Are diversity, inclusion important?

Dave Richardson's picture

Recently, my middle school daughter’s English teacher assigned his students to write an essay on the Fayette County NAACP’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day theme. This year the topic is “Why Inclusion and Diversity is Important for the Future Health of Our Community?”

We had a great conversation about Martin Luther King and civil rights in preparation to write her essay. The topic caused me to think a lot, too, so I thought I would write one of my own.

Ever the one to question conventional wisdom, [I believe] this theme assumes that inclusion and diversity are important in the first place. I’m not so sure it is.

Additionally, it implies that not everyone in Fayette County is included in the community or government, and that someone of a different race, gender, or religion cannot effectively represent the concerns of someone who is not like them. That is plain bigoted.

Martin Luther King dreamt of a day when people would not be “judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” America of the 1950s and ‘60s used to treat blacks as inferior. Martin Luther King fought this kind of injustice, knowing that “all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”

All people are equal because God made them. God does not think anyone is superior or more important than another, so neither should we.

Yet, when we focus on diversity and inclusion, we are continuing to judge by the color of skin. We are sensitive to whether a person is black, female, Muslim, or some other minority.

I am not saying we should ignore the concerns of minorities, but I think it’s time we ask, “Who cares what color someone is, what religion someone is, or what gender they are?” If a person has the character and qualifications for the job, that is what counts. An emphasis on diversity and inclusion holds us in the past, rather than propel us to the future.

When Martin Luther King dreamed of a day when people are not “judged by color of their skin, but the content of their character,” he was looking for what can make us the same (made by God), not what makes us different (skin color). MLK knew that good character would help us embody this truth, and God is the source of good character.

Stressing diversity and inclusion highlights what makes us different, and doesn’t do much to bring us together. There are a variety of diverse voices that we honestly do not want to include in our community.

What if there was a group of white supremacists that organized in Fayette County? Would we seriously say that we want to celebrate their diverse culture and include their voice? No, we would condemn them as evil and exclude them.

What if others in our county said that everyone should convert to a certain religion or pay a nonbeliever tax? Many Muslims believe this. No, we would reject that diverse voice as culturally insensitive at best and cultural suicide at worst.

If a group of people in Fayette County thought it is a good idea to have sex with children, do we truly want to include their diverse voice, too? Not hardly!

Yet, if every person, group, or culture decides for themselves what is good, how can we even say any of these “diverse voices” are evil?

Celebrating diversity and inclusion cannot truly unite us, because the big assumption which diversity advocates make is that all groups, cultures, and voices are equal and equally valid.

They are not. Some voices are evil.

No one is truly inclusive, nor should they be. Values like diversity and inclusion excuse us from the hard work of discerning good and evil. It is easy to just include everybody, but this only divides us.

If what is good is defined by us and not by God, we will constantly disagree on what is good, and we will never be united.

Race is irrelevant to those who love and serve God. “There is neither Jew nor Greek ... in Christ Jesus.” We can have equality in Christ, but apart from Him, where will you get it? MLK knew this, and we have largely forgotten it.

Fayette County citizens instead should encourage godly character, strong families, hard work, charity, and treating everybody equally as the special custom creations of God that they are.

Pursuing God was the bedrock of Martin Luther King’s message. It is godly character that helps us treat everyone equally, and unite us as a people. This is how our country began, and it will go a lot further to creating a thriving and healthy place to live than inadequate ideas like diversity and inclusion.

[David Richardson of Peachtree City is the executive director of The Assumptions Project. He has a master’s degree from Oxford University, and is a university consultant in education and culture. He is a recognized expert on the religious attitudes and beliefs of university professors. He, his wife and children have lived in Fayette County for more than two decades.]

stranger than f...
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Why Should Christians Change Now?

Interesting to hear a criticism of embracing diversity from a Christian theological perspective. However, I shouldn't be surprise since historically, Christianity has been the most intolerant religion on the planet. Many more people have been killed by protectors of Christian purity than any other religion, even the current Islamic nutcases.

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STF, wrong on the stats

You have to consider atheism as religion if you are comparing death statistics. It takes much more faith to deny the existence of God than to accept it. Therefore you would have to add to the total the killing totals of Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, etc. Although Christians have certainly killed many in the name of God, many more have been killed in the name of the State as a god.

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Wedge - I

I couldn't have said it better, no matter who kills, in the name of the State or God, it is immoral. As a Judeo-Christian, it is against God's instructions. As for other world religions, you merely need to look at their Holy Books of instruction.

