American Elephants


“Diversity” Does Not Include Any Diversity of Ideas. by The Elephant's Child

In a recent post, I noted that The New York Times, in publishing a list of President Trump’s confirmed cabinet (partially correct) had, full of their own importance, added that President Trump’s cabinet was more white and male than any cabinet since Ronald Reagan’s. What possible aberration of mind could possibly make one think that the most important thing about a presidential cabinet was their skin color and their sex? Um, intelligence, capability, experience, for a few qualities?

Democrats are determined to own the black vote, because of Barack Obama, and their huge losses at all levels  in the last election, but trying to push race constantly in the face of their own unfortunate history with race is deeply discouraging. It’s clearly evidence of the elimination of the study of History as an important subject in our schools. Did you think that Democrat’s consistently calling Republicans “Racist” was just dumb?

“Diversity” has become the buzz word and goal throughout business, industry and education, at a time when there are few barriers except capability and experience in any field you want to mention.  And there have been few times in my own life when diversity of ideas is so unacceptable.

Diversity has been one of Thomas Sowell’s favorite subjects:

  • Demographic “diversity” is a notion often defended with fervor but seldom with facts.
  • What are the alleged “compelling” benefits of”diversity“? They are as invisible as the   proverbial       emperor’s new clothes. Yet everyone has to pretend to believe in those benefits, as the pretended to admire the naked emperor’s wardrobe.
  • If there is ever a contest for words that substitute for thought, “diversity” should be recognized as the undisputed world champion. You don’t need a speck of evidence, or a single step of logic, when you rhapsodize about the supposed benefits of diversity. The very idea of testing this wonderful, magical word against something as ugly as reality seems almost sordid.
  • Despite the fervor with which demographic “diversity” is proclaimed as a prime virtue—without a speck of evidence as to its supposed benefits—diversity of ideas gets no such respect.

At the present, the  idea that there should be some diversity of ideas has lost the battle, if you want to call it a battle. Any effort to force your ideas into the national conversation will be met with calls of “racist”, “sexist”, “homophobe”, etc. etc. etc. Strange times. Free speech is derided because it might hurt someone’s feelings, yet accusing others of being “racist” or any of the other names is fine. You have to wonder if the Democratic Party is more of a cult than a party. Folks that just don’t want to be included in a group that are “racist”, “sexist” etc., etc., etc. Diversity is one of those words. Sounds good, but empty of real meaning.

People like and associate with other people based on things they have in common. It may, particularly for recent immigrants, be country of origin and familiar language. But that seldom lasts more than a generation or two. It is more apt to be a neighborhood, a school, a club, a particular interest, whether football fandom or chess club or knitting circle. A fairly large percentage of people don’t follow politics all that much, nor pay a lot of attention to the news.

If a company achieves a perfect record of “diversity” and pictures of the workers include the correct colors and races—what have they achieved? Is there some occupation that is not open to qualified people of any race, sex, or ethnic origin that should be? There are male nurses, and female boxers, Black CEOs, and there are many occupations that demand particular physical characteristics. Yet Diversity of Ideas is not included, which would be the most important characteristic.  “Diversity” is sheer bunk. Go to Google, click on ‘Images’ and enter “Diversity” and see what comes up. And by the way, the unemployment rate for Blacks is currently the lowest ever achieved.



“DIVERSITY: The Invention of a Concept” by The Elephant's Child

Last night I was looking for the next book in a series I’m re-reading, and noticed another book that has long been on my overloaded bookshelves. It is titled simply “DIVERSITY: The invention of a Concept” by Peter Wood. I had forgotten all about it, though I bought it when it first came out fourteen years ago, read it and enjoyed it, which is why I still have it. Here’s a bit from the jacket flap, and remember this was written in 2003:

In just a few years, diversity has become America’s most visible cultural idea. Corporations alter their recruitment and hiring policies in the name of a diverse workforce. Universities institute new admissions procedures in the name of a diverse student body. Presidents choose their major appointees in the name of a diverse cabinet. And what diversity’s proponents have in mind, Peter Wood argues, is not the dictionary meaning of the word—variety and multiplicity—but a new and often narrow kind of conformity.

