June 23, 2010

"I used to think diversity was my best friend marrying a black guy."

"But the guy graduated from rich-kid private schools and has tenure at UCLA and, at this point, I think diversity is not skin color but rather social upbringing."

Writes Penelope Trunk, the Brazen Careerist blogger, who married a farmer. The link post is actually about remodeling the farmhouse, or that's the factual context anyway. It's titled "How to cope with diversity." There's a list of 7 tips for coping with diversity, all explained in remodeling-the-farmhouse stories.

***

Here's a spoken-word performance that I love on the subject of home-remodeling: "Terrors of Pleasure," by Spalding Gray. God, I miss Spalding Gray.

And we missed Penelope Trunk, when she went almost a month without blogging after writing that post.

47 comments:

Hoosier Daddy said...

"But the guy graduated from rich-kid private schools and has tenure at UCLA and, at this point, I think diversity is not skin color but rather social upbringing."

Well duh. Liberals are just fine with diversity provided they're living next to the Huxtables and not Notorius BIG.

ricpic said...

Coping with diversity gives the game away. If diversity is all that great why the need to cope?

Scott M said...

The wheels will never completely come off the "diversity is our strength" wagon, because there will always be people that believe in it.

However, it does seem like people are starting to swing back toward a common sense approach to all things skin color, if measured in nothing other than a rapidly dwindling use of "African-American" in MSM stories.

The diversity advocacy always falls flat when confronted with reality. Skin color means nothing, as the article points out, and social environment means damned near everything. The reverse of the coin is the unrealistic expectations of the multiculti crowd getting the right skin colors in the right amounts, then expecting those skin colors to bring forth their innate skin-color-borne point of view. How is that not prejudice from a different angle?

So too the hypocrisy of advocacy based on skin color, then turning on that person once it becomes clear they don't have the same ideological views as the advocate. I've seen that far, far too often. So, again, skin color doesn't mean as much as the narrative.

GMay said...

"I think diversity is not skin color but rather social upbringing."

No shit, really?

I love the folks who pray at the altar of diversity from their lily white enclaves in New England or the upper midwest, or their otherwise racially exclusive communities.

Pogo said...

My mixed-race friend (a thin but strong young woman of SE Asian-white-India descent) was called racist by her black neighbors who she calls the cops on frequently. They can't seem to stay out of prison (multiple parolees live there) and have 20-30 visitors an hour who drive up and leave. Just popular I guess.

Anarchy is the new black.

Maguro said...

Diversity - what is it good for?

Pogo said...

At a neighborhood meeting regarding the rapid increase in crime since Chicago and Mpls area residents moved here, the Norwegian-descent city attorney almost wet himself when the black apartment dwellers started SCREAMING at him and calling him racist when the talk was about crime.

Not that's diversity.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The diversity advocacy always falls flat when confronted with reality. Skin color means nothing, as the article points out, and social environment means damned near everything.

Let’s not forget ideology. The “diversity is our strength crowd” has no room for a Clarence Thomas or Shelby Steele or anyone of darker skin whose political ideology is of a conservative bent. If anything they’re treated as heretics or other ‘colorful’ names.

Moose said...

The more you deny you're a racist the more racist you are.

Don't you get that? Oh, by the way, you're also gay...

Fred4Pres said...

It is people who intellectualize marrying for diversity that make me sick to my stomach.

How about meeting someone, seeing of you have things in common (like goals, values, etc.) and if it all clicks, going for it? I am not saying social upbringing is not a factor, of course it can be. But not because of the label, but on how someone acts now.

Scott M said...

@HD

Let’s not forget ideology. The “diversity is our strength crowd” has no room for a Clarence Thomas or Shelby Steele or anyone of darker skin whose political ideology is of a conservative bent. If anything they’re treated as heretics or other ‘colorful’ names.

Agreed, but I mentioned that in the last paragraph, ya goob.

Michael Hasenstab said...

Diversity, according to the left:

People of all colors, genders, belief systems, astrological signs, ages, fetishes, tattoo counts, marital status, and economic background who all have identical opinions.

Ann Althouse said...

"My mixed-race friend..."

As a fellow Minnesotan once sang "Honey, how come you don’t move?"

Fred4Pres said...

My wife was liberal when I met her. Surprise surprise, she is a conservative now (not on everthing but quite a lot). What changed her. Kids. 9/11. Life.

As for social upbringing, we both were taught to eat at a table, put a napkin on our laps, say please and thank you, gear our use of language to the setting we are in. I meet people all the time from all different social backgrounds, that alone is not determinative of how they act now.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Agreed, but I mentioned that in the last paragraph, ya goob.

doh! Ok I can admit when I pwn myself.

Fred4Pres said...

