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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
The Diversity Kit
Friend of mine was given this at his government job, and sent it to me. The things on the list were actually included in a little ziplock accompanying the list:

Button - To remind you to "button your lips" to keep from saying hurtful things about others and to keep from making remarks or jokes which might be racist, sexist or in any way hurtful to others.

Lifesaver - To remind you that you can be a lifesaver to others by courageously standing up to negative statements which can erode an individual's self-esteem.

Band Aid - To remind you to heal hurt feelings whether they are yours or someone else's.

Rubber Band - To remind you to be flexible. Someone else might have a better idea or a different experience which can provide valuable solutoins.

Toothpick - To remind you to "pick out" the good qualities in everyone regardless of their race, ethnicity, sex, age, or any other factor which differs from yours.

Eraser - To remind you that everyone makes mistakes sometimes and we need to ease our embarrassment when a mistake has been made by ourselves or by others.

Tissues - To remind you to dry someone's tears, or perhaps your own, so you can see the tears caused by racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination.

Mint - To remind you that, in valuing diversity, you are worth a mint to your organization.

Rainbow - To remind you of the many colors and cultures in our world, and to show you how beautiful these can be when blended together.

What a wonderful way for my friend's government employer to spend tax dollars.

Except that my friend is an adult.

I kept most of the items in the kit. The button to repair my favorite shirt. The Lifesaver, because it's banana flavored: MY FAVORITE!! The Band Aid, because I might cut myself some day. The rubber band to keep my bread fresh. The eraser, because the one on my pencil is worn to the nub, and I might need it to erase something I've written in error.

I blew my nose with the tissue, and ate the mint because my breath currently reeks of the onions I had with breakfast. The toothpick was handy for prying that sausage from between my molars.

The rainbow colored swatch is bound for our local landfill, where I hope it will serve to inspire rats and seagulls to coexist harmoniously.
Very interesting! Mind if I grab it and carry it down the line?
"Diversity" has spawned a whole industry of warm-and-fuzzy-feel-good corporate trainers whose only aim is to allow the company to be able to show the gov't that they're doing sensitivity training in good faith. That this likely (1) does nothing to promote actual understanding between different groups but probably fosters suspicion and (2) does nothing to make the company more competitive, is irrelevant.

Of course "diversity" of opinion is never sought, simply the most superficial unimportant diversity -- diversity of appearance.

The whole "diversity is our strength" ubiquitous buzz-phrase is driving me crazy because it's another liberal lie snuck into our culture without examination. Don't get me wrong. I love that my patients are Asian and Black and Latino and Irish Catholic and secular socialist Jews and gay Protestant ministers and corporate vice-president lesbians. Really. I love that. But there's no strength to that; it's simply interesting and tollerant. I don't see Norway crumbling under the burden of its genetic homogeneity.
Important item left out: Barf bag. I guess the Ziploc could work in a pinch.
I don't think I mind, Wickwire. Unless "grabbing it and carrying it down the line" means something sinister and frightening. :-)
How about a pin to stick into yourself and remind yourself about reality (and your job)?
Their jobs, I mean.
How about earplugs so you don't have to listen to the nonsense.
Just as an experiment I collected all of the things on the list (or whatever reasonable facsimile I could lay my hands on here in Israel).

So far I have been able to annoy the hell out of my coworkers by shooting wet candies, buttons and spitballs at them with the rubber band. The rainbow sticker is now walking around on the unsuspecting back of the idiot across the hall from me who keeps his cell phone on his desk set to 'stun' while he is walking around the facility. Oh, and the toothpick came in handy after lunch. Thanks!
Yeah that is what I meant, I sent it to my niece. Looks like someone needs a mint eh Bean? ;)
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