Friday, November 27, 2009

Understanding Diversity Training

A friend of mine works for the City of Portland Housing Authority, which has the slogan "many cultures, one roof" - almost as if this were abnormal in the modern American melting pot. Hell, I should have the slogan "many cultures, one pasty white ass". Because of the uber-leftist and showy multi-culture-chic nature of Portland, Oregon, the city housing authority scores brownie points and tax dollars by collecting more needy immigrants than Angelina Jolie. As a part of this charade, employees of HAP are required to attend regular diversity training, courses designed to reduce every member of mankind into a tidy package of ethnic stereotypes. Most recently, he was subjected to a course titled "Understanding Asians". No, it was not a Mandarin Language course, nor did it instruct it's participants on the more practical aspects of understanding Asians, such as the fact that some Asian languages do not have a hard "R" sound, thus causing understandable difficulty when pronouncing certain English words. The premise of this course is basically to homogenize all Asian races into one mystical Buddhist-Taoist-Confucian Gordian Knot which, once conveniently unraveled by a highly educated “minority studies” master, provides the HAP employee with all the knowledge necessary to form an eternal bond with the soul of any one he encounters from that particular continent.

The very idea that you can familiarize yourself with a complete stranger just by attending a class about their nationality is completely disgusting and disrespectful. The fundamental thinking behind Diversity Training is basically that humans are not individuals, each worthy of equal respect and regard, but simply faceless members of one race or another, to be treated differently and with pre-judgment. The joy of diversity training is that it trains you to think of your coworker Achmed, not as "that great guy I work with who cracks the funny jokes and prays a lot", but rather as "one of those people, you know, different from you and me".

The one good thing in all of this is that there is no class titled "Understanding Portuguese-Welsh-Dutch-Danish-Irish-Scottish-Polish Americans". This means that I, at least, will never be confronted by a HAP city employee who condescendingly treats me like an old pal, just because they were taught the secret handshake of “my people” by some minority studies hack.

Racism sucks, but diversity training is not the answer. Diversity training actually makes our society worse by emphasizing the differences between us. True racism is always obvious, and a mature society deals with it in the same way as any other inequity - it is pointed out and ridiculed and shunned into non-existence. A good example of racism, by the way, can be found in HAPs hiring policy, as stated on their very own website:

"Our goal is to employ minorities in our work force to a degree that is at least comparable to the representation of minorities in the available qualified work force for a particular job within the Portland metropolitan area . . . HAP will attempt to recruit needed personnel from minority groups and low-income program participants."