Here's a page of examples from the Koran,

http://www.wvinter.net/~haught/Koran.html

Here's commentary on Buddhism,

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/qanda04.htm

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MLK's message

MLK wanted all men to be equal at the starting line. Most Libs today want to make sure that all men are equal at finish line.

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G35

Read again. There is a difference between all having equal opportunity and all being equal. MLK wanted all to have equal opportunity at the starting line. It's what is done with the opportunity that makes the difference. Having white skin does not insure one of finishing 'first' anymore. But keep trying!! Poor Hitler - his image of ' white' supremacy was crushed when Jesse Owens finished first. (And some people are still having problems with someone with Obama's skin color in The White House!! Those individuals are in the minority today - 2014. Movin' on up!! LOL!!

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DM

Take your meds and reread my comment. See if you can comprehend it this time. Apparently you belong in the second group. Big surprise. LOL

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G35 - what you said
Quote:

MLK wanted all men to be equal at the starting line. Most Libs today want to make sure that all men are equal at finish line.

This is what you said G35. Did you forget to include the word opportunity'? There is a huge difference between claiming that MLK wanted all men to be equal - and claiming that MLK wanted all men to have an equal opportunity. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY!!

Enjoy the pro ball game. B y the way - you're wasting your time trying to denigrate me in your comments. Really takes away from your point. LOL!!

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Mr. Richardson

Why Inclusion and Diversity is Important for the Future Health of Our Community?”

Mr. Richardson' s answer: Ever the one to question conventional wisdom, [I believe] this theme assumes that inclusion and diversity are important in the first place. I’m not so sure it is.
Mr. Richardson shares;

Quote:

Celebrating diversity and inclusion cannot truly unite us, because the big assumption which diversity advocates make is that all groups, cultures, and voices are equal and equally valid.
They are not. Some voices are evil.

This is not what Dr. King taught or advocated. If so, then he would have expected the KKK to join him and other Americans in their non- violent marches for equal opportunity for all Americans regardless of skin color, gender, or religion. Recognizing and celebrating the diversity that has always existed in America is what we celebrate in 2014. We're beginning to include the contributions of all of our ancestors in the greatness of American history. Foreign countries do not ask the 'race' of an American - only their nationality. Citizens of other countries are cognizant of the problem we have had with race since the end of slavery. Our seeming inability to deal with inclusion and diversity was our Achilles Heel.

What Dr. King and his followers fought for was equal opportunity for all Americans. What this did was take away a 'privilege' status from some Americans. In 2014, given the opportunity, an American can receive an education, a job, etc. based on his/ her ability and effort. An American's race, gender, financial status, under current law and practice should not prevent his/her advancement. This was Dr. Kings dream. None of Dr. Kings words intimated that he believed that our ' country began as treating everyone in a godly manner' - but he studied to develop an attitude where love would overcome evil and hate. He united European Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans - AMERICANS. As Americans we stand united. Dr. King never advocated uniting with evil. I hope your daughter was able to include that in her essay. United Americans stand - divided they fall. (Fail)
.

[

brewster
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MLK was more specific

Exactly what the problem is today. Everyone understood where MLK was coming from, what he stood for and what he did not. He would not have made the blanket statement, "why diversity and inclusion is good". The open-ended interpretation of this statement is what Mr. Richardson was addressing. Dr. King would have known that leaving the door open to assumptions would be "advocating the uniting with evil".

brewster
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MLK was more specific

Exactly what the problem is today. Everyone understood where MLK was coming from, what he stood for and what he did not. He would not have made the blanket statement, "why diversity and inclusion is good". The open-ended interpretation of this statement is what Mr. Richardson was addressing. Dr. King would have known that leaving the door open to assumptions would be "advocating the uniting with evil".

renault314
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DM- if you actually believe that

Then why do you continue to promote and advocate for ending at large voting in the county and affirmative action?

Promoting those policies would seem to be incongruous with your statement of wanting to take away privilege for some and promoting purely on merit.

Davids mom
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Renault

As a result of Affirmative Action, as a business owner I cannot deny you employment because you are white. I must give you an equal opportunity to work in my establishment as I would an African American, Asian American, woman, etc., etc., etc. There are two counties in Georgia that still have Districtwide voting. The judge and the NAACP are having difficulty gerrymandering a 'district' that would produce a minority candidate. There are valid arguments for and against Districtwide voting. Race is not at the top of the list of most voters. Why are you afraid to have one minority on a governing board in Georgia? What power or privilege will you lose? Look forward to your answer in 2014!

