Diversity: Dividing to Conquer?

In recent months, Harvard University has been showing up in the news as the civil case filed against it by a group of rejected students of Asian ancestry claiming discrimination in admissions progressed to its recent conclusion. The final decision is still likely to be months away.

This case strikes at the heart of most “anti-discrimination” laws that have proliferated over the past 50 years to include so many different ethnic groups and so many different, let’s call them “lifestyle” groups, that it will soon be to the point where there is only one un-protected group in America…white males.

You see, when we start carving out and building walls around our differences, we emphasize those differences which magnifies every little presumed slight and offense to a point that is far more significant in the mind of the offended than the supposed offender.

A great example of this was provided in the news recently when a politician, Cindy Hyde-Smith – a woman and thus one of the many protected classes – made a remark that had nothing to do with race but was immediately pounced on by leftist media outlets as being a racial slur against blacks. The comment, by Cindy Hyde-Smith was, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.” According to Hyde-Smith, the remark was in the context of saying that if someone she respected had invited her to a public hanging that she would attend based solely on his invitation alone.

The firestorm that ensued – only because her opponent in the Mississippi Senate run-off was black – tried to make it appear that she was casting aspersions on her opponent by referencing “hangings.” Had she used the term “lynching” there might have been reason to attack her statement as racist, but the message was distorted in an effort to shift voter opinions regardless of the intended meaning behind the remark.

Another example. The sort of boycott effort (that backfired) against Chick-fil-A restaurants also demonstrates just how twisted people can be with their efforts to divide. The owner of the chain was interviewed about his views on same-sex marriage. He simply stated that his views were Biblical, and he did not support it because in his view such relationships were sinful. He also stated that anyone, regardless of their beliefs or relationships, was welcome in his restaurants and that they would always be treated with respect. This was not enough for those that preach “tolerance” as a one-way street. The statement alone was, in the eyes of the dividers (read leftists), enough to trigger an attempt at a nationwide boycott simply because those beliefs did not jibe with theirs. However, saner heads prevailed in this case and the week that followed the announcement of the boycott resulted in traffic jams getting into most of the chain’s locations as people responded with overwhelming support for the restaurants instead of staying away.

There is building resentment among people who would prefer to live in a country that follows a “live and let live” approach to differences rather than a confront and destroy sort of distortion that does nothing constructive for our communities.

It is time to confront and challenge the dividers with truth. Yes, we are all different in one way or the other. God made each human being unique unto themselves for good reason. The mosaic that is mankind is wholly made up of many diverse individuals who each contribute (or should) their personal talents and efforts for the good of themselves and the community. When the labeling of people into separate ethnic and interest groups – most egregious of these being the tagging of groups as “hyphenated-Americans” – became mainstream in America, the identity of the individuals within those groups becomes irrelevant. Their welfare becomes secondary to promoting or pitting one group against another. When Hyde-Smith – a white female – makes an innocent remark in public, her opponent’s supporters jumped on the opportunity to portray her as prejudiced against her opponent so that black voters who supported her would change their minds and vote for her black opponent. Driving wedges between groups is really all about power. It has been so from the beginning of time.

So, when the judge announces his decision in the Harvard case, it is even odds as to which way his decision will fall. Is it appropriate for Harvard to place disproportionate emphasis on ethnicity in order to ensure a “diverse student body?” Or is an educational organization obligated to treat all applicants equally and select their students based on academic abilities and demonstration of capability to learn. If Harvard is truly interested in helping the student body to fully develop their minds for the good of all, then a student body – regardless of ethnic composition – that represents the best and brightest of the applicants helps the community at large because the best and brightest collaborate for the greatest levels of achievement.

Until the hyphens are eliminated and every person legally in our country becomes – in the minds of everyone including themselves – simply an American, our country will be lacking the key ingredient to being successful. Until everyone that believes in the principles upon which our country was built come together to say, “Enough is enough!” and stands shoulder-to-shoulder in unity our differences will continue to allow those who would tear down our unity for the benefit of power and control to succeed in that effort.

There is rapidly coming a time when everyone must choose the kind of country they believe in. There are only two choices. You either believe in individual freedom without regard to “quotas” or “ethnicity” or “diversity” or “equity”, or you believe that power justifies pitting people against each other to concentrate control in the hands of a few who think they know better than you how to live your life.

When we begin to understand that not everyone is capable of the same skills and achievement levels, and the levels of ability and achievement have nothing to do with the particular “group” to which we belong, then those groups become irrelevant and what matters is how each person can best develop their own skills to the fullest. If nobody attempts to interfere or hinder that development effort, then discrimination no longer exists.

I, for one, believe the United States of America in 2018 would be far better off if it chooses freedom for all and tosses the “hyphen” onto the trash heap once and for all. How long we have to make that decision could be as short as the next two years. Think about it!

Tom Stark

Tom Stark’s career began with Air Force service, including a year in Thailand and Vietnam, and progressed through a variety of manufacturing and service positions to Manager of Security, Safety, and Transportation for the Orange County (FL) Convention Center. He graduated from Barry University in 1994 and soon after embarked on a second career building custom furniture as an entrepreneur for the last 20 years. He unsuccessfully ran as a Tea Party candidate in the 2010 Congressional race (WV-01). Tom currently writes and advocates for smaller more prudent and less intrusive government, strengthening families and protecting life while building free market principles that make America stronger. He is now 70, retired, and residing with his wife in Weston, West Virginia.

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