“Diversity Workshops” are the current preferred indoctrination tool for modifying speech and behavior. Even though you may have heard of them, you may not know how widespread they are. Without fanfare, and with an assist from academia and the mainstream media, they have permeated our society, large cities as well as small towns. These workshops are conducted in grade schools, including pre-K, high schools, junior colleges, and universities as well as public organizations and private companies. Government funds, private grants and payments from user organizations fund the workshops. Attendance is mandatory and failure to attend results in disciplinary action.
If you haven’t been subjected to one of these “tolerance expanding opportunities," I will take you on a brief tour of one — actually a composite of a couple of such workshops. The workshop is entitled: “Making a Difference by Valuing Diversity.” Because some of what you will read may sound improbable, I normally would assure you that I am not making it up. But I realize that I don’t have to make a disclaimer, because, after decades of social engineering, although dumbfounded by it, you will realize it is true.
A diversity workshop, like other propaganda mechanisms, is propelled by language manipulation, i.e., semantics. A basic axiom of semantics states that if you change words, you can change behavior. Semantic mumbo jumbo, or “spin," has so infected politics that we no longer expect elected officials to use plain English. A tax may be called a User Fee or a Revenue Enhancement. Racial preferences are called Affirmative Action. And so on. But with diversity workshops, semantic sorcery has been elevated to an all-time high. Indeed, whoever created this workshop material has a well-thumbed Thesaurus.
To begin with, instructors are called “facilitators” and they have been trained to “build and sustain enthusiasm for the value of diversity” by creating an “interactive framework for the mentor-mentee relationship.” Facilitators have been instructed how to deal with “resistant participants” — a participant who may resist or question what is being facilitated. Participants soon learn that, in a diversity workshop, diversity of opinion is not tolerated. Everyone must leave the workshop sanctified with identical sanitized opinions. In other words, the ultimate goal of diversity is uniformity.
Two females, one white and one black, conducted the workshop. These two stern facilitators didn’t waste time with greetings and pleasantries. They moved right into the workshop proper. One facilitator presented the material. The other strolled slowly through the room; scrutinizing participants and making notes in a notebook, apparently recording reactions.
To kick off the session, another semantic device was applied — referring to an opinion as though it were a fact. Phrases such as; “As we know," “It is now recognized” and “There is general agreement” are commonly employed. The facilitator explained that diversity workshops are essential in order to correct the discriminatory practices of “white males” — “The Dominant Culture” — who for years “set the standard” for our society. In doing so, these Anglo males structured a patriarchal society that excluded participation by women, non-white males, and other ethnic groups. Gays and lesbians were also held back by white males. At this point, the facilitator altered the pejorative term “white males” to “straight white males.”
After the facilitator finished gelding straight white males, she moved into a discussion of sexual orientation. She made it clear that straight white males discriminate against other groups but gay white males do not. Next she described the “typical” white male who has negative attitudes toward gay men. He is usually older, less well educated, and normally from the South or Midwest where homophobic and sexist attitudes are the norm. He is more likely to attend religious services, endorse orthodox religious beliefs and be supportive of traditional gender roles. While the facilitator acknowledged that dissuading this group from its “biases” and provincial beliefs would be difficult, she noted that successful government oversight of hiring practices has drastically reduced their presence in organizations.
One salient point that was repeated again and again was that there is no longer a majority in America. Furthermore, minorities do not exist anymore. These terms are obsolete. Today we do not have a “melting pot” society but rather a “salad bowl” society — she preferred to call it a “delicious stew” — a collection of coequal groups without a majority or minority. Attendees must comprehend and accept this fundamental change in the new American society. Once understood, they must alter their perspective so that schools and workplaces can “accelerate acceptance of diversity’s value within every group and at every level.”
As the workshop proceeded, its content appeared to be more influenced by Feminism. According to the facilitator, women have suffered most from the callousness of males and gender inequality received an extended analysis. The facilitator objected to terms that qualify the sexes such as “female doctor” or “male nurse.” She explained that unequal treatment of girls begins in grade school and continues throughout high school and into college years. Some educators in Beaufort apparently share this concern. As a result some schools designate certain days when boys must come to school dressed like girls and girls dressed like boys. This is a sociological attempt to help the sexes “empathize” with each other and to enable boys to understand the unique problems girls face.
One of the more shocking aspects of the workshop was an attack on the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The facilitator asked those who believed this biblical precept to raise their hands; an overwhelming majority did so. Shaking her head, the facilitator lashed out at the Golden Rule and dismissed it as outdated and no longer relevant to our contemporary society. Attendees were given verbal and written instructions to abandon the Golden Rule in favor of the “Platinum Rule”: “Treat people how they want to be treated.” This directive not only offended religious sensibilities but many felt it was contrary to common sense. One woman brought up the example of an employee, who goofs off, makes excessive mistakes and causes conflicts with co-workers. This person might wish to be treated as a conscientious employee but that is not the case. The facilitator knew how to deal with this resistant participant.
