“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”.
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.
When 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.”
The 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.”
When Brendan Eich aligned himself as a supporter of California’s Proposition 8, he sided with the 52.24% of California voters who voted in favor of that proposition. He was by no means a part of some fringe minority group relative to that issue. And yet the “fanatical (minority) activists” forced him to make what was probably the most difficult decision of his career, to quit the company he loved and it was all because he was open about holding views that don’t line up with those who hold themselves up as champions of diversity.
Considering Eric Holder’s role in the Fast and Furious scandal, the persecution of Fox News Journalist James Rosen and the IRS targeting of conservative groups, as well as his refusal to prosecute clear-cut instances of voter fraud and illegal immigration, it seems to me that his harsh scrutiny by Congress is well deserved. And, since Holder chose to drag President Obama into the fray with his comments at the recent meeting of Sharpton’s organization, it seems appropriate to point out to him that being part of an administration with recent disapproval ratings going as high as 56% further indicates the need for legislative oversight. Instead, Holder took the path of using his minority status to, in effect, play as a get-out-of-scrutiny-free race card.
I believe my friends have it right, in stating the goal for their course in diversity education to be “Unleashing the Power of Our Diversity”. That’s very much in line with what I pointed out in a previous article entitled Rediscovering America’s Strength. In that article I said, “… the strength that made America great in the first place (is) the synergy of the best of our differing ideas.” Earlier, I said that this is likely to describe what corporate America hopes to get by investing in diversity education. More importantly, I believe it’s what all of America must insist on, in the application of the term “diversity”. If we continue with the meaning of diversity allowing the silencing of those who are courageous enough to express the views they hold that differ from “fanatical (minority) activists” while, at the same time, giving undeserved favor to those same “fanatical (minority) activists” solely due to their minority status, our nation will only continue to become more deeply divided and what strength we once had will only continue to be sapped, further assuring the collapse of America on its once firm foundation.