Offend me……. Please!

By Patrick Hall

I recently participated in a webinar that was held by my Alma Mater. The college’s new Associate Dean led it for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Its theme was Diversity and Inclusion: Being Called to Make a Difference. I went into this workshop with a great amount of trepidation. Since attending and being a naïve contributor in such undertakings, the minimal substance was presented.   I was hoping to hear something different besides the usually accepted and well-worn bromides about racism, sexism, misogyny, toxic work environments, microaggression, micro racism, as well as the ever-present and hopelessly inchoate and vague goal of promoting social justice. In other words, the apocryphal intent of this diversity training added-up to little more than helping people enhance their sense of victimhood in what they defined as an intrinsically racist/sexist/misogynist American culture.

I attended my first employee sponsored Multicultural and Diversity Training sessions in the 1970s out in Seattle. Regrettably, the socio-cultural hermeneutics or principles driving such events haven’t evolved all that much.  You essentially learn, that America is bad! Institutional racism defines our history and culture. White males and toxic masculinity underpin many of our nation’s flaws. Combined with the insidious aura of microaggressions, implicit race and sex bias, the peer reviewed alchemy known as critical race theory, the heterosexual oligarchy, and many other collective sins, were still the same dragons trotted-out for slaying.

But as pointed out by many conservative Black Americans such as myself, a culture, people or group, that values personal responsibility rather than collective guilt or blame, is far heathier not just politically but psychologically.  However, if you’re predisposed to seeing sexism, racism, homophobia, and/or cultural appropriation in everything, Diversity and Equity Workshops will continuously provide the myopic and all together ossified way of living your life and responding to one’s surroundings. More to the point, the underlying dogma of the diversity industry is based on the belief, that if you don’t see racism or your favorite “ISM” everywhere, you aren’t looking hard enough.

As a former, Progressive Liberal Democrat, now in my fourth decade of sobriety, ideas like diversity, multiculturalism, equity, and inclusion are little more than tribalism and balkanization masquerading as congeniality. The real results of these various social justice philosophies are, they have us marinate in our little race, gender, safe space, and hyphenated enclaves waiting to be offended, hurt, set-upon, suspicious, and egregiously oppressed by God knows what.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion at its core is neo-segregationist.  The Diversity industry since the 1970s has completely subverted, if not turned on its head, the hard-fought achievements and wisdom of the Civil Rights Movement under Martin Luther King Jr. and others.[i] It has become almost Nicaean in the secular catechism of today’s Diversity catechumenates to judge one another by the color of one’s skin (or genitalia) rather than the content of one’s character.   Yet, here we sit in the year 2020 worrying about the equity of transgender restrooms, removing statues, symbols, and history we don’t like or pondering the unfathomable mysteries of implicit-bias, critical race theory, and white privilege. Like everything else in the diversity/equity/inclusion crusade, it rests on the belief or secular apostasy that absent discrimination, parity would flourish in all society segments.

Also, let’s not forget the newest progressive dogma of the diversity industry, white fragility. One almost needs a Rosetta Stone to unpack all of the mind-numbing absurdities associated with this Neo-Cistercian flagellation mind-set. It is the newest craze among many white, educated liberals with way too much time on their hands.

During the pandemic, I had time to read Robin DiAngelo’s 2018 tome, White Fragility. It is essentially an iteration or compilation of previous liberal white guilt non-sense, proselytized by the cultural left since the 1960s.  If any of you remember the song “Love Me, Love Me, Love Me, I’m a liberal, by Phil Ochs, “mea culpa liberalism” has resurrected itself in the book White Fragility. To paraphrase the late Walter Williams, White Fragility, in the end, is a therapeutic narrative mostly about how to make certain educated white liberals feel better about themselves by wholeheartedly and without pause admit to their white fragility or deeply hidden racism. If whites deny it in any way, then that in itself is an admission of their racism, fragility, and/or white privilege.  White fragility is a quintessential “Kafka trap,” being resurrected here in the early 21st Century. It is a "damned if you do, damned if you don’t" fallacy.  If our jurisprudence system worked this way, no person accused of a crime would ever be acquitted because their denial would prove their guilt.

At the same time, White Fragility is a work that is extraordinarily condescending and paternalistic to blacks. It depicts the black underclass and other so-called oppressed people of color as helpless, unstable, weak, and delicate poster children.[ii]  Chapter 9 of DeAngelo’s narrative provides the readers with a litany of words and phrases that whites must avoid in order not to hurt colored people’s feelings.

Oh, wait a minute! I meant to say it provides words and phrases that whites must avoid in order not to hurt “People of Color” feelings. Sorry about that. Sometimes, I can be such a silly Negro.[iii]

The tragedy of this newest diversity mitigation scheme is that it ultimately teaches how to be a racist in a whole new way.   In other words, diversity, equity, and inclusion are little more than racism under new management.

Jeez Louise, would somebody offend me, please?

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