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Diversity is a Minstrel Show

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posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 07:12 AM
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So every time I hear some pundit speak of “diversity” it’s always without context or qualification. Divisity is this abstract concept that appears to carry a positive meaning but these faces on television and voices on radio never go any further.

I have some city years under my belt from college and my early days as a “young professional” and remember all my peers speaking highly of the areas diversity but I never really thought anything of it. Again it was always without any context. Just that the city had diversity and diversity was apparently good.

Over the holidays I reunited with some of them still living in the city. During the night joking began about my new rural existence. It apparently lacks diversity. So abhorrent is this lack of diversity several of them exclaimed in horror that they could never visit such a place.

That level of reaction flipped a switch and so I had to investigate the value, in their eyes, diversity had.

The group in question is all white, from reasonably well off families, college educated and professionally employed earning significant salaries. They love the city and the diversity yet they live in the outer ring of the city where it is substantially safer, quieter and wealthier than inside the city itself. Now, I lived inside the city, worked four part-time jobs to put myself through state school and slept in a small room off of the front steps of a crappy building in a crappy neighborhood during my time in that city.

So I asked them what this diversity means to them and what they get out of it that is so rewarding.
The responses were so superficial I wondered how I ever ended up being friends with these people in the first place. Variety of food, music, art, entertainment are essentially what all responses boiled down to.

Granted there exists all those things but what do you see when you’re out consuming all this variety? For the most part it’s more white, reasonably well-off people there consuming the product right along with you. Occasionally you’ll see folks who aren’t white but they’re just as wealthy, have the same education as you and for all cultural intents and purposes are no different from you. Those with cultural diversity from your own tend to be the locals. Locals who do local things like ignore the fancy restaurants, shows and galleries either because they don’t care or cannot afford. They spend their evenings out at local bars and get burgers from fast food places while the wealthy white (culturally speaking not racially) spend their money at the fancy Ethiopian restaurant and take in off-Broadway shows.

So what I got out of their descriptions of what diversity is to them and my experiences of actually living in a city and doing city person things with city people is that for the young professional college educated overtly “tolerant” individuals diversity is essentially a minstrel show. Diversity means picking which ethnicity will serve your dinner tonight. Diversity means tossing some coins at immigrant street performers.

Diversity be praised.

Seems to me the whole point of equality is not even noticing diversity in the people around you because they’re all just people around you. At least that's how I saw it, or rather didnt see it, as a poor local living in crappy area like everyone else.

So are these friends of mine sincere in their soft racism or were they just horribly inarticulate as to the real value of diversity?
edit on 16-1-2014 by thisguyrighthere because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 07:25 AM
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I cannot speak to your friends, as I do not know them. All I can do is expound on my own thoughts and approach to life.

To me, diversity *can* be a good thing. I truly enjoy having friends of all cultures and backgrounds. But those that are my friends, are respectful of each other, myself, and themselves. I personally value and enjoy the opportunity to learn about them, their culture, and their perspective. It only broadens my own life and perspective.

Where diversity fails, is when folks enter into the mix and seem to think they can have their own little piece of their homeland wherever they are. Hey, in your home, fantastic. Even a "chinatown" or "little italy" type place where people of that background tend to congregate or live...great! But, at some point, you have to give and take. You cannot expect to move to another country and live life the way you did back home. There are new rules, social and legal, that simply must be adhered to. That is not to say that the adopted homeland should be callous and ignore everything about their new additions...but, it is a give and take scenario.

Also, with diversity, you tend to get the good folks and the bad folks. The good folks...fantastic. They are hard working, and good people, who simply want a better way of life. The bad folks, the criminals, are most likely here because the pickings got a little slim back home. Or it got too hot for them, and they had warrants out after them.

I love diversity. I love seeing contrasts. Contrast does not have to mean not living in harmony.


Now, as for enjoying the rural life...hey, that's the beauty of America. We HAVE the space. Enjoy it! You don't *HAVE* to like diversity....you have that right. But, at some point, you're going to encounter it. And I'm not aiming this at the OP, rather, towards the isolationists and the racists.


edit on 16-1-2014 by zeroBelief because: BOO!!!