I do not want to stereotype, but I think we have all met the kid from a privileged back ground who is a creep and liar, and the earest kid from a modest background who is working to get ahead and developing character...

Hey, like this great scene.

Hoosier Daddy said...

As a fellow Minnesotan once sang "Honey, how come you don’t move?"

I believe that action is decried by liberals as 'white flight'.

GMay said...

F4P: "I meet people all the time from all different social backgrounds, that alone is not determinative of how they act now.

Very true, but it has a lot more to do with it than melanin.

Scott said...

Diversity has become more fashionable than tolerance. Why do people say "tolerance" like it was a bad thing?

Tolerance means that you can have your own cultural identity while allowing others to have theirs.

Diversity implies that you have to embrace the cultural identity of the other. I think it's an attitude that's unhealthy. It leads to "culture surfing," where, in parroting aspects of the other's culture, you end up disrespecting both it and yourself.

I had a long relationship with a fullblood Oglala Lakota guy who died in 1993. He brought me into his family, and I still show up for family gatherings -- I'm the wasicu uncle for a lot of kids. But I'm white, and I'll always be white; and I always intend to approach their culture with humility and respect.


wv: bande

campy said...

The more you deny you're a racist the more racist you are.

That's why I don't deny it. Being called a racist doesn't bother me any more; I revel in it.

It would be a highlight of my life if I could hear the slur directly from the lips of a world-class racebaiter such as Jackson or Sharpton.

The Crack Emcee said...

I'm going to skip over the obvious and just agree that Spalding Gray was something special.

Scott said...

typo: 1993 = 1994, but it doesn't really matter.

El Presidente said...

Much more diversity between a white plumber and a white Harvard trained lawyer than between a black and a white Harvard lawyer.

Haha, I just inferred that Harvard trains lawyers.

El Presidente said...

Diversity is a political construct not a social construct.

El Presidente said...

When someone calls you a racist that means that they think they are losing the argument.

Well, I guess it could mean that you are a racist but it doesn't seem to work that way.

Moose said...

Another thing that people lose in this "conversation" is the difference between "tolerate" and "embrace". Apparently tolerating someone is tantamount to hating them. You have to "embrace" their differences. Not just tolerate them.

Scott M said...

I believe that action is decried by liberals as 'white flight'.

Do a google on Breathed's "Honkey Trek".

The concept of white flight, as a way to describe negative, racist behavior on the part of white homeowners, was one of my first experiences in the realm of ideology. As my south side Chicago neighborhood and school slowly went to hell. Not because darker people were moving in...we were damned near 50/50 already. But as the percentages started to really tilt the other way, crime went up, businesses shut down, and Dominos Pizza stopped delivering to my neighborhood.

If white people want better for their kids, it's negatively referred to as white flight. If black people want better for their kids, it's upward social mobility or integration. That never rang true for me, even as teen-ager confused as to why my stompin' grounds were going to hell.

Chase said...

Love Penelope Trunk.
Educated Jewish Urbanite marries farmer. Love it!

jayne_cobb said...

Moose,

At my graduation the class president decided that he had to provide us with some sort of message (as usually occurs). So he wrote a speech about how tolerance was no longer okay; instead we were supposed to embrace acceptance.

We were supposed to celebrate each other's differences, and to hell with "live and let live"; such a libertarian approach to society was not healthy in his opinion.

Pogo said...

"As a fellow Minnesotan once sang "Honey, how come you don’t move?"

We will, I am sure. Been here 20 years now, seems a shame to let the whole block go to rot because of criminals. But that's liberal politics for you.

The next few months will be decisive. If the city leaders capitulate, I'm gone. Bad part is, the entire city is affected by this, not just my neighborhood. So that means I have to move to a little town close by, thereby increasing my carbon footprint (I won't be able to walk to work anymore). Plus, I feel protective of the old people nearby who cannot move, being poor.

I hate hate hate to see the town die, but die it will. Goddamn leftists screw up everything they touch.

Thing's are looking more and more like Cormac McCarthy's The Road.

Pogo said...

I have grieved enough because of this President.

I do not look forward to grieving the loss of my neighborhood and town.

Damn it, Althouse, now I'm depressed again.

Buying something usually perks me up.
Mebbe a 9mm.

Scott M said...

Thing's are looking more and more like Cormac McCarthy's The Road.

There's still a big gaping hole in my soul where that book punched through.

Pogo said...

You and me both.

edutcher said...

We used to glory in our Melting Pot. That changed in the 60s when the Liberals became radicalized.

Now we have diversity.

Why? Because it is the first step in divide and rule.

Now the Lefties are starting to wonder if it's such a good idea. After all, if The Zero is any indication of it's effect on society, even their comfortable little lives may come unstuck.

wild chicken said...

