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

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Diversity? - The Primacy Of Privilege

Eleanor Bartlett grew up in a white, upper middle class, privileged family in a neighborhood of likes, all with the same values, tastes, and ambitions.  Yet far from the staid, stolid, and boringly conservative caricature drawn by proponents of diversity, Ellie's community was nothing of the sort.  Yes, it was Hamiltonian in outlook, Episcopalian in belief, and very good-mannered, polite, and respectful - fundamental traits that had not changed or wavered since their first ancestors arrived in Plymouth and thrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  While they had evolved to a more tolerant and considerate Protestantism since the days of Cotton Mather, Salem, and John Davenport, the never lost that spartan rectitude of their ancestors.


The more telling description of the New Brighton West Enders was their remarkable intellectual diversity.  The community had produced more financiers, philosophers, mathematicians, and musicians per capita than any other on the East or West Coasts.  Success had been ingrained within the community ethos; and a remarkable nurturing of individual ability and enterprise had assured that many attained it.  No one in New Brighton was forced into a profession for which they had little aptitude, so all thrived on the sense of individuality and personal worth instilled in them from birth. 

The current generation of West Enders, living in the full bore of anti-liberal progressivism, a latter day Utopianism which championed a diversity which stopped at race, gender, and ethnicity.  Being black or gay was enough to gain entry into the big tent of neo-idealism.  Anything further was incidental to individual identity.  

Few geniuses ever emerged from the tent, so limiting and prescriptive was it.  Individual enterprise, particularly if it prospered in the white, majority society, was discouraged.  Radical progressivism was tribal and obdurate.  It was totemic, a society worshipping image, icons, and statuary; and as such stale and unimaginative.  While West Enders were writing musical addenda to the Goldberg variations or taking atonality to another level, progressives were reopening bathhouses, advocating for more transgenders on afternoons soaps, and filing briefs for the recognition of the inner city ghetto as the new breeding ground for African bloodline. 


For decades American progressives have championed the African American as a more pure human being.  As the first descendants of Lucy, Africans and now the African diaspora, retain the tribal essence of the heart of the continent, and as such should be raised to their proper place on top of the social pyramid. 

As much as this retro anointment seems folly to most, it has become the core and the heart of the progressive movement whose goal is a majority black population.  Progressives are the last to censure inner city men for their sexual adventurism, serial relationships, and lack of fatherhood, for to do so would be to censure the very vigorous reproductive life of the black male; and in a disturbing irony, act no different from Antebellum slaveowners who encouraged procreation among their holdings with no concern for family, traditional morality, or social integrity. 

The same is true for the LGBTQ+ community.  It too can do no wrong, sexuality is fungible, and straight heterosexuality is an antediluvian, retrograde idea to be dismantled and dismissed.  

The list of progressive assumptions is seemingly limitless with advocates heaping issue after issue onto the pile.  Everything goes.  Diversity extends to every aspect of social life. 

To progressives the West Enders represent the worst of the worst white, privileged, patriarchal, capitalist men - the enemy of social justice and social reform.  Yet their very existence and their perennial prosperity and socio-cultural success is a stark rebuttal of progressive diversity.  Race, gender, and ethnicity matters not one whit to a productive society; not one iota to those who look similar and act according to common codes but who are prime individuals, indivisible by some alternate mathematics. 

In fact, the homogeneity of the West End provided the foundation for its excellence.  No one in the fertile, boundlessly productive ground of New Brighton, every worried about that kind of personal identity or social diversity. Everyone was the same simply on the surface.  Everyone walked on common ground, reflexively hewed to the morality of respect, rectitude, and honor that had been part of their ancestors and their ancestors. 

The progressive brand of diversity siphons off talent, wastes ability, and diverts intellectual intent.  In its neo-socialist culture, the community of the oppressed - gay, black, women, and Latinos - is paramount.  Your first obligation is to your tribe.  Individuals are poor seconds, only pegs in the larger board of community. 

Ellie Bartlett was so confirmed in her belief of the historical, social, and cultural importance of her family and the community of like-minded residents around her, that she never questioned its preeminence.  How could one criticize a community which had nurtured, educated, and encourages such a range of talent.  One had only to give a cursory look to find judges, start-up billionaires, New York artists, philharmonic cellists, and Ivy league professors - all white, all Christian, all cut from the same cloth. 

Pop culture observers turn to Leonard Bernstein and West Side Story for parallels. 'Stick to your own kind' was the lesson of the musical despite its cross-cultural enterprise.  Communities since the Paleolithic have been insular, tribal, self-protective and self-interested; but as Bernstein hoped to show, it was narrow, hidebound thinking. 

The West Enders and their social kin, however, were nothing like the gangs in the musical.  Although the West Enders were well aware of their cultural uniqueness and the great chasm of cultural difference between them and the inner city redoubts of their progressive urban neighbors, it was of no practical concern.  Fussing about non-essentials had always been an idealist's territory.  The whole package - revisionism, censure, identity, victimhood - was a grab bag of history's leftovers, old chestnuts and discredited ideas. 

The percentage of blacks in the US populations is little over ten percent; but to see the number of blacks on television, in movies, and in advertisements one would think their proportion far more. This legacy of affirmative action, finally getting judicial repeal, is getting tiresome.  We are a tolerant society but not one to be badgered by faux truths spun by political idealists.  

If Ellie watched television, it was by chance. There was simply no time in her research day for the tomfoolery that passed for American politics, and the hammering, harping, and crowing about diversity. Elite, privileged, white, and wealthy?  Yes, but so what?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.