Diversity. It’s a popular word, perhaps even a ‘buzzword’. I hear it on the news, I hear it on podcasts, I read about it in blogs. Apparently, diversity is the next hip thing that we should all embrace. It’s the new-and-improved model for society. But often, when people say diversity, they only mean a higher form of racism, and a higher form of sexism.
Yes. I am white. And male. I understand that. I understand that we never had to fight for equality. Here’s what I mean: The other day I was listening to a podcast about “blind hiring.” In essence, this method makes it easier for companies to go further in the hiring process without knowing the person’s race, gender, and even age. Before, companies could only leave those questions out of preliminary job applications. Now, they can go as far as calling the person, and with this new system, they still won’t know if that person is a black woman, or a white man.
Let me be very clear: I love this. I am not against blind hiring. Here’s where things got weird. The podcast interviewed a person who said something to the effect of “blind hiring is nice, but I don’t want companies to only use it, and then not make strides to being racially diverse.” Read between the lines with me here. The person is saying blind hiring is good. But they also want something else. What is this something else?
“Diversity,” my friend. Many companies who are trying to be hip and new (yes, you, California) are seeking to hire more black people and more women. But really… that’s super sexist and pretty racist. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not sexist towards men somehow, or racist towards white people somehow. It devalues the black woman if she is hired only for her race, and only for her gender. How would you like to be hired, not because you were the best employee, but because you looked different? How would you like to be some company’s trophy of diversity? It’s not right.
Yes, sometimes the man is hired simply because they are a man, not because they are a better worker. And yes, sometimes the white folks are hired because they are white, not because they are a better worker.
But we need to stop talking about race and gender and just talk about good workers! Hire good workers. To hire someone simply because of the way they look, regardless of the way they look, is not respectful to the person.
I understand racism. I know some people are, well, racist. But we can’t change our politics to counter them. We just need to make small changes in our lives.
Oh, and one last thing that is… basically related. Let’s say that I walk into a fast food place and there’s a white guy walking up behind me ten feet. I probably won’t hold the door open for them. But, if that guy is black? I will totally open the door for them. I would probably do it even if they were fifteen feet away. And so, in my own little way, I am being kind of racist… to white people.
Let’s not try to be diverse. Let’s try to be kind. To all people.
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