Did you hear Glen Beck this morning? He realizes that some of his former stances have been destructive to the American way of life. Interesting development.

renault314
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DM- I dont listen to Glenn Beck....

He just isint my style. Some of his stances are just a little to rigid for modern society in my opinion. Im more of a Michael Medved in the afternoons kinda guy.

Quote:

As a result of Affirmative Action, as a business owner I cannot deny you employment because you are white. I must give you an equal opportunity to work in my establishment as I would an African American, Asian American, woman, etc., etc., etc.

Not being able to deny someone employment based on race may have been the point of AA, but that is NOT how it operates in the real world. In the real world, AA tells employers they must hire people based on race, regardless of qualifications, when other more qualified applicants do not get hired, because they do not help meet an arbitrary quota.

Race is absolutely at the top of the list for ending district wide voting. When has the NAACP cared about anything else? And its only one race they care about in particular. Unless they are trying to get a latino or Asian district established as well?

What I will lose will be true representative government. The belief that the most popular candidate who received the most votes got the job. Instead, I will get a government that institutionally is set up to promote the idea that black people cannot represent white people and white people cannot represent black people. A system that insists that only black people can and should vote of other black people and that no white person would ever vote for a black one. An idea I find as ridiculous as it is repugnant.

Will I be negatively effected? probably not. But the fire of freedom and democracy will burn that much dimmer for its implementation.

It is hypocritical to say you want promotion and opportunity based on merit, but want a system that rewards one race over another. That perpetuates an "us and them" mentality we are trying to get away from in this country.

It is hypocritical to say you want promotion and opportunity based on merit, but want a political system that is specifically engineered to get candidates of a particular color elected, to the exclusion of others. That perpetuates an "us and them" mentality we are trying to get away from in this country.

I hope you can see my point.

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Renault - Be Careful for What You Wish
renault314 wrote:

What I will lose will be true representative government. The belief that the most popular candidate who received the most votes got the job.

The argument that diffuse democracy trumps district representation runs counter to Madison's and Hamilton’s fear of minority persecution by the majority. The U.S. Constitution goes to great lengths to prevent at-large voting by specifically creating district (state) representation that could not be overwhelmed by a majority of all voters. Thus Georgia and Montana are represented equally in the Senate despite huge population differences. If the Fayette County model was adopted nationwide, Republicans would hold few offices since the overall majority of American voters (who are clearly not Republican) would select all officials instead of allowing each state to elect their own district representatives. The current U.S. House is majority Republican, but the sitting Democrats received more overall votes than did the Republicans.

Objections to gerrymandering for a specific electoral outcome are very consistent with the Constitution, but the elimination of district voting is exactly what Madison feared and what national Republicans should eschew as well.

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Renault
Quote:

Not being able to deny someone employment based on race may have been the point of AA, but that is NOT how it operates in the real world. In the real world, AA tells employers they must hire people based on race, regardless of qualifications, when other more qualified applicants do not get hired, because they do not help meet an arbitrary quota.

In your world, today 2014, you appear to have difficulty accepting that there may be a woman, minority who is better qualified than you and have more experience than you have for employment. There may have been situations where white males felt reverse discrimination in the '60's. But Renault, today is 2014! The privilege of being white and male is over. There are not too many employers who are concerned about fulfilling AA in 2014. Employers want their companies to address the diverse, inclusive market of today. Employers want to make sure their companies (employees) can serve the market. True, the glass ceiling is hard to crack - but a lot of white males don't have an automatic ticket to crack that ceiling. Equal opportunity for all is the fulfillment of the dream. White males, you've got competition! Our laws will be used to correct situations where it appears that opportunity is stifled by institutionalized racism. I really don't think you'll ever get the point - but in 2014, Glen Beck gets it.

Character, education, respect for others, hard work. Skin color is taking a back seat!!!!!

renault314
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DM - cherry pick and ignore the rest

has always been your style. why should I think today would be any different.

Davids mom wrote:

Character, education, respect for others, hard work. Skin color is taking a back seat!!!!!

You say that almost like you believe it. Your actions (or rather, your true beliefs) betray you.
You cannot possibly say that you want to live in a world where character, education ,respect and hard work are the most important things to you, and still want racially gerrymandered district and racial hiring policies. Well, I suppose it would be more accurate to say you only want those things as long as they benefit YOUR race.

you can try to paint me as the closet racist if you like, but Im the one who wants true equal opportunity for all. You only give lip service to the idea and then promote the opposite.