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 07:31 AM
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zeroBelief

I love diversity. I love seeing contrasts.


That's sort of what I was getting at. Seeing diversity as a contrast is entertainment. Like planting a flower garden.

The people who live around you are just the people who live around you regardless of what they look like or where they come from. Not some rainbow to take pictures of and mail back to your family in Iowa.

It seems like so much of this "I love diversity" stuff is safari for tourists.
edit on 16-1-2014 by thisguyrighthere because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 07:34 AM
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reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 


Diversity.

I think we, as humans, tend to forget that we are all one single race. In that the only diversity that exists is primarily cultural in nature with slight variations in genetics.

I agree that the mere act of mentioning diversity shows ones lack of true understanding. If diversity is something you seek, you are missing the point.

Your friends seem to be afraid of the very same diversity they allegedly revere. If diversity is so important why escape said diversity by moving to the fringes of it's existance?

Kallisti



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 07:42 AM
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reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 



Seems to me the whole point of equality is not even noticing diversity in the people around you because they’re all just people around you.

Same here, but these PC buffoons have turned it into a "OMG, that's sooo ethnic" contest...

They put so much focus on diversity, that they are incapable of understanding equality.



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 07:45 AM
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CagliostroTheGreat

If diversity is something you seek, you are missing the point.


That's exactly how I feel. It'd be like going out of your way to find a member of another race to date not because you like that person but just because you want that score on your card.


Your friends seem to be afraid of the very same diversity they allegedly revere. If diversity is so important why escape said diversity by moving to the fringes of it's existance?


This happens a lot with so-called proponents. They champion causes or ideals they themselves are isolated from for whatever reason. Maybe it makes them feel better to think they are helping, maybe they see it as a power play for their reputation, maybe they just want to control a bunch of people. Who knows. But it is very common for people who know nothing of a thing or way of life to but their heads in and start playing around with things.



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 07:53 AM
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thisguyrighthere

zeroBelief

I love diversity. I love seeing contrasts.


That's sort of what I was getting at. Seeing diversity as a contrast is entertainment. Like planting a flower garden.

The people who live around you are just the people who live around you regardless of what they look like or where they come from. Not some rainbow to take pictures of and mail back to your family in Iowa.

It seems like so much of this "I love diversity" stuff is safari for tourists.
edit on 16-1-2014 by thisguyrighthere because: (no reason given)


No, that's not what I meant, although I believe I can see why you'd think that.

What I meant is, I enjoy the difference in opinions. I enjoy the variety in life. I enjoy working with and getting to know the people.

This is hardly vaudeville put on for anyone's entertainment. If anyone admits to that, they are a sad individual, IMHO.

And as for seeing contrasts...frankly, I've lived in South Carolina before...wow...did that get pretty damned boring pretty damned quick. The place felt about as three dimensional as a line on an imaginary grid. It just didn't feel "alive" to me.

But, I was also raised to specifically value differences in people. To respect the differences. To take it as an opportunity to learn, evaluate my own beliefs and perceptions, and possibly to grow. And therefore, this is what I consider the norm. If not for others, for me. My father saw how the Missouri area we were living in produced his father (not to say all folks from Missouri are hypocritical, bigoted, or members of the KKK), a hypocritical bigoted member of the KKK, and did not want that for us. So, we moved.



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 07:56 AM
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On another site someone posted the equation Diversity plus Proximity equals Conflict and went on to say that the self appointed liberal intelligentsia diversity exponents never live in ghetto. I am not expressing this view I am merely bringing it to the topic.



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 09:26 AM
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Had a chance to date girls from different culture? Visit friend who are different culture? sucks many people never had this chance. Its a new world and perspective. Im glad my high school era had much diversity. I grew up in a area(my city) consisting of now mostly Asians, Indian, Moderate amount of whites(i guess most left when Indian and Asians moved in) and some blacks.

I personally cannot live in a area with just 1 type of people(both racially and class wise)... That would feel wired...there is something special in going to a local homemade food joint where you can eat with your hands and cont care about people judging you.

I hate some fancy restaurants... to me its just overpriced food and forcing yourself to eat food that doesn't require a knife and a fork.



