Monday, August 20, 2007

No to Diversity -- Yes to Unity

To start out this post I want to be completely fair to Michael Abrashoff who has HEAVILY influenced my thoughts in this manner in his book "It's Your Ship" where he speaks of eliminating the diversity program on his ship and migrating it to a unity program. I recommend the book... it is a great read.

Now I see an article from Gregory Rodriguez in the Orlando Sentinel on Diversity which supports the unity idea and am further emboldened to share it with you here. In this article Mr. Rodriquez does a wonderful job discussing the new report from Robert Putnam on what his research has determined around Diversity. Amazing thing is that it turns out the more diverse your culture is the less trust for individuals there is. What does this mean? To boil it down it means that if you don't belong to something you tend to distrust everyone.

None of this means that we are doomed by diversity. But it does suggest that simply celebrating it and promoting it is not going to help us get along. Putnam points to a need for everyone to construct new social identities. He recalls growing up in a Midwestern town in the 1950s, when religious affiliations acted as strong social barriers between neighbors. Three decades later, he says, Americans had "more or less deconstructed religion as a salient social division." Although it was still personally important, religion's power as a social identity had diminished significantly.
The article talks in terms of race relations, but also mentions the elimination of religious affiliations as well. I find this very interesting in relation to a personal story. I recently visited Central Eastern Europe and during that trip I decided to attend Church on Sunday. It was amazing at how I felt instantly at home in a foreign country just by going to someplace where we all shared the same basic ideas and thoughts. As I reflect on this article, my experience in the CEE, and my own Church it seems to me that it is true. Here at home in our own Church we have people from all races, creeds, backgrounds yet everyone is the same. We all belong to the same group. We all have UNITY of purpose. Isn't that interesting? As we move through the post-modern age with everyone seemingly worried about what is in it for "me" and only looking at the short term to find pockets of unity and group belonging seems to become more rare. To cover it up under the guise of "Diversity" is nothing more than a sham... a ruse... something that is damaging the very fabric of our society.

Read the article (and this one for a slighlty different slant on Robert Putman's research)... make up your own mind. Read the book. Tell me what you think

-End of Ramble


Beth said...

I would have to think that activists like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson really are doing a disservice to their race because they do play the race card all the time, and cause division and maybe even distrust.

I was also thinking while reading this that Asians had a difficult time when they first immigrated to our country but maybe because they try to assimilate into our culture they are more accepted generally. They still keep their traditions alive within their homes and families, but they don't flaunt them or make a big production about them.

Just some thoughts.

Lucid Guy said...

Dude, where is this book? After you checked out my cassette tape series on "Exclusionary practices in Diversity", you hold back a gem like this - gimme.

Seriously, I'll add that Diversity is not that far from Multiculturalism - one of the main catalysts for the fall of the Roman Empire. Check out and this quote, "As Lukacs said in 1919, " 'Who will save us from Western Civilization?' This could be done through breaking down traditional Judeo-Christian morality and discrediting and undermining the established institutions from within."

We need to be very careful about loosing the American culture. After all, isn't that why everyone comes to America? On no, that's right, it's all the free stuff.

Frasypoo said...

Thanks for stopping by.
I am an Indian married to a white American and hence my entire family is white.So you could say that I am white on the inside and brown on the outside!!!
I agree with the part that you tend to distrust your own race.I am always wary of dealing with other Indians.People you dont know are always trying to rip you off.I hate to say that about my country men but its true to a large extent.
We have a large church and they have church services for differant ethnicities,Indian,Haitian,Messianic Jew etc .
Like you said in your post,we share one thought when we all sit together in church
Good post Lucid/ordinary guy