Enemy of Diversity

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If you’ve received
e-mail announcing that the “Rev.” Al Sharpton is scolding Tiger
for the lack of racial diversity in his selection of mistresses
— you should be able to tell by the satirical tone of the article
and its level of ridiculousness that it
is a spoof

But, as all
good satire does, it makes a point. It is a humorous critique of
how our culture elevates racial quotas as a social good even over
and against marital fidelity and personal honor and integrity —
as well as how some people make a killing at being perpetually and
professionally “offended.” There is just enough of a grain of truth
in the attitude attributed to Mr. Sharpton to make the reader pause
just for a second and say, “Hey, did he really say that?”

But before
we dismiss the whole idea as beyond the pale, check out what was
in our local paper (and maybe even yours as well) a few days ago:
is a syndicated Op-Ed by Eugene Robinson
of the Washington
(Com?)Post. Note that Mr. Robinson’s piece, while it makes no
mention of Al Sharpton, takes the same tack as the spoof: chastising
Mr. Woods for (yes, indeed) the lack of diversity among his mistresses!

Mr. Robinson
covers his, er, bases with the following mealy-mouthed lip service
to the sanctity of marriage: “I’m not going to pronounce judgment
on Woods’s moral fiber, except to state that adultery is bad.” Wow.
That’s going out on a limb.

But the meat
of the article is an explanation of what really miffs Mr. Robinson:

“Here’s my
real question, though: What’s with the whole Barbie thing?

No offense
to anyone who actually looks like Barbie, but it really is striking
how much the women who’ve been linked to Woods resemble one another.
I’m talking about the long hair, the specific body type, even
the facial features. Mattel could sue for trademark infringement….

But the world
is full of beautiful women of all colors, shapes and sizes — some
with short hair or almond eyes, some with broad noses, some with
yellow or brown skin. Woods appears to have bought into an “official”
standard of beauty that is so conventional as to be almost oppressive.”

There you have
it. Oppressive Mistress Selection (OMS?) brought on by lack of diversity.
The world has officially gone mad. It is not even competent to stand

Is Robinson’s
serious column really that far from the parody:

“The Rev.
Al Sharpton held a press conference today to blast Tiger Woods
for the lack of diversity among his mistresses. Sharpton claims
that the lack of African-American women among Woods' harem will
have a negative affect on the black community, specifically young
black girls. ‘Why is it that a man who calls himself black can't
bring himself to cheat on his wife with a black woman?" said
Sharpton, speaking to a group of supporters in Harlem. "What
does it say to young black girls everywhere when you pass them
over? Shame on you, Tiger Woods. What would your daddy say?'”

I believe the
whole “diversity” thing is misguided.

Just today
at a large chain book store, I read their business creed posted
on the wall. Their last thesis is something to the effect that they
are committed to “diversity in the work force.” That’s their right
as an employer, but as a customer, I have to admit that I would
prefer “excellence in the work force.” If the clerk is friendly,
helpful, and can get my books for me quickly, do I really care if
she is Mongolian, lesbian, right-handed, or worships toads? If the
barista keeps the line moving and puts a nice froth on a cappuccino,
does it really matter if he’s Norwegian, missing a limb, or a devotee
of the Meher Baba? I just don’t care. And isn’t that supposed to
be the point of eliminating discrimination in the first place? Should
I be bent out of shape that the friendliest clerk, who always recognizes
me and jokes with me at the cash register is black and female? Should
I complain that she doesn’t “look like me?”

But once again,
the world has gone mad.

And the whole
“diversity” thing is a misnomer. I went to the bank today to deposit
a check. Since it is a busy time of year, there were nine teller
windows open. All nine of the tellers were black women (which means
Tiger apparently has three more mistresses than my bank has tellers…).
Do I care about my bank’s ethnic demographic? Should I march in
with a sign and protest the blatant lack of “diversity” in their
work force?

I really don’t
care as long as I get good service.

Tiger Woods feels the same way about his, er, “friends.”

14, 2009

Larry Beane [send him mail]
serves as pastor and teaches junior high Latin and Religion classes
at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in Gretna, LA. Visit
his blog.

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