We continue, here, to look at current issues and mind-sets from different perspectives; exploring the context of contemporary opinion from varied facets, both of perception and function--both with respect to the pursuit of truth and with respect to trying to understand the ulterior purposes--whether reasoned or compulsion driven--of those who are not truth driven. We have dealt with a seeming Leftist preoccupation with "diversity" in other essays. Some of these have dealt with immigration, some with totalitarian tendencies on the Left to suppress freedom; some with the destruction of community identification--whether by location, ethnicity, lines of descent or common history. But an effort to tie them all together, specifically as reflected in usage of the not always understood 'buzz-word' "diversity" in the contemporary Western social milieux, seems called for.
To rational and reasonably educated men and women, an awareness of diversity in Creation, and of the diversity of a small human niche in that Creation, do not mandate more than a certain fascination, coupled, as wisdom grows, with a measure of humility. There is nothing in the complexity of Nature that inspires or compels a change in one's traditional culture, personal goals or priorities. Indeed, cultural values tend to reflect centuries of interaction with natural phenomena; while courtesy to strangers--absent a reason to act otherwise--has generally held an honored place in the cultures of the rational and educated.
There are, however, two recognizable human mind-sets, which clearly do not view human diversity with such equanimity. While they may sometimes overlap, the approaches may be diametrically opposed. Yet both clearly reflect aspects of what we have referred to elsewhere under the heading of "A Compulsion For Uniformity." The group representing the less subtle mind-set would be those who openly seek to impose a particular ideology on others. Before the growth of the great totalitarian movements of the 20th Century, the thrust among such personality types would have gone to a suppression of religious diversity or dissent.
The other branch of those with compulsion driven responses to human diversity, treat "diversity" verbally, not as a fact but as a goal; yet pursue policies which tend not to protect actual diversity but--at least so far as Western peoples are concerned--to undermine it. To what extent this is intentional depends upon the motivations of a complex of individual players--themselves ideologically diverse. To distinguish between those who pursue such policies, on the basis of whom is individually compulsion driven and whom merely misled, or opportunistic, may not always be easy. But that we witness, at the very least, a serious threat, diminishing the extent of actual human diversity is undeniable. Or how else can one explain the predictable effects of some of the aggressive manifestations:
We have treated some of the harmful effects from the mid-Twentieth Century push for more extensive racial integration in public education in the United States, in Chapter 5 of the Conservative Debate Handbook. But the focus there was primarily on the educational; on the resulting injury to the ongoing development and prospects for minority students being used for integrationist purposes. We have also discussed the confused egalitarian/environmentalism behind the "Civil Rights" movement--and other pretenses that underlie it--which have led to very deleterious influences on behavior among all ethnic or racial groups afflicted. But what more can, or need, be said about frequent calls for greater acceptance of school or neighborhood integration under the umbrella of promoting "diversity?"
To the extent that such educational or housing policies achieve a truer social integration of diverse groups, "diversity" is diminished. So is the comfort level of those in each group, who do not want to be forced or even pressured to adjust social habits or tastes to meet an artificial norm, dictated by social theorists. But this is only one facet of the point.
We have presented the Conservative argument against Third World immigration--and indeed against large scale immigration, in general, in essays directed to those specific issues. But to focus specifically on "diversity," why would anyone pretending to respect human "diversity," deliberately promote such immigration in its name? To the extent the promotion succeeds, there will of course be massive problems--as people react to the immediate proximity of the new diversity. But those problems can only be lessened, if at all, by effectively diminishing the actual "diversity" between those artificially brought together.
American television dramas and sit-coms increasingly display a greater degree of close personal interaction, on a more frequent basis, among diverse ethnic and racial types, than is actually the situation in most regions of the sub-continent. Another facet of this same observable phenomenon, has been projection of an ever higher percentage of the less intellectually successful minorities in key cerebral roles in such "entertainment" vehicles--whether as keys to effective law enforcement, medicine, scientific innovation, or general problem solving. Does this actually celebrate "diversity" or seek to trivialize it--to make it seem to go away?
None of this has anything, whatsoever, to do with promoting good-will or tolerance. Toleration does not depend on undermining differences, but rather in accepting them. Nor, certainly, does either tolerance or good-will require forced association or calculated schemes to undermine the homogeneity of neighborhoods or communities. Rather, quite the opposite. On the other hand, traditional American foreign policy--the Washington/Jefferson policy--which treated all peoples with respect (but not delusion), and required respect in return, embodied the very essence of true tolerance. Contemporary efforts of certain fatuous American political leaders to force a particular egalitarian ideology on others, while attacking all ethnic preferences at home, embody the absolute antithesis of tolerance.
