verse presenting an individual idea. Rather they are written with a number of verses that knit together to express views on a specific topic. “Love Your Neighbor” is the subheading typically used for what Paul is addressing with this section of his letter. His complete thought here is:

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:8-10

As you can see, before Paul says, “Love does no harm to a neighbor”, he gives some examples of how you can fail to show love and selfishly do harm to a neighbor. That is, by breaking God’s commandments. In other words, sinning against your neighbor. And, you’ll note that the first of the examples he gives is a sexual sin. But none of that is represented in the illustration. Perhaps that reflects the fact that the Facebook post my friend shared was from The Christian Left via Episcopal Church Memes. Although The Christian Left denies it, they do have a widely held reputation as a group that cherry-picks the Bible. Likewise, The Episcopal Church tends to not recognize the divine inspiration and authority of the Bible. In both cases, this has contributed to their acceptance of homosexual behavior. I don’t think it’s much of jump, then, to come to the conclusion that this is the agenda behind their taking this Scripture out of context. Continue reading

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Filed under ageism, Bible, Christians, Homosexuality, race, religion, Sin

All Are Precious In His Sight

Barbara Boyle's 3B Class - Warren Elementary - 1955-56

LIVE IN HARMONY

This past week, I got to spend a little time with a First Grade Teacher who is also one of my very favorite people. She was teaching our class to join her class in singing and signing a song called The World Is A Rainbow. This was in preparation for an assembly that, I assumed, was related to the upcoming Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Although it would be an oversimplification (and somewhat outdated) for me to say that her purpose in this was to teach racial harmony, that was certainly a part of what she had in mind.

My first lesson in racial harmony came when I was First-Grade-aged or younger and it took place in church, not in school. Then, the song we sang was entitled Jesus Loves The Little Children. As I thought of these differences in experiences between the kids of today and the kids of my day, that led me to consider the ramifications.

ALL THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD?! Continue reading

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Lookin’ For Hate In All The Wrong Places

gqIn the recent controversy related to Phil Robertson, of Duck Dynasty, there were two major learning opportunities (one for each of the opposing sides on this issue) that seemed to be completely overlooked. I know, considering the Second-Coming-level of attention this was given, it’s hard to believe that even the slightest detail could have been missed. However, particularly with the reactions I got to my stated position on the matter, I did see a couple of openings for teachable moments that I thought, if utilized, could result in a very meaningful silver lining coming out of this brouhaha. So, now that A&E has reversed their original decision, before the dust completely settles, I want to explore these learning opportunities, in hopes of capturing the gain they may hold.

LESSONS FOR ROBERTSON’S OPPONENTS

One of the first related discussions I heard was among the panel members on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News program, the Kelly file. Their focus was on the comments made by Phil Robertson, in the GQ article entitled “What the Duck?” The apparent anti-Robertson participant was Bernard Whitman, who described himself as a double minority, “… gay and Jewish.” Hate was the word he used to sum up his views on Robertson’s comments related to homosexuality in the article. He, also, said that the behavior exhibited by Robertson in the article was not Christian. Neither of Whitman’s stated positions rang true with me. I had read the GQ article word for word and I couldn’t see how anyone could come away from reading it with a sense of hatred on Robertson’s part unless they went into their reading looking for something to interpret as offensive. And, I think my take on this is soundly supported by the fact that the article’s Writer, Drew Magary, doesn’t give even the slightest hint that there was hatefulness in Robertson’s words and behavior, though Magary wasn’t in complete agreement with Robertson’s views. Furthermore, though I suspect Whitman may only be Jewish ethnically, even if he is a devout practitioner of the Jewish faith, I don’t see him as having authority to define what is Christian behavior and what isn’t. Continue reading

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MLK v LBJ?! NO CONTEST!!!!!!!

Figgins has been confused about some recent incidents in the current Presidential campaign where some candidates have been accused of trying to “play the race card”. Thankfully, Figgins was born and raised in a time when race is much less divisive than it was when I was growing up. So, I’ve been drawing on my experience from that former era to help him understand.

Senator Hillary Clinton’s recent remark, indicating that President Lyndon Baines Johnson was more deserving of credit for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has been central in this. Although I’m not able to look upon Mrs. Clinton’s heart, I told Figgins that I doubted if she had any malicious intent towards Dr. King, in making her comment. However, I went on to say that I do think her intent was self-serving political leverage and it led to a blunder that was harmful to everyone involved, including herself.

I don’t often think of Mrs. Clinton and her Husband, former President Bill Clinton, having much in common with me but, in this regard, it struck me that there are four things that we do have in common. (1) We were born in the 1940s, all within the same 14 month period. (2) We were all born and raised in the Midwest/Mid-South. (3) We are all White. (4) We all should remember how differently those who weren’t White were treated by the culture we grew up in and how very wrong that was.

If you don’t recall what our culture was like in the time prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or you haven’t studied it, I recommend that you find a book called Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored, written by Clifton L. Taulbert. Clif was born in the mid 1940s too but he was born in the South, he isn’t White and his book does a good job of capturing what that time was like.

I can’t imagine anyone living in that time not noticing Dr. King and what was going on with the Civil Rights Movement. I certainly noticed. But, frankly, Dr. King wasn’t a hero to me then. However, one day I heard him say, “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.” Those words were like seeds planted in me to bring about a much needed change in my heart. No doubt, those words impacted others differently but Dr. King and those striving with him deserve the credit for the plantings that brought about a much needed change in this nation’s heart and I suspect that included the heart of this nation’s President at the time, Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Its a shame that Senator Clinton would make such a self-serving and harmful comment. However, maybe its good that it happened, if for no other reason than to refresh our memory of how far our country has come since 1964 and how thankful we should be for those, like Dr. King, who were willing to live and in fact, to die to accomplish this. Its, also, a fond reminder to me of a time when my Wife and I got to worship with the flock at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, in Atlanta, where both Dr. King and his Father once served as Senior Pastor. The Bible Study that day was from Romans 8. Probably, the best known part of that Chapter is verse 28 … “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [His] purpose.”

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