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 10:23 AM
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reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 


Diversity seems superficial when your experience with other people is superficial, and superficiality is vital to standardized well-marketed franchises.

Of course a homogeneous group discussing the diversity of people serving a strictly mechanical function such as carrying dinner plates will conclude diversity doesn't offer much.

Get invited to a BBQ with some Yemeni smugglers, tutor a Japanese exchange student, make peace with your heina's primos- get exposed to different social rules and maybe borrow a few things you like, hear a different "official story" than you'd get from the media that was intended for you, triangulate on life with someone who has seen from another angle.

Diversity isn't a minstrel show, Western Civilization is just bad theater. Walk out of it and talk to real people in the street instead of just looking at shallow characters on the stage.



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 10:33 AM
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luciddream
Had a chance to date girls from different culture?


Because of who they are or because of what they are?



Visit friend who are different culture?


All the time. My best friends were Japanese, Chinese, Camobian and Laotian. Wasnt anything different about them than myself. We all played Nintendo and ate pizza. Our fridges might have had different foods in them but so did the fridges among my white friends and black friends too.


sucks many people never had this chance.


The chance to what, exactly? I think that's what I'm asking with this thread. Why is it special to hang out with somebody from somewhere else? Especially when your interests and hobbies are identical which is presumably the reason you are hanging out with each other in the first place.

Now I mean this as an illustration of the mentality I find often attached with calls for "diversity" and not at all to be directed toward you but isnt shopping around for diversity because you like to watch black people dance just as offensive as shopping around for an all-(insert race/ethnicity here) neighborhood to live in?

You live where you live and your neighbors are who they are. People shouldnt be treated like water-front, park access or school systems. Gee, I like this neighborhood there are a lot of (ethnicitys) here or gee I like this neighborhood there are not a lot of (ethnicitys) here.

They both sound equally horrible and offensive to me.



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 10:42 AM
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reply to post by The Vagabond
 


What you're talking about is differing life experiences. That's great. But what does that have to do with race or ethnicity?

Now I get it if what is actually meant by "diversity" is different life experiences.

So if that's the case then I understand the value completely. Just seems too often race is used as a shortcut despite the life experiences of the parties in question being largely homogenized.

Take a local school with a complete mix of black, asian, middle-estern, white whatever. If they're all third or fourth generation Americans living in the same town their whole lives watching the same TV and playing the same games where's the diversity? There is none.

On the other hand a group of fresh immigrants from wherever of various ages then that definitely offers some real diversity.



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 10:43 AM
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reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 


Maybe your friends are boring? I don't mean to be mean but how the hell could everyone you know really be exactly the same unless they've been brainwashed by commercialism to the point that they only notice clothes dancing and food but not individuality?



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 10:50 AM
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reply to post by The Vagabond
 


Everyone is pretty much the same after the third or fourth generation in a country. Being friends makes it even more so.

Sure we all have personal opinions and thoughts but even those after a period of time are all shaped by the world around us to be simply one selection off a chart of options made available to us by the culture in which we live. Even "outside of the box" is just another box.



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 10:50 AM
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reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 


Sorry to reply while you were working on a reply.

Obviously differing experience is not racial in a genetic sense, its environmental, but the geographic clustering of genes means that different race often indicates exposure to a different environment, at least by proxy through parents or grandparents.

For example, my heavily Americanized Mexican friends share most environment on common with me, but they have different attitudes on discipline coutesy of wooden-spoon weilding grandma's.



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 01:26 PM
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Diversity of culture, not race is being to referred to here. 'Race', if people insist on using this outdated term, is lazy-speak for culture in this context. When you are experiencing diversity if culture, you are not experiencing diversity of race, if such a thing is even possible.

People who live in a predominant culture, may identify differencing cultures by the colouration and other distinguishing features of a group of people outside that culture and attribute their culture as being assigned to their 'race'. Which of course is not true.

Difference of culture is different ways of living, different perspectives, beliefs, foods, clothing etc which anyone can experience and heighten their knowledge, increase their own choices of how to live. This is diversity.
edit on 16-1-2014 by spacedog1973 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 01:50 PM
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thisguyrighthere

Seems to me the whole point of equality is not even noticing diversity in the people around you because they’re all just people around you. At least that's how I saw it, or rather didnt see it, as a poor local living in crappy area like everyone else.

