then again, maybe not
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April 07, 2006

Privilege, power, ego

My (almost completely white) office is trying to "increase diversity" lately. Yesterday there was conversation about what we want to accomplish with a "diversity training." Aside from getting me to run out the room screaming, of course. Our HR person says "well, I think we're all pretty aware of diverse issues, so education definitely isn't the goal." Then, later in the meeting, in response to a question about getting our (entirely white) high level staff to be more diverse, she said "well, we do most of our promoting from within [not true], so we should try and get those people in at the entry level." BAAAAHHHH!!!!! STOP IT. YOU'RE KILLING ME!!!!!

Anyway. Here's the thing. We're all sitting here in our liberal town in our liberal office tower, congratulating ourselves on how fantastically liberal and open-minded we are. And any challenge to that is a slap in the face. By acknowledging that our office and our message is lily white, we're admitting that we're not perfect, that we're just as human as everyone else, and have thoughts we'd never share at the farmer's market. But here's the thing. Get the hell over yourselves. If you're really a freedom fighter, and if you really believe in the rights of all people, let go of your ego for a minute and listen. That goes for me too. We all get so caught up in our own idea of who we are that we never think critically about what we do.




Comments:
I wonder what would happen if you flat-out asked them something like, "Why?"

that is, when they make vague handwaving gestures about wanting to become more "diverse." Just ask them *why* they want to become more diverse, and wait for the answer, looking at them steadily. I bet it'd be entertaining at least.
 
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