Diversity Camp


The moment people familiar with this website surely never look forward to arrived for a friend of mine a while back. She received a notice from the Human Resources Department of the company she works for requiring her attendance at a Diversity Training seminar. It is for her good, you know. Was there a way she could avoid attending what promised to be a superfluous event, she asked me? Since it is practically impossible to find an honest way to avoid Marx Brother's movie-like farces of this sort, I told her to strive to be entertained by it. Approach it in the same manner you would while watching the Hollywood Glitterati as they arrive at Earth Day celebrations in limousines and luxury SUV's. Attune your ears as you would while listening to one of our mendacious senators as he professes his solidarity with working families or assassinates the character of a political opponent in garbled, pseudo-English. Heck, I went on to say, if your employer wants to pay you not to work for a couple of hours, why not happily oblige?

But why must she attend? We live in a Blue State for heaven's sake; with the know-it-all, enlightened, do-good-or-elsers. Should not diversity training camp be for those benighted crackers in Dixieland and the rubes in Fly-Over-Country, as the smart, diversity celebrating folks up here contemptuously refer to them? I also wonder why it takes a good part of an afternoon to train people – who get along quite well she informs me – to get along with each other. After all, if her observations over many years of employment at her company lead her to conclude there are no tensions based upon race, sex, class, nationality, or any of the plethora of categories the meddling social engineers have pigeon-holed us hapless souls into, is there any reason to believe the people assigned with the job of making the operation run smoothly should conclude otherwise? If there are problems caused by someone acting in an inappropriate manner towards another, why not simply punish the malefactor? Why assume everybody is pregnant with hetero-Eurocentric epithets and therefore in need of instruction on how to properly behave?

Speaking from my experience, since I was a young boy, my father and mother taught me that while I did not have to be best friends with everybody I did, nevertheless, have to accept others and try to get along with them. If I failed to understand their instruction, the Gospels stated it succinctly: "Ye shall love thy neighbor as thyself." Is it necessary for a facilitator to either lecture or instruct people who have earned at least an undergraduate degree and are between the ages of twenty-two and sixty-five on what they most assuredly already know – and what my friend and I have known since the age of seven?

If her colleagues are similar to my co-workers, I surmise that very few of them, if any anticipate attending this mandatory program with any enthusiasm. I wonder how many of them would attend if it was a voluntary offering. I certainly would not because I do not need to. How do I know this? Well, besides the Holy Trinity, nobody knows me better than I. Diversitivity class is the elephant in the dining room. We all know it is there but we pretend not to see it. I think the only reason diversity (re)programs exist is because they are mandated by a State which assumes all of us poor, benighted souls are some species of bigots or whatsamaphobes that, despite plenty of contrary evidence, cannot coexist without its "offer" of "help."

I told my friend that if she feels courageous during her session of diversity camp, she should tell her commissar what my parents and the Gospels said. However, in this surreal era of tolerance, I reminded her that if she does so, she will likely be chided for her Hetero-Eurocentric, Christian bias which – we are all supposed to realize upon instruction by our superiors – is hurtful, divisive and simply…intolerable! My friend and I never mandate others either celebrate or adopt our beliefs. Can the diversity programmers honestly make the same assertion?

December 20, 2006