Whether as prescribed numerical outcomes or as the celebration of cultural “difference,” diversity, according to Wood, is now a deadening force in American life, a cliché that promotes group stereotypes and undermines any real diversity of ideas and individuals. …

But the current cult of diversity is no laughing matter. Wood shows how the elevation of this concept to the highest social good marks a profound change in our cultural life. Diversity as it is practiced today is anti-individualist and at odds with America’s older ideals of liberty and equality.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai believed himself to be defending diversity and opportunity for women in his company. James Damore was trying to point out that cultural taboos cloud corporate thinking about gender diversity. The Liberty Lawsite compared the Google bubble with the University bubble. At Hoover, Richard Epstein discusses the rigid ideological conformity in Silicon Valley, At American Greatness, Boris Zelkin noted that Sundar Pichai said that what Damore did was “Not OK” and suggested that Pichai could have thrown in a “double plus ungood” for good measure.

Meanwhile down in Charlottesville a very diverse meeting between three dramatically opposed groups— white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Antifa got together with the tools of their trade: baseball bats, bullhorns, flags, costumes and Tiki-torches, to protest the Civil War and any leftover remembrances thereof, did a lot of injury and killed two people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. President Trump pointed out that there is blame on both sides for the deadly violence, while the Associated Press went crazy and insisted that the antifas were just “protesting” the white supremacists. The president said they were all thugs and criminals and incited violence, for which he, though correct, was excoriated by the press.

I recommend Peter Wood’s book. There are used copies for only around $2 at Amazon, or you can pay over $100 — but if a good read would start a significant conversation about the deliberate invention of a concept and how it happened, it might be very helpful indeed.



The Progressive Left’s Ideas on Diversity Are Sheer Bunk by The Elephant's Child


The Progressive Far Left aims to change American culture by changing our language. You’ve heard the buzz-words — over and over and over. One of the big ones is “diversity.” Sounds like a good thing, doesn’t it? The Progressive Left chooses their words carefully to sound good, but what do they mean by “diversity”?

What is meant is skin color and/or race. This includes mostly Blacks, Hispanics or Latinos, occasionally Native Americans, Hawaiians, and seldom Asians. It has mostly been pursued through the education system. The failure of schools in minority districts was attempted to be remedied, not by better teachers and better programs, but by busing.

Awkwardly, Hispanics or Latinos are not a race, but speak either Spanish or Portuguese. Some, descended from South America’s Native Americans do have brown skin, and some are descended from black slaves from Africa imported to work in the cane fields. In any case, we are supposed to divvy everything up to conform to numbers in the total population.

So there are advantages to being “diverse,” and numbers of prominent Lefties have attempted to become “diverse” in order to take advantage of available goodies — Elizabeth Warren, Rachel Dolezal and Ward Churchill.  It’s quite popular to claim Cherokee or Comanche ancestry, other tribes not so much. The fact that Native Americans owned slaves is never ever mentioned.

The American Melting Pot has been marvelously successful in blending in folks from all over the world. The first generation often huddles together with others who speak their language, but they become Americans.  That is the purpose of our Americanization process for those applying for citizenship. Obama has attempted to reduce the requirements significantly, because he isn’t much interested in their becoming Americans, only in whether they vote Democrat.

The importance of buzz-words is indicated by the extent to which Colleges and Universities now emphasize “diversity” of race. Diversity of ideas is not considered either important or necessary. There have even been many instances of professors demanding conformity and urging dissenters to drop the class. Oddly, students inspired by Black Lives Matter are demanding more classes in race, more Black professors, more separate dorms. Diversity indeed. Racially segregated “safe spaces” are fixtures on college campuses. Enormously important in advertising.

How much of this political correctness exists because people fear the disapproval that might descend upon them if they do not follow the correct line? Think about that one.

Here is an excellent column by Victor Davis Hanson titled “History’s Pathway to Chaos.”

Bruce Thornton writes about Progressive “Thought Blockers:”Diversity: The grim antithesis to liberal education.

I believe that human beings are by nature tribal. In the modern age, the old notion of tribes is long gone, except in the Middle East, but we still self-select organizations and clubs to form the modern tribe of people we want to be with and who share our ideas and tastes. Nobody bellyaches when we join bridge clubs, churches, poker clubs, bird-watching clubs. charitable organizations, neighborhood communities, Boy Scouts (well, we have had some objections to the Boy part), same goes for Campfire girls, and these organizations may be extremely diverse or not. So what? The Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations are popular. Just total up some of the organizations that you and your friends have joined. That’s just the modern version of Tribe. Who is more tribal than a bunch of Progressive Democrats, and who is at war with Freedom of Speech?




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