Diversity. It’s all everybody is talking about.
Diversity officers, diversity policies, diversity and inclusion training, diversity on a Presidential ticket. The ABC reportedly now has a diversity “content tracker” to make sure their hosts, panellists, guests represent enough – and appropriate – diversity. And yesterday, we learned that Australian TV networks in general are displaying a distinct “lack of diversity”.
So here’s a little quiz for you. Consider these two separate groups of people. Group A – 6 white men, Group B – 3 men and 3 women of varying skin colours. Which group is more diverse?
If you said B, you just might be a little racist or sexist. The correct answer is “I don’t know yet. I don’t have enough information”.
After talking with the groups for a while you may ascertain the following information:
In Group A’s men, there is a farmer, an engineer, a nurse, a truck-driver, a stay-at-home dad, and an artist. Four of them were born overseas – two in Eastern Europe, one in the US, one in New Zealand. Two of them speak English as a second (or third) language. Three have university qualifications. Two live in capital cities, two in regional cities, and two in remote communities. Three of them usually vote conservative, two of them vote Labor/Greens, and the other is a genuine swing voter.
Group B’s members, on the other hand, are all left-wing voters, they all live in inner-city Melbourne, they are all lawyers, they all barrack for Essendon in the AFL… you get the picture.
Now, which group is more diverse?
The problem with today’s diversity drive, indeed the core of identity politics, is that it reduces people down to characteristics that don’t actually describe who somebody is. Yes, one’s race, family heritage, sexuality, physical ability, can deeply affect one’s perspective on life and politics, but it’s those different perspectives that make for interesting discussion, debate, policy creation, not the personal factors that led them there.
There’s no benefit in making sure your panel, or board, or hosts are all from different ethnic groups, or different genders (of which there are only two), if they all think exactly the same.
Yes, it is important to reflect the racial and gender diversity of society, but isn’t it more important to reflect the ideological and intellectual diversity of society?
Martin Luther King Jr famously dreamed “that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.” Today’s diversity experts are turning that on their head, and making immutable traits like race and gender to be the most, if not the only, characteristics worth considering.
Even worse, they seem to be suggesting that within these diverse ethnic groups, there is no diversity of thoughts or ideas or values – everyone in the group is expected to think and behave the same. Remember how US Presidential candidate Joe Biden told voters “you ain’t black” if they hadn’t already decided to vote for him in November. Notice how often African-Americans, or indigenous Australians, are called traitors, coconuts, or an “Uncle Tom”, if they don’t toe the left-wing line. Diversity? Sounds more like racial prejudice.
Some may suggest that Australian TV networks do indeed have a lack of diversity on their news programs, but it’s not a race or gender problem, but rather an ideological problem.
Diversity of experience beats diversity of gender.
Diversity of perspectives beats diversity of sexuality.
Diversity of ideas beats diversity of race.
By all means, be aware of ethnic and gender diversity when hiring, compiling, interviewing, but not at the expense of diversity of beliefs, backgrounds and attitudes.
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Grant Vandersee is a former secondary teacher who is now horrified at what is being taught and promoted in schools. A husband and father, political engagement runs in his family with three generations serving in local government. He's been personally involved in party politics for 20 years and is a member of the Liberal National Party. Grant is a staunch advocate for life, family, free speech, individual freedom and religious liberty.