It is clear we have real racial problems in this country, problems that need to be worked through as we try to restore some semblance of harmony and understanding among the population.
National healing starts with meaningful conversations, devoid of angry rhetoric and criminal reactions, and needs to include everyone studiously listening to opposing viewpoints. It is the old idea of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes and understanding their pain.
What we don’t need now are diversity racketeers making a buck off racial turmoil. Unfortunately, that is what is happening, and taxpayers are often footing the bill.
Profiteers calling themselves “anti-racism trainers” have been hired to lecture white federal employees about their racist attitudes at several agencies — the Treasury and Justice departments, the Federal Reserve, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Institutes of Health, to name a few. The training sessions start from the premise that “virtually all white people contribute to racism,” and they don’t support doing away with racist institutions. Session leaders insist that all whites must be reprogrammed to rid themselves of their ingrained racial biases. At the core of these diversity lessons is the stated condemnation of an entire race of people: whites.
Wait a minute. Isn’t that the exact attitude these trainers say they are trying to combat? How can vilifying an entire race of people to elevate another race ever result in a positive outcome? How can these tactics ever possibly bring us together?
Documentary filmmaker Christopher Rufo has reported extensively about this disturbing trend of anti-racist training. He says there are now dozens of private firms currently offering racial diversity training to government agencies, corporations and universities. Rufo reports that the tragic death of George Floyd at the knee of a Minneapolis police officer has sparked an uptick in interest in these “politically correct,” high-cost seminars.
The question, of course, is do they help soothe race relations, or are they simply a feel-good measure that does more harm than good?
The latest course for federal workers is called “Difficult Conversations About Race in Troubling Times.” White government supervisors are instructed to provide “safe spaces” where black employees can be “seen in their pain” explaining what it means to be black to their white counterparts. Whites are instructed to sit in silence and “in the discomfort” of their individual racism. Whites are told they cannot protest and “don’t get to decide when someone is being too emotional, too rash (or) too mean.” Whites are not allowed to protest if a black colleague “responds to their oppression in a way (they) don’t like.”
Call me crazy, but this doesn’t sound like a positive tactic to bring about racial harmony among employees. This approach doesn’t help us reach the promised land of a harmonious society or contribute to colleagues understanding the content of their co-workers’ character. Making whites sit in humiliated silence, atoning for the sins of unidentified bigots, doesn’t reveal anything about their true mindset on race relations. This methodology seems tailor-made to instill bitterness and divisiveness.
Also, consider what’s happening within the U.S. Army. Recently, the Army’s Equity and Inclusion Agency held race-based re-education seminars for both uniformed and civilian personnel at a facility in Alabama. The idea behind “Operation Inclusion” was to expand the program to “all Army four-star commands.”
Again, it sounds like a good idea to hold sessions designed to foster better race relations. But according to material included in the Operation Inclusion session, whites are never to mention certain ideas and phrases considered racist. Included: the concept that there is only one human race, that blacks can be racially prejudiced against whites and that America should celebrate Columbus Day. Also labeled racist in the Army seminar were the phrases “All Lives Matter” and “Make America Great Again,” and if one believes in the concepts of “colorblindness,” then you are deemed to be no better than a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
I, for one, am mighty tired of self-appointed Speech Police and being told I’m an automatic racist when I know in my heart I am not.
Defining an entire race of people as something reprehensibly offensive is not a way to build racial rapport, and paying for such damaging teachings with taxpayers’ dollars is inexcusable.
— Diane Dimond is the author of three books, including Be Careful Who You Love Inside the Michael Jackson Case, which is now updated with new chapters and is available as an audiobook. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.