Diversity in Nature, Diversity in Corporate

Although I don’t know you, I think it’s safe to say that you and I are vastly unlike. And should we happen to share the same skin color or gender, I doubt we share the same agreements, ideas, perspectives. Because, perfect twins excluded, it’s unlikely for two people to behave and think and feel exactly like the other. Because, in a word, diversity.

What is meant by diversity? If you ask Mother Nature, she’ll say bombay cats, hackberry trees, topaz, blobfish, bananas. If you ask the corporate world, she’ll say “employees who consent to sign whatever paper lands on their desk and attend whatever maddening training only to bring some sense of identity to their otherwise anonymous role in this anonymous corporation.” If you ask a hippie, she’ll say something about no two people being alike, then immediately contradict herself by positing that “we’re all One People.” Well, that’s diversity in action. Diversity itself is so diverse that no two definitions of diversity are alike.

Diversity is a beautiful function of nature. Among everything in the natural world – flora and fauna, stars and galaxies, stones and precious gems – diversity can be found. But the corporate world, no stranger to fucking up beautiful things, seized its bloody talons deep into diversity’s ribcage. And those talons will not relax their grip. And diversity will suffer, asphyxiate and suffer, until it dies.

And those talons, those claws, what are they made of that makes their grip so strong? A mixture of: repetition of things you already knew, compliance to be told those things you already knew, uniformity and singularity of thought and opinion. And because you already know that no two diversities are alike, I’m sure it’s obvious to you that corporate diversity couldn’t be anymore unlike natural diversity.

No tiger needs to be taught diversity. But because human beings are apparently the most fucking clueless, braindead species on the planet, in the corporate world there’s this thing called diversity “training.” This training consists of eyesore PowerPoint slides with generic, soulless Body Bigger Than Head graphics like those you see in Google ads. And they call it “diversity training,” because somewhere along the way we all forgot how utterly unlikely it is for two people to behave and think and feel exactly like the other. So we need to be trained, or rather re-trained to see (again, because we forgot) how utterly unlikely it is for two people to behave and think and feel exactly like the other. Tigers are much smarter than that.

If you’ve ever been to a diversity training session, then you’ve heard the sighs, glanced the eyerolls, understood the implication on faces, “oh great another one of these. Yes, yes, I get it, I get it. Didn’t we all learn this when we were kids?” Yeah, as kids we all learned – sometimes without being told – how utterly unlike it is for two people to behave and think and feel exactly like the other. But this is the corporate world. As far as the corporate world is concerned, you’re a dolt.

No, you’re not a dolt. You’re much smarter than a tiger. Tiger’s can’t do algebra or write complete sentences or whatever it is you do that makes you smarter than a tiger. But there is one thing you and a tiger share in common. You’re both bright enough not to need yet another lesson in the most basic chapter of biology: that no two people on Earth behave and think and feel exactly like the other…

…except at the APA and anywhere else the D.E.I/D.I.E ideology reigns.

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