"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Diversity–Jerks, Dummies, And Sweethearts

I am not sure how I would feel if I were a black man always thrown into the same barrel with other black men regardless of my talent, brains, or ability.  As a white person I am judged on whether I am a jerk, dummy, or sweetheart – or any of the thousand and one possibilities and permutations in between; and that is exactly how I judge others.

There is as man at the gym who from the looks of him is petulant, stubborn, and single. He strides, never walks; but because he is particularly thick from the waist up, he has a pronounced Quasimodo appearance, and his gait is more jungle than urban Washington. 

Quasimodo

The Barking Scarecrow is neurasthenic – scrawny and stringy would be a better description – and despite her scary Auschwitz-like appearance, lectures anyone who will listen about posture, correct position on the rowing machine, and optimum pacing algorithms for the triathlon.  She is gaunt, loud, and absurd.

My college classmate Dan is semi-smart and opinionated. He ‘curates’ his Facebook site with discipline and the obsessive attention of a punctilious gardener.  Another schoolmate has become so involved with progressive causes that he has no time for anything else.  His humor, bonhomie, and good will have long been shed in favor of dead seriousness and purpose.

Bob Rankin, on the other hand, a colleague of mine from years ago, has become a stay-at-home grandfather, a true sweetheart and mensch. He is selfless and caring when it comes to his daughter’s three boys.  He loves them, but is never insistent or demanding of their time.  He is there to help, and it is always appreciated.

The point is that ‘diversity’ has been hijacked. There are only three cargo holds on the freighter – RACE, GENDER, ETHNICITY – and let the odds, ends, and interesting bits sort themselves out.

Diversity

Gender is the only bin which has been deliberately cleaned, emptied and resorted. There are now eleven categories from which to choose on a popular online dating service. ‘Demisexual’, for example, is defined as having “no sexual attraction toward any person unless they become deeply emotionally or romantically connected to someone,”; and ‘Sapiosexual’, one who finds intelligence the most sexually attractive feature.  The other ten run the gamut from timidly erotic to the dominatrix.

Image result for images sapiosexual

Race, which could be as interestingly disaggregated as it is in Brazil where Brazil have been trained to distinguish among racial features and skin colors as astutely as the Aleuts distinguish ice formations and slight variations in water currents.

Image result for images multiracial brazil

No such distinctions are made, because of fear of ‘racial pigeonholing’, a reprise of antebellum New Orleans where octoroons, quadroons, mulattoes, and melungeons were important socio-racial categories established by the white majority. In slave days it was important to distinguish among the freed black population to see just how far-removed they were from whites.  White men often had octoroon mistresses.

Image result for images octoroons new orleans

More importantly, it is important for white liberals to see blacks as a uniform class.  Race as a political issue can never be compelling if it is disaggregated and deconstructed. It would defeat the purpose to say that ‘an unarmed quadroon was shot yesterday by a Wichita police officer’. Racial solidarity – so important to wealthy progressives as well as ambitious, entitlement-oriented black leaders – cannot be tampered with.

There is something to this, of course.  The movement for gay rights is stronger when the alphabet (LGBT) is extended.  Better for all those who are partly gay, sometimes gay, outrageously gay, gay-bent into a hundred gender permutations, or hardly recognizable gay to act as one.

Image result for images LGBT

Still, are all these categories and sub-categories really necessary? Isn’t there some way to acknowledge both class bias and individuality?  I guess not, or at least not for now.  However race, gender, and ethnicity politics is a zero-sum game. While gains may be made through collective identity, proportionate losses to individual integrity and value result.

The Guardian used to be a respectable, left-of-center newspaper; but its new editorial policy for its US edition has changed dramatically.  The online version is little more than a catch-all for the most exaggerated and irrelevant social issues. It doesn’t matter that most men and women in the United States favor sexual equality by a large margin; that few women consider themselves feminists; and even fewer believe that there are plantation-like traces holding them in place; The Guardian hectors, slams, and berates men, complacent women, and political and religious conservatives.

It doesn’t matter to The Guardian that barely one percent of the US population considers themselves LGBT.  From the selection of articles in the paper, one would assume that the proportion is far higher, if not a majority.

Such exaggeration, polemical insistence, and self-righteousness do no one any good, least of all racial, sexual, and ethnic minorities. The incensed indignation of the Left is for its own sake not the clients it pretends to serve.  It feels good to be a compassionate, committed supporter of the less-advantaged.  Yet the more The Guardian and papers like it howl, the more that moderate readers are antagonized.  If a paper of record insists on putting all black people in a pen like the old days, then so will they and be done with it.

Perhaps patience is required.  It obviously has taken more time than we originally thought to integrate black people into the American mainstream and to let them be sorted as jerks, dummies, or sweethearts like the rest of us; so let the big-box categories remain for a bit longer.

Minority communities, encouraged by white liberal patronage, do themselves further damage by holding on to dysfunctional stereotypical behavior.  There is nothing romantic about street creds, grills, bling, guns, and attitude; and yet the white community loves to see this retrograde minstrel show on television and in the movies.  Black doctors and lawyers are too uncommon to resonate with black audiences, and too dull and familiar to appeal to whites.

Image result for images hip hop men bling

Gays, except for the trannie fringe, have moved solidly into the mainstream.  Gone are the days of the Castro, Halloween, and Bay-to-Breakers in San Francisco.  They want to get married and have children.  How dull, regular, and routine is that? But it has turned them into individuals.  Once the side show was abandoned, individuality emerged. 

Image result for images castro gay halloween

How can the image of the running, jumping, and shuckin’-and-jivin’ black man ever be erased when sports and the plantation massa-land of the NBA, NFL, and NCAA assure that they remain in place?  White liberals, ESPN, and Hollywood love black stereotypes.

Racism has been perpetuated by the progressive calls for diversity and cultural authenticity and the exploitation of commercial interests.  Those who yell most about white racism are the most guilty of it.

In the old days Italians were put into ethnic cargo holds just like blacks are now; but it didn’t take more than a generation before they learned what’s what in American society, rejected crude stereotypes and any kind of patronizing group welfare. They became jerks, dummies, and sweethearts very quickly indeed.

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