Saturday, May 05, 2012

Diversity Training

If there is an article that is any clearer than this one is about the failure of so-called diversity training, I'd love to read it:
Our friend Suzanne Lucas, the Evil HR Lady, has kicked up quite a storm with her recent piece citing research that questions the effectiveness of diversity training. Maybe it’s the provocative title: Why you should stop attending diversity training.

Or maybe it’s the tagline from the Peter Bergman article from Psychology Today that Suzanne quotes: “Diversity training doesn’t extinguish prejudice. It promotes it.”

Or maybe the suggestions she makes for alternatives to diversity training are rubbing people the wrong way. She thinks that everyone should be treated “nicely and fairly” and that individuals in the workplace should not “look to be offended.

Don’t believe that anyone would actually take offense at those suggestions? Read the comments on Suzanne’s piece. Apparently, the objectives of diversity training are so noble that the actual results delivered don’t matter. To question diversity training is to be opposed to diversity itself, even though both Bergman and Lucas provide suggestions for what they believe would be more effective ways of optimizing communication and understanding within a diverse workforce.

Okay, so assuming that diversity training must exist, I have a couple of ideas for how it might be improved.
Two of his suggestions for improving it are "no double-standards" and "don't invent new ways for people to be offended."  I especially loved this point:
The main class had an exercise in which people wrote down every “fact” they could think of  related to various ethnicities and religions and the two genders. These were written on huge post-it notes that were then stuck on to people representing the various groups. It was a great exercise. Seeing these people covered with these big sheets of paper — some saying good things about them; some, bad — really drove the point home that it’s almost impossible to value people as individuals if we insist on labeling them. (boldface mine--Darren)
I think that's the point, though--the diversophiles don't want us to see people as individuals. Individuals think for themselves, and when we're trying to control people, that's not a desired outcome.


allen (in Michigan) said...

I finally figured out what it is about the word "diversity", as used by lefties, that so rubs me the wrong way - it's a command.

The implication is that a certain number of members of various identity groups must be in evidence or you, or the organization, is racist by implication. So you're required to have a certain number of "fill in identity group" in order to avoid being convicted.

But people reflexively hate being pushed. Issue a command and some people will dig in their heels without a second thought and if you don't have the authority to force compliance they'll ignore you. Lefties don't have that sort of authority so they try to use invective, insult and ostracism as a substitute to enforce compliance.

As the "Phil" correctly observes, "the objectives of diversity training are so noble that the actual results delivered don’t matter" which is the rationale for the invective that follows the questioning of the validity of "diversity".

What stands in opposition to "diversity"? Racism? Hatred? Hardly. Blacks who don't toe the party line are singled out for a special and unrelenting venomousness by proponents of "diversity" as are similarly apostate women.

At first I thought it might be tolerance but upon inspection tolerance is what you need when presented with life's annoyances. Mosquitoes. High humidity. So I came to the conclusion that it's indifference. Indifference to non-vital and non-threatening differences.

What diversity-proponents pretend to stand in opposition too are the sorts of differences between peoples that aren't actually a threat but are useful for creating and maintaining group cohesion. Generally to the benefit of those who are leaders of the group and to the detriment of the followers. So racial and religious differences are flogged into political power and the political power is used to maintain the leadership as well as the differences. So political power springs initially from differences but those differences must be maintained to maintain political power.

The problem though is that differences among peoples tend to erode over time unless political power is exerted to maintain and accentuate the differences. Gratifyingly, it's free enterprise that's a powerful erosive agent of those differences. Time will also erase the perceived differences but free enterprise puts a price tag on bigotry that those who have to pay quickly grow tired of paying.

It's not well known, as you might expect, but the Montgomery, Alabama bus company, upon whose bus Rosa Parks became a historical figure, lobbied against the law that Rosa Parks transgressed. The importance of that law, to the bigots and those who prey upon them is obvious; rubbing shoulders on a common conveyance like a bus might reduce political support for those dependent on that bigotry for their political fortunes.

In any case, it's quite pleasant to read about these sorts of confrontations with the bigotry encouraged and utilized by the left. Another data point on the downward sloping graph of the political fortunes of the left.

pseudotsuga said...

The next step? Get rid of any management position with "Diversity" in its name or focus. Our colleges can find better places to spen money.

MikeAT said...

@ pseudotsuga

I made a similar suggestion to a regular poster at this blog when we discussed cuts to the Defense Budget.

If it says diversity or multi-cultural it's a waste of oxoygen.