As for good-will between peoples? Surely such must be based upon respect--genuine respect. Is there anything less conducive to genuine respect than forced or contrived association? Quotas or "Affirmative Action?" Is there anything less conducive to the future of a nation, race or civilization, than a "politically correct" mind-set that makes people uncomfortable with celebrating their own unique heritage; honoring their own unique lines of descent; or even thinking in terms of their continuity as an identifiable people? Yet is not this precisely what self-anointed apostles of a dogma that proclaims human "diversity"--not as a reality of nature, but as a goal sought to replace the homogeneous community--have accomplished in undermining the traditional identifications of a large segment of the contemporary Western world? Is this paradox or something very different?
The public have become so accustomed to an involuted and inherently contradictory use of terms, both in America and Western Europe, that many may have trouble even perceiving the seeming paradoxes that we will discuss. If so, we beg the reader's indulgence, to take a deep breath and make conscious effort to set aside stereotypical reactions, to which we have all been endlessly conditioned by a popular media, academic pundits and public sycophants. Of course, this should not be necessary for our regular readers.
A blatant example of incongruous response patterns among those actively seeking to promote "diversity" as a goal or immediate condition, may be observed in the strange reactions to ethnic humor in today's America. While false and unkind characterizations of others have never been consistent with the sort of mutual respect, advocated by America's Founding Fathers, it is neither fair nor reasonable to lump gentle humor into such a category. Ethnic humor has provided a way to ease tensions between peoples living in close proximity--even with respect to conflicting interests between peoples--throughout the historic period. We would suggest that while not subject to precise verbal definition, differences between the malicious and the harmless are not hard to recognize, absent an element of compulsion or neuroses preventing the operation of objective analysis.
One would think that those who embrace "diversity" as a positive virtue, would welcome the ethnic humor by which the diverse often identify themselves, or seek to distinguish themselves from others. But the exact opposite is the case. The "diversity" seekers even run media advertisements, encouraging people to insult anyone who dares to make an ethnic quip in a social gathering of his or her own set. They have also sought to purge the airways of those who have, from time to time, suggested that relative success or failure in various endeavors might reflect inherited ethnic traits or selective breeding. This hardly celebrates actual diversity.
Of course, the would-be thought police do appear willing to sometimes make an exception, if the targets of ethnic humor are of one of the original European stocks, which produced the American Founding Fathers and our fundamental institutions. Such phenomena suggest that to those who talk the most about it, "diversity" means something other than reference to the actual diversity of human types.
Or consider again the question of racial patterns in school attendance--or housing--even membership in private clubs. Why, if "diversity" is a goal, may not the diverse choose to reinforce the diversity of their traits by associating with those who most closely share those traits? We do not suggest hostility to anyone in such pursuit, nor disrespect for the persons or property of others. We refer simply to acts of personal preference, which reinforce rather than undermine the distinct attributes of the diverse. We doubt that we are alone in observing that some, who talk the most about "diversity," almost froth at the mouth, as they hurl invective at others who choose to associate largely with their own kind.
Then there is the seeming paradox in contemporary education, which increasingly focuses more on those who have attacked the traditional American ethnic values of the Founding Fathers, than on the latters' achievements. What is especially noteworthy, is that that portion of the earlier America that receives the least sympathetic treatment are the people of the Old South--those clearly more successful than other foundational stocks in maintaining their actual diversity! Obviously, some pursuers of "diversity" are very selective in what diversity they value--or even tolerate!
Or consider what the pursuit of "diversity" has meant to freedom of religion. After two generations of very selective litigation, the ACLU and its Leftist allies have created a situation, where one dissenter can prevent a whole community of like-minded believers from engaging in public, community-wide, celebrations of Faith. Does that show respect for actual diversity in religious beliefs, or does it tend to suppress manifestations of same--the importance of that diversity? To a like effect is legislation which prevents religious preferences in private employment or housing. Yet, almost to a man, the same activist groups that attack such celebrations and preferences, embrace "diversity" as an essential goal.
Perhaps the best illustration of such seeming paradox, which actually illustrated something very different, was in the attitude of those, who today cannot get enough "diversity," towards White South Africans, over the years between 1948 and 1994. The ethnic diversity in South Africa--clearly a 'First World' nation before 1994--was almost certainly greater than that in any other Western nation during the period. Moreover, that diversity was not only ethnic and racial, but social and cultural, to an extent well beyond that found in other Western homelands.
