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Diversity, cont.

October 1, 2015
tags:

diversity

Victor has a fantastic response to my last post that I strongly recommend. I hope to have a more detailed response soon. In the meantime, I’ll highlight this point that Kenny made on Twitter:

This point is true, and one that I’ve scolded conservatives for myself. That said, I think it’s important to note that Kenny correctly used the word ‘often’ in his sentence above. Not everyone who questions the race/gender focus of diversity efforts want to avoid them. I think many people (people like Rod Dreher come to mind) would genuinely get behind diversity if they felt it included political conservatives, evangelical Christians, etc.

For those of us concerned about diversity in science, I would think that having a broad coalition would help us. And so it’s in our own interests to make genuine attempts to increase ideological and religious diversity in science, however difficult it may be.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2015 12:09 am

    “I think many people (people like Rod Dreher come to mind) would genuinely get behind diversity if they felt it included political conservatives, evangelical Christians, etc.”

    Exactly. In my experience, conservatives don’t oppose diversity per se (I certainly don’t), even if it is based on race. What sticks in our collective craw is the fact that “diversity” always seems to conveniently exclude conservative/traditionalist voices.

    • October 8, 2015 5:58 pm

      Good point. What do you think about the fact that in America diversity efforts necessarily must focus more (but not exclusively) on race, gender, etc. because they were historically oppressed?

      I think diversity efforts are often justified on two distinct grounds: to compensate for historical injustices, and because diversity is intrinsically good. I agree with both justifications, and that’s (partly) why I believe diversity should include religion/political orientation/personality. Not including those dimensions misses something important.

      But even then, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to focus on, e.g., black Americans. Because here in America, they faced severe discrimination.

      Hope this rambling response made some sense!

      • October 8, 2015 10:35 pm

        “What do you think about the fact that in America diversity efforts necessarily must focus more (but not exclusively) on race, gender, etc. because they were historically oppressed?”

        I don’t have a problem with that necessarily. We may disagree on specific ways of getting there. I think the ideal should be MLK’s ideal (not color of skin but content of character). That’s what we should be holding up as the express objective that we’re working towards. But after centuries of treating blacks as if color mattered absolutely, admittedly it seems rather disingenuous to suddenly claim that it matters no longer, because we made it matter. And it continues to matter as long as its negative effects linger.

        That being said, I don’t think that liberal policies generally have helped blacks. Just when actual racism started to decline seems to be when black progress went into reverse, and I attribute that largely to liberal policies and attitudes,

        Personally, I think if you have two equal candidates, the only difference being skin color, pick the black guy. And give black students an extra leg-up in terms of lower admissions standards if necessary, extra tutoring help, mentoring programs, I’m in favor of all that. Whatever actually helps to change black culture to one in which expectations are as high for them as for any other group.

        I don’t agree (though I’m open to being convinced) with the notion that the current degraded position of blacks is due to prevalent ongoing racism, whether overt or covert. I think racism is clearly a minority attitude in the present day, and not the prevailing one. Too often conservative opposition to liberal prescriptions is ipso facto assumed to be opposition to black progress. That’s bullshit.

        And I think that liberals make diversity a harder sell than it needs to be, by making it only skin deep, i.e., the whole spectrum of the rainbow but only the left half of the political spectrum in certain areas (e.g. media and academia).

  2. October 12, 2015 8:51 am

    Thanks for the comment. Appreciate hearing your thoughts.

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