So are these friends of mine sincere in their soft racism or were they just horribly inarticulate as to the real value of diversity?


"Diversity" as a word is the same as prejudice to me. Any word that serves to point out the fact that there are DIFFERENCES between people is divisive. Is there a word to denote the similarities between people that is in common usage in the mainstream media? There is not. There are all kinds of traps in this system that are set for the very purpose of self-imposed segregation. But what it mostly comes down to is CLASS, not necessarily race.

Inner cities are so far removed in class and culture even from people in places that live only miles or blocks away from it. These are the people whose welfare and unemployment has been cut. Not to derail the topic, but what divides us most starkly from one another is our conception of wealthy and poor, which is becoming more and more clear every day.

At one time, the unthinking, inconsiderate middle class had disdain for the poor because it seemed they were supporting them through their tax dollars. Now, the middle class is shrinking, and the lower class is growing, and the middle class who is losing out now can not only blame the poor, they can also blame the very rich. There will be a clash of classes, then there will be a clash of races.

As far as your friends are concerned, I just don't think that they were prepared on that particular occasion to think as deeply as you, if they ever have. Keep your friends, but don't let them walk around in the dark.



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 04:05 PM
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Well, I've lived in the city, country, suburbs, and abroad.

I'm well traveled.
What I have found - is people are people no matter where you are at. In Germany, yes the ethnic culture of the land was an experience to learn from and discover - but German people were just as city people or country folk at home in Texas or Michigan. As diverse and different amongst themselves individually as we all are.

I live in the city. I miss the country though. The quiet, solitude, gardening, canning, animals, fishing, hunting, ...... heaven. I'll get back out there, lost in the back forty someday. Rather sooner than later.

CdT



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 08:52 PM
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Mon1k3r

"Diversity" as a word is the same as prejudice to me. Any word that serves to point out the fact that there are DIFFERENCES between people is divisive.


Tell me about it. I fell in love with this person, then it turns she was a different gender than me. Worse still, she wasn't strictly heterosexual like me, and didn't like making decisions, while I am very opinionated and decisive. Being a different religion she was completely oblivious to the hypocrisy of my daily life, and she hated cigarettes so much that she never made me share my last one with her and in fact may have caused me to save a few dollars and extend my life a bit. You can imagine how things went with us being so different.

Come on, I can understand complaints against social engineering solely in the name of diversity and the dehumanizing hipster obsession with aesthetic diversity that goes without any attempt at understanding. I get that there's this murky semi-relationship between race, class, and culture that makes the issue hard to think or talk about objectively.

Bottom line is though that stagnation is usually a sign if not a cause of death or dysfunction, while change is a sign if not a cause of vitality. Recombining things that are simple and similar into increasingly complex and different forms seems to be what the universe does with everything. Hydrogen isn't good enough- hydrogen has to become a whole table of elements, the elements have to combine into a wide spectrum of molecules, then polymers, unicellular life, multicellular life, ecosystems, social groups, nations- but there isn't one tiny bit of any of it that isn't exactly the same as all the rest if you take it completely apart. Just a bunch of protons standing around holding their electrons. So if you want an anti word for diversity I suggest either "disintegration" or "sausage fest".

I will close by pointing out however that if this cosmic evolution view of diversity is accepted, then diversity needn't really ever be mentioned for its own sake, as it is merely a symptom of natural processes that make up life running their normal, healthy cycle, and where there is less diversity, the question is not how do I make this place more diverse- the question is what made this place this way and is it a good place to be- You don't need more white people in Juarez, cause they'd just die or move away if you brought them, so you need to recognize that Juarez isn't where you wanna live.



posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 11:54 PM
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The Vagabond
So if you want an anti word for diversity I suggest either "disintegration" or "sausage fest".


That was awesome!


...the question is not how do I make this place more diverse- the question is what made this place this way and is it a good place to be...


I think this is fundamental. This is underlying the prejudice stemming from the whole political correctness/diversity/acceptance for the sake of acceptance thing. Great post, man. Humorous and pertinent. Great angle, I like it.



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