The popular myth was that South Africa was one nation; that the racial issue involved a White minority suppressing a large "Black" majority for the minority race's benefit; that the 'Apartheid' policy of the governing National Party was intended as a rationalization for continuation of a colonial era exploitation of non-White peoples. The truth was precisely the opposite--both as to premises and intention:
1. The borders of South Africa, at the time the 'Apartheid' policy was announced, were not based upon any pattern of ethnic settlement, but upon territory administered by a British Colonial Government in 1910, when Dominion status was granted to White South Africans. 'Apartheid'--the Afrikaner term for separate development--was a plan to dismantle that Colonial legacy by restoring cultural integrity to each of the diverse ethnic components found within the geographic confines of that former Colonial administration. The principal opponents of separate development were businessmen, with an attitude very similar to those here, who oppose shutting down the flood of cheap labor over America's Southern border; men not devoted to a celebration of diversity, but rather to a continued supply of cheap labor. This was all grossly misrepresented, outside of South Africa, by Leftists with 'axes to grind.' Yet because of that business opposition, 'Apartheid' was never fully implemented--despite what was misrepresented overseas.
2. There was, in fact, no ethnic majority in South Africa--far from it! None of the diverse nations accounted for even 20% of the total population. One would have to artificially aggregate the three largest groups to even come up with a bare majority. Taking the 1976 estimates for example, there were 4,310,000 Whites; 5,004,000 Zulus; 4,897,000 Xhosa; 2,426,000 Cape Coloured; 2,103,000 Tswana; 2,011,000 Sepedi; 1,627,000 Seshoeshoe; 814,000 Shangaan; 746,000 Asians; 590,000 Swazi; 449,000 Venda; 423,000 foreign workers; and 615,000 members of small tribes, quite distinct from any of the foregoing.
Each of these tribes, or nations, had its own language, customs, history, tribal government, even architecture; housing styles differing far more among those identified South African Bantu, than would be found between peoples at opposite ends of the European continent. More significant, if respect for actual diversity were a positive value, would be differences between the settlement pattern of the White Afrikaner and that of any Bantu Nation. While the latter, regardless of those very different architectures, all tend to cluster housing tightly, much in the manner of a military encampment; Afrikaners tended to spread their houses as far apart as possible. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once observed that the descendants of the Voortrekkers felt crowded if they could even see the smoke from their neighbors' chimneys. This reflects an immense difference in patterns of social interaction, very evident to anyone driving around the South African countryside.
The natural question arises: Why in the name of "diversity," must people with very different histories, tastes, languages and philosophies, be expected to give up the unique achievements of centuries of separate development, simply because someone once drew a map, for external--Colonial administrative purposes--in which their diverse homelands were combined? Giraffes do not become elephants because they use the same watering hole. Nor do they become elephants, when housed in something called an "Elephant House" in a Zoological Garden in Europe or America! Stated yet another way, from a quite different perspective, is there to be no place left on earth, as a cultural homeland, for the pioneer personality that craved open spaces, and led Western man into the largely unsettled interiors of both America and South Africa?
Never, in their diverse histories, did the varied tribes or ethnic nations of South Africa have a common ethnic identity. The only place, where many ever lived in a true multi-cultural community, were in Townships that grew out of transient, job-seekers', encampments around sources of employment, where a degree of detribalization took place. These Townships were often marked by high crime rates and promiscuity; the exceptions being where those with responsible tribal status were able to maintain tribal influence. By contrast, the tribal homelands were comparatively crime free; notable for a pastoral lifestyle.
Again, what in the nature of human "diversity" required, or even recommended, the social or political integration of such diverse peoples? Clearly, the international demands for change in South Africa did not reflect much respect for actual diversity.
It is difficult to explain any of the seeming paradoxes, touched upon above, without coming to the conclusion that there is a powerful element of pure hatred involved; implacable hatred against the very continuity of traditional Western European or American culture or ethnicity.
The pursuit of "diversity"--with "diversity" as a 'buzz-word' for something else--has become a cause for a diverse array of contemporary folk, both here and in Western Europe. Some of these are compulsion driven, others motivated by fear of the compulsion driven; others by a variety of emotions, none of which involves any noble, rational or patriotic purpose. Yet regardless of the motives of the individuals involved, the pursuit described undermines families, communities, nations, States and cultures. In breaking down our patterns of personal identification--our ability to rally with others to preserve liberties and values--they render us all more susceptible to the potential for an international totalitarian tyranny; one the likes of Marx, Lenin, Trotsky or Hitler, could have only envied.
It is increasingly apparent that the greatest threat to the actual diversity of human types and societies--in the West at least--is the pursuit of "diversity" by factions of the militant Left. Tragically, most Conservatives have yet to respond with either conviction or understanding.
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