Diversity, equity and inclusion (but not for everyone) | Opinion

January 11, 2024 By George Lindemann

Diversity, equity and inclusion (but not for everyone) | Opinion

The national effort to right the wrongs of America’s systemic racism will fall short if diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) does not address violent and hateful behavior. DEI efforts will also fail if proponents do not rid themselves of the false narrative that all Americans fit in to one of two categories, oppressors or oppressed, nothing in between.

This dichotomy has no place in genuine DEI because it actually leads to hate and violence; it gives power to the “chosen ones” to label whomever they want as “oppressors” and by doing so, divide our society. Today’s oppressors are Jews; tomorrow, who knows?

I moved to Miami Beach 25 years ago because it was America’s true melting pot. All voices, colors, sizes and orientations were welcomed. I believe that America’s greatness is based on the concept that anyone can join the melting pot, assimilate and follow their American dream. In school, most Americans learned that the melting pot created a vibrant society and economy. It remains a beautiful ideal.

Thought leaders from the right and left are calling for DEI’s demise, but DEI is not all bad. Muslims, Christians, Jews and people of all colors do agree that the extreme DEI orthodoxy dividing us into either oppressors or oppressed must be jettisoned. Hate aimed at an “oppressor” is OK, but hate aimed at those who are “oppressed” is a mortal sin.

But isn’t all hate bad? Muslim American CNN analyst Fareed Zakaria says that DEI has become a dogmatic ideology. “In this context,” he says, “it is understandable that Jewish groups would wonder, why do safe spaces, microaggressions and hate speech not apply to us? If universities can take positions against free speech to make some groups feel safe, why not us?”

Hedge fund activist Bill Ackman understands that dividing us into categories actually leads to hate and violence. He calls Harvard University’s DEI department “an important culprit in discrimination on campus as it sees the world in a framework of oppressors and oppressed, where the oppressor class includes white males, Asians, Jews and other people perceived to be successful and powerful.”

Heather MacDonald, a Wall Street Journal political commentator, says “In the name of rejecting hate, colleges built their DEI bureaucracies… Protected identity categories have constantly expanded while the haters shrank to an ever-smaller subset of white males.”

When Tabia Lee, a Black DEI college director at De Anza College in California decided to buck the ideology and assert that Jews on campus were experiencing hate, she said the college informed her that “Jews are ‘white oppressors’ and our job as faculty and staff members is to ‘decenter whiteness.’’” Lee was fired.

While I am Jewish, I am not an oppressor. I am only white when hate is directed at white people, I am a Jew when they hate Jews. I am gay when they hate gays. Why do DEI bureaucrats get to decide what category I fit into? I self-identify as a human being, a father, an American.

Can DEI help preserve the “melting pot concept?” Yes it can, but to move forward we must first rewrite the rules. All white people are not oppressors. All Jews are not oppressors, and while American history is far from perfect, things here today are better than so many places in the world. We need not dissect the melting pot, creating good and bad minorities, winners and losers. Instead, we must appreciate the things we share: our oneness.

The new cult of “diversity” divides us into oppressed/oppressor, winner or loser, and that is historically and morally wrong. America’s melting pot makes us stronger, and those who believe so need to to speak often and loudly.

Read more at: https://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article283751118.html#storylink=cpy

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