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PTCO/Renault
Quote:

You say that almost like you believe it. Your actions (or rather, your true beliefs) betray you.
You cannot possibly say that you want to live in a world where character, education ,respect and hard work are the most important things to you, and still want racially gerrymandered district and racial hiring policies.

Now honey, do you really believe that I want continued 'gerrymandering' and racial hiring practices? The hate for the law and the NAACP among some here is wasted energy. The reality in Fayette County - at least Fayetteville, is that it is difficult to gerrymander a 'black' district because of the integrated neighborhoods and developments in Fayetteville. Racial hiring/owning of businesses is so '60's as an argument. Gerrymandering - look it up - is a political tool to garner power during an election. It's a tool that is used by political parties - and yes, race is considered. (The Southern Strategy also used 'race' as a 'tool'.) The younger generation realizes that this is a negative strategy that has outlived its usefulness. Politicians who focus on jobs, economy, education will be heard. The negative comments regarding 'race' and 'women' are losers.

16% of the businesses in Fayette County are owned by minorities - and they have the right to hire whom they choose. I have not walked into a black physicians office where only minorities were serving the customers. I have not walked into a white dentists office where only whites are serving the customers. I repeat, Fayetteville should be considered a role model of the modern south. Communities which constitute Fayetteville are working cooperatively with the Mayors office and law enforcement in dealing with crime, upturn in economy, rapidly developing housing, Pinewood Studios, a diverse, well-paid, well educated community.

I have been in Fayette County for 10 years - and reading The Citizen for a comparable time. Those citizens in PTC who care to contribute to The Citizen have lambasted their leaders the entire time that I have been here. Residents of Fayetteville quietly changed leadership - with respect to the contribution of the past.

I am 74 years old. Yes, I have racist attitudes based on negative experiences in these United States. I also am extremely grateful that my mother and I lived long enough to see the positive change in our country regarding women's rights and racism. To live in a small town in Georgia with no fear of restrictive covenant or racist practice issues is a dream come true. As one poster shared - what is the 'fear' of having a minority on the BOE or FC Council? There are those who have shared good arguments for and against Districtwide voting. The Court has spoken. Too bad FC leadership did not foresee this and take steps to deal with it before having to spend over $200,000 of taxpayer money to appease those who find it difficult to change at the 'push' of the NAACP.

Renault - it has been fun getting you to reveal your fears. PTCO, don't give up on democracy. History shows that as Americans we have swung to the extreme on many issues - but we, in the end,, get it right - and it seems as if we are moving more to the center and common sense for the 21st Century.

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Racist Trump Card

wins all arguments renault314, the ironic thing about using this "defense" of any social re-distributive position in a debate, is that it evokes the very stereotype that it attempts to eliminate. A paradox that seems to escape DM.

But then, it's not in her interest to recognize this irony.

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PTCO

I have met very few Americans my age who do not harbor some 'racist' experiences and feelings. We were carefully taught in the 40's and 50's. Times are changing. Most have learned from the past. Your calling me 'racist' is nothing new nor hurtful. Like you, I am well aware of who and what I am. In 2014, I'm comfortable in my own skin. (I see some people here making money in tanning salons to get a little more of my color - I don't have to spend a thing!!) LOL!

I find it interesting that those who consider themselves conservative (I'm not referring to you) to denigrate someone who values character, education, hard work, personal effort as a negative being in our society. It would appear to me that most people, regardless of 'labels' have respect for these attributes which the younger generation are trying to push to the forefront by their election preferences. I've discussed my opinion of 'gerrymandering' in a previous post.

Quote:

Racist Trump Card
wins all arguments renault314, the ironic thing about using this "defense" of any social re-distributive position in a debate, is that it evokes the very stereotype that it attempts to eliminate. A paradox that seems to escape DM.

One would have to be blind to not see 'racism' in American history (society). It's not a trump card - it is a reality - a sad one. It's a condition that our history has improved upon and continues, in the eyes of the world, to make strides in overcoming. It's irony that there are a few individuals who fail to see the improvement and want to not acknowledge the growth. I am accused of 'soft pedaling' it here in this discussion - but I realize that I personally come in contact with more citizens in FC who respect one another based on attributes other than 'race' and/or gender.

