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A brief manifesto.

Diversity is an important value today. But I think it's overrated in a way.

As I've always understood it, diversity is about emphasizing and celebrating the differences between groups. But in truth, I think our group memberships are the least important things about us.

Some of them may say something about what we believe and what we are; others are simply labels. But groups are the lowest of our traits. It is our common humanity that binds us together; it is our truly unique differences that allow us to contribute and change society. Group membership may flavor our humanity and influence our individuality, but it makes no real contribution of its own. At the same time, though, groups create some of the worst extremes of our behavior: bigotry, tribalism, favoritism, persecution. They're important, but they should not be a focus of our attention, for good or for ill.

I am an American, a Californian, a Scotsman, a Jew, and an atheist. I am a hacker and a writer. I am the product of independent study and of the universities of Britain. I am a libertarian and an objectivist. I am a rational person.

And I don't want anyone else to celebrate these differences. I want them to respect them, understand them, and move on.

Whether you're elevating them or punishing them, emphasizing the differences between groups is the wrong approach. It is what we have in common, and what is truly unique to each person, that's really important.

Comments

( Read 10 comments — Leave a comment )
vorlon010
Jun. 20th, 2008 01:15 pm (UTC)
This of course being why the government policy of 'multi-culturalism' is a mistake - here at least our great strength has always been absorbing people into our own, yet we keep being told 'they're not the same, you have to know how not-same they are!'

dumb, IMO.
sareth
Jun. 20th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
Well said.

As a youth, one of my good friends was a black girl. We didn't care one bit about the whole skin color thing other than to be amused that our scars were the same color.

Got to be a teen, and suddenly, in the name of diversity and race relations, we got such a load of "Don't be racist! Notice the differences and strive to overcome them! Or else! Smite! Evil! Malice! Race relations!" that it actually made the relationship awkward as all of a sudden we began questioning ourselves...

Way to score one for the good guys, Fed...
meganeko_mausuu
Jun. 20th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
At least you don't have to live with, (and do damage control involving your children because of,) someone that actually sees nothing wrong with using the N word on an everyday basis, as in to describe every black person he sees...
chiave_trust
Jun. 20th, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
That sounds like my maternal grandparents, actually. When you end up hearing "Why can't you be around good white boys?" when you're very self-conscious anyway (and in my experience, things like 'good' or 'smart' cut across all traditional classes/distinctions like 'race' or 'religion')... yeah.

chiave_trust
Jun. 20th, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC)
As a question,
Did anything in particular inspire this?

(Like the 'Official Jewish Tartan', found on my flist thanks to khaosworks?)
brentdax
Jun. 21st, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC)
Re: As a question,
I was thinking about my book, and what it's trying to get across, and this was my conclusion. (This due to reading a YA series whose message seems to be "OMG WICCA = AWSUM LOL".)

Edited at 2008-06-21 04:49 pm (UTC)
chiave_trust
Jun. 21st, 2008 09:14 pm (UTC)
Re: As a question,
Which YA series? I've probably have seen it/heard about it/gone WTF? at it before.

Your book... Wide Awake, then, I take it? (Read: Write more of it so I can write more fic plzkthx)
brentdax
Jun. 21st, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
Re: As a question,
It's a series called Sweep—was bored and waiting for something, and sister had the first book in her backpack.

And yes, I was referring to Wide Awake.
chiave_trust
Jun. 21st, 2008 09:24 pm (UTC)
Re: As a question,
So...

"IT WAS THERE."
brentdax
Jun. 22nd, 2008 11:32 pm (UTC)
Re: As a question,
x.x Something like that.
( Read 10 comments — Leave a comment )