I live in a smallish university town in the Great White North, and I keep hearing that one of our great attractions is our "diversity." LOL. You couldn't get more whitebread than this place. Even the Indians stay close to the rez and don't venture here much.

Maybe it's the gay contingent, the skateboarders and tattoo parlors...or maybe it's the lack of actual diversity that seems so pleasant. Or, talking about diversity makes us so.

Yeah that's it.

ricpic said...

Cormac McCarthy is in the misery porn business.

traditionalguy said...

Diversity has worked as a standard by which an established cadre of educated and efficient middle managers in a company must be replaced for the purpose of "looking non-racist". It works until the old cadre is finally all gone. Then the abscence of the ability to do the company's job, which will have mostly gone away, wakes up the Head Diplomats in Charge.

Synova said...

The comment is sort of a "well, duh!" thing, but I'm glad she said it and I'm glad she's saying it and I think that the way she's saying it is likely to reach more people who still think that diversity is all melanin than all the other ways they're likely to hear it.

As for the rest... I do think that diversity is valuable. I think that where we sort of jump the shark as a culture is when we get into the multi-culti baloney where we are no longer allowed to objectively view and make judgments concerning culture no matter what is staring us in the face. Some cultures are healthier than others. Some cultures are blatantly unhealthy or have unhealthy practices. Sometimes very different customs complete the same function. It's anti-intellectual to refuse to be critical of human behaviors simply because they "belong" to someone else... every bit as anti-intellectual as refusing to examine your own. In fact, how can a person even begin to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their own culture if there is a taboo against truly examining how other cultures accomplish (or not) the same functions?

Scott M said...

Synova wins the thread not only for pointing out the fact that some cultures are better than others, but also, and most importantly, for using "jump the shark" and "multi-culti" in the same sentence.

Really, any argument with a liberal over diversity can be won with those two things.

Kirstin said...

The thing that interested me in Penelope Trunk's May 30, 2010, post was that she can eat 10 apples in a day. PBS is running a pledge break program with Dr. Daniel Amen. He implies that people won't overeat healthy foods, using bananas as an example.

prairie wind said...

I grew up in a town where diversity meant we had both Lutherans and Catholics.

I read a Cormac McCarthy book and planned to read more. Then I read A Reader's Manifesto, which had a lot of fun at McCarthy's expense. I haven't read any more of his books.

Freeman Hunt said...

PBS is running a pledge break program with Dr. Daniel Amen. He implies that people won't overeat healthy foods, using bananas as an example.

Ridiculous. Has he ever eaten a banana? They are delicious. A person could eat bunches of them.

Synova said...

"I grew up in a town where diversity meant we had both Lutherans and Catholics."

LOL. We just had two sorts of Lutherans.

And maybe a Swede.

Wait... that was my Grandpa.

What's more, it wasn't just ethnic diversity, but he was a shopkeeper rather than a farmer. The Norwegian majority was well aware of the differences.

prairie wind said...

Town kids, country kids. Ranchers, farmers. Rich, poor. Nice and, um, not our kind. See? Snobs are snobs about something, even when we all look alike to the outsiders.

When people talk about how disadvantaged the urban minorities are, I think how sad it is that they don't understand that rural people can be disadvantaged in the same way. Wait. Did I say "sad"? The rural people don't tend to think of themselves as disadvantaged because they grew up in God's country...and so they are not.

jamboree said...

It's funny - I went to school when affirmative action was still in effect. Coming from an upscale neighborhood in SoCal, we already had a lot of diversity. Photos of my group of high school friends looks one of those dang Benetton Ads that were popular then. We'd walk down the street and guys would call out "one for everyone." Scandinavian white, Irish/Italian white, Asian, Black/Indian, and one Mexican/Yugoslav mix.

I always ASSUMED that Affirmative Action and "diversity" was meant for economically disadvantaged kids. I was stunned when my friend, who was bright, but in a non-honors, non-fast track way, started being recruited by Yale etc because she was black/mixed.

I naively thought the point was to let the kids in bad school systems catch a break, but NOOOOOO.

Anyway, I'm glad it is ostensibly over here even though they keep trying to work it in. Make it about school systems/opportunity and talent rather than color, and I have no problem at all.

Kev said...

If white people want better for their kids, it's negatively referred to as white flight. If black people want better for their kids, it's upward social mobility or integration.

Which is why an article in the Dallas Morning News a few weeks ago raised so many eyebrows when it talked about the local big-city school district suffering from black flight.

mc said...

I read Penelope and will keep giving it a go for now...

Am I the only one to whom her writing is like nails on a chalkboard?

Like NPR distilled to a fatal concentration?

Possibly.