Now, as has been pointed out, change in position in society is difficult if that change in some way diminishes your self worth/position. American minorities and women understand this. (We're feeling pretty good about the change) What MLK taught was not to diminish any human because of physical appearance, religion, gender, etc. Character was his defining measure.

What some Americans realized is that living in a separate but equal society did not allow learning the
'character' of the separated ones, so many racist stereotypes were formed. We are overcoming those stereotypes. I agree with one poster - just because there are not a great number of citizens in Fayette County who are posting anti-racist posts in The Citizen - their silence does not mean that the majority of citizens in Fayette County harbor racist attitudes.. Actions speak louder than words - and Fayetteville's citizens and those that I have met from PTC are marvelous AMERICANS!!

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ptco-it's funny

It's funny how the Chinese and Asians were abused in the past. Also the Jews and Irish. They all got over it and moved on. Perhaps they wouldn't have if the government had identified them as victims and put them in the front of the line.

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Getting over it - SPQR

Getting over it is what it's all about, as DM points out when we all treat each other as citizens, without entitlement, we will have gotten there. When we respect the individual, we will all be free.

Then we will be AMERICANS, right DM?

The only people that should be at the front of the line are those that have earned that position based on their abilities and skills. This is not a government decision, it's freedom that makes this decision. It is the dynamic of individualism vs. collectivism. Here's something for you to decide how those posting here stack up. Individualism vs. Socialism

http://sheepthediamond.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/culture-chart.jpg

Davids mom
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An organization/culture

which has incorporated individualism and collectivism in its culture survives. No family exists in peace if all of it's members consider ME as most important. We need to stop comparing VS. strategies and start looking for strategies that 'unify'. Glen Beck seems to be moving in that direction.

The citizens at the front of the line today are those with education, experience, etc. The current president was not placed at the front of the line because of his color - but because he came to the line after taking advantage of opportunity that is now available to all citizens. His 'heads up'? A mother who cared; grandparents who cared; raised in a community of citizens of different 'hues'; a healthy dose of self-confidence . AA was a reconciliation tool to give ALL AMERICANS opportunities that had been denied until the '60's and 70's. It's 2014!! The reality is some citizens still have problems with 'skin color'. Poor excuse for not working hard and achieving.

Now - are we going to 'pay' hard working average Americans a fair salary in comparison to production of 'administrators/CEO'S ? Hmmmm. Always something to 'separate/segregate - heh? Not so worried about a 'race' war - but rather a war based on 'income inequality'. Too dangerous to 'let them eat cake'.

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Minimum Wage Scam

DM, government does not set prices for wages, the market does. Labor is only one factor in productivity. With offshore labor and technology it is the easiest to eliminate. Artificially raise the cost of labor and the market will find cheaper substitutes. The market will eliminate low tech jobs first, unemployment will go up, the number of total jobs will go down and government redistribution programs will flourish as a result.

Minimum wage is a political scam.

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PTCO
Quote:

Minimum wage is a political scam.

The younger generation - and many unemployed in the ever-decreasing Middle Class - are seeing through 'political scams'. How difficult is it for humans to address problems and work together to bring about solutions that will help the American people? We seem to be demonstrating solutions that help a small percentage of people to earn more and more money. Maybe Americans will get off their duff, go to the polls - and elect leaders that money can't buy. I know, I know - but dreams do come true! Lordy, Lordy - I'm living peacefully in a little town in Georgia!; attending an integrated church; shopping where my income will allow and having lunch in pubic places with ladies from many different backgrounds. God is good!

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The usual suspects

You can't include Jews and Irish as "getting over it and moving on". All they had to do is change thier name and, maybe get a nose job, and no one would know the better. All this is about skin color. The colored folk of this nation are at a distinct disadvantage because they can be seen a mile away and opinions formed on sight. Like Fred G. Sandford used to say, "Even if your name was Spiro T Agnew - people would know you was black".

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Brewster

Refreshing verbalization of reality!! LOL!! :-)

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SPQR
Quote:

t's funny how the Chinese and Asians were abused in the past. Also the Jews and Irish. They all got over it and moved on.

The Asian-American community is celebrating the inclusion of Asian Americans in TV commercials. This has been a fight that this community has been involved in for years. The Jews will never get over the Halocaust - and to intimate that is pure arrogant ignorance. The Irish celebrated the election of John F. Kennedy to the position of POTUS. You are still fighting the removal of Jim Crow practices in these United States. Be honest. You have a problem with your fellow Americans treating 'black' Americans with respect. IMO