Diversity and Inclusion

The phrase “diversity and inclusion” was almost unknown at the beginning of our century. Now, the woke movement seeks to make it a mandatory, society-wide liturgy. What was behind this concept’s rise? Why has it become so prominent? And what does the phrase really mean?

The eight syllables of this mantra are repeated so often that its two primary ideas often come across as one idea. But they are still linked by an “and.” And they exhibit contrasting characteristics. To understand the motives of those who leverage it, the phrase must be deconstructed on a geometric form.

For example, the term inclusion is easy to analyze. It resides at a location on the political circle that’s difficult to dispute. Since inclusion is aligned with liberal characteristics like “community,” “the commons,” and “cooperation,” it sits near the left pole ……

Due to this left-leaning orientation, it’s easy to see why inclusion’s banner has been flown by universities and the Democratic Party: they’re bastions of liberalism. The term’s connotations of nurturing and acceptance align with their maternal values.

But the other half of the phrase – diversity – isn’t so simple ……

I addressed the concept of diversity in a recent post about a related concept: uniformity (see here). Diversity and uniformity are linked. They reside at competing ends of the power axis ……

The woke movement might brandish the term diversity in its mantra, but that turf has already been claimed by another group. The free speech/free thought advocates at the bottom of the circle embraced the concept of diversity long before the Bill of Rights was passed. And they’re the group most often at odds with the “diversity and inclusion” agenda.

This conflict requires a deeper explanation ……

Diversity and inclusion has been pushed by hierarchical, top-down institutions whose partisanship resides in the upper left quadrant of the political circle. It could be asserted that the movement sits high in that quadrant …… an allegation supported by a number of recent authoritarian actions. But many wokesters reside close to the left pole …… consistent with their conscience-based attachment to the concept of inclusion. This variation in beliefs creates a range of potential locations for proponents of the woke movement ……

We can locate a theoretical midpoint of this range and reference it as the movement’s center of gravity. This location can then be understood in relation to its distance from the locations of diversity and uniformity.

The exercise exposes an alignment of the woke movement against true diversity. It actually attempts to affix a uniform set values on the society …… a uniformity that’s enforced from above.

For wokesters residing near the top of the circle (like Twitter’s Jack Dorsey) this dissonance should probably be attributed to hypocrisy. For those near the left pole, however, (like many peaceful marchers during the George Floyd protests) the misunderstanding is more likely a naive outgrowth of intense idealism.

Either way, the phrase “diversity and inclusion” should be parsed much more deeply before Americans choose to accept or reject it as a cornerstone belief.

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