She explained that people from diverse groups cannot always be judged by the dictates of “the dominant culture” — one that was constructed to accommodate straight white males and represents a patriarchal and defunct past. Also, the problems enumerated by the participant might be “perception” related and based on a stereotyped view of the faulty worker’s cultural group. She informed the resistant participant that: “Prejudice is a self-fulfilling prophecy.” But another attendee pursued the question: What about an employee who is always late? To which the facilitator gave this Clintonesque response: “It depends on what your definition of u2018late’ is.” She then admonished the participant for viewing differences as weaknesses.
To demonstrate why prejudice is so pervasive in America, the facilitator used the “iceberg analogy.” Seven-tenths of an iceberg is hidden and we can only see the small part that rises above the surface of the ocean. Likewise, in our interactions with others, especially other cultural groups, we are only aware of a small part of the total person. So, because of the biases acquired from the dominant culture, we prejudge those that are different from us. But valuing diversity requires that we must move beyond our biases and respect differences.
Attendees were instructed to stop regarding certain modes of dress or grooming as more “professional” than others. Clothing, body adornments, and grooming may vary widely from one cultural group to another and it is wrong to insist on one form only. This does not value diversity. Instead, it is yet another outdated concept left over from the reign of conservative white Anglo males. Idiomatic speech and work habits as well as concepts of time may be culturally influenced thereby resulting in differing approaches to accomplishing tasks. Participants were encouraged to avoid making distinctions regarding work styles or insisting on a standard of performance and instead accept the relativism inherent among diverse groups.
Because of the biases we have learned from the former dominant culture, we feel uncomfortable around people who are different and judge them with stereotyped opinions, screening out any evidence that contradicts our prejudice. Ingrained biases cause us to engage in “collusion.” Collusion is a form of “social crime” defined as “cooperation with others, knowingly or not, to reinforce stereotypical attitudes, prevailing behaviors, and norms using silence, denial, or active participation.” Jokes are one of the most virulent forms of collusion; someone or some group is always the butt of the joke. Derogatory terminology is a form of collusion: terms such as “Indians” instead of Native Americans, “Blacks” instead of African-Americans and “handicapped” instead of functionally impaired. Unequal references such as “men and ladies” are also insensitive.
Silence can be a form of collusion; one that especially annoys the facilitator. For example, if you are standing in line in the cafeteria or waiting for an elevator, your silence could be injurious to a member of another cultural group standing near you. It might give the appearance that you do not wish to converse with them as an equal. Also, body language, such as not making eye contact, folding your arms across your chest, and dismissive facial expressions can be hurtful to members of other groups. The facilitator made it clear that collusion is always wrong whether intentional or unintentional.
Attendees were informed that the organization will conduct frequent “cultural audits and climate assessments” to determine new workplace rules. Standards of speech and conduct will be posted and failure to comply could result in severe disciplinary measures and possibly termination. Included in the posted rules will be a requirement that employees report other workers whom they have observed engaging in collusion — telling jokes that might demean other groups, using disparaging terminology, engaging in inappropriate silences or displaying unsuitable body language. These offenders must be reported and disciplined on a timely basis to accelerate the implementation of diversity.
At the close of the workshop, each participant was required to complete a “Valuing Diversity Action Plan” in which they committed to personal diversity goals. Some of the categories listed on the “Plan” were — My most important diversity goal, which I commit to working toward, is: — Benefits I will gain from valuing diversity: — Perceptions about people who are different from me that I will work to change: — Ways I will contribute to creating an environment that values diversity. The facilitators made copies of each attendee’s “Action Plan” so that their goals could be reviewed in twelve months to determine what each had accomplished.
The problems enumerated by the facilitators indicate that “valuing diversity” is not going to be easy. Even Sesame Street might not pass muster with these Orwellian martinets. But they were adamant that organizations must “implement and manage diversity” and “sustain a commitment to change.” Human resources departments may not be adequately staffed to administer these new restrictions on speech and behavior so companies may need to create an Office of Equity & Diversity as some colleges have already done.
A common reaction to the diversity workshop went something like this: I was forced to attend and because I don’t want to be disciplined by management, I’ll just “grin and bear it.” Most white males left the room scowling. Many females were also irritated. Typically they complained: My husband/boyfriend is a straight white male and I resent the blanket indictment made against that group! The disparagement of the Golden Rule as well as other explicit and implicit criticisms of religious beliefs also offended many attendees. A few disgruntled participants claimed that they would refuse to attend future diversity workshops regardless of the consequences
Today, all organizations of any size consist of males and females, members of various racial and ethnic groups, persons with different sexual orientations and handicapped persons. Members of all these groups can be found in all levels of management. Like most human beings, they work together and interact without conflicts the majority of the time. Are our organizations perfect? No. Or, if I may paraphrase the facilitator: It depends on what the definition of “perfect” is. And therein lies the problem. Who will decide when “perfection” has been achieved?
I maintain that these Diversity Bolsheviks are “Frustrated and distraught idealists.” This is the term used by one scientist to describe individuals who want to make the world perfect — perfect according to their definition. Psychologists classify Workaholic as a behavior disorder — symptoms being a high need to control, inflexibility and perfectionism. But don’t these symptoms apply to these fascistic idealists? How is it that they have escaped the attention of mental health professionals?
Gail Jarvis [send him mail], a CPA living in Beaufort, SC, is an advocate of the voluntary union of states established by the founders.