Diversity Is Often More A Curse Than A Blessing

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2021/05/26/diversity-is-often-more-a-curse-than-a-blessing/

If you assume diversity is a good thing, ask yourself a question:  Why?

People who promote diversity rarely ask this question. We hear over and over about how diversity is such an important virtue that every educational institution, business, and non-profit organization should be judged by how diverse it is. We hear slogans such as “diversity is our strength.”

It is?

What did diversity – all by itself – ever achieve?

Have diversity’s devotees ever taken a look around the planet to see what diversity in religion, language, race, culture, and language has caused?

We know what the Woke Mob gets out of diversity:  Power.  But what does everyone else get out of it?

Diversity may be a fact in many societies. But it is not a virtue. There is nothing inherently good about it.

A handful of examples show that diversity has often meant chaos and disaster. Centuries-long hatred, war, and even genocide often find their origins amid diversity.

Let’s look at what diversity of religion brought to the Indian sub-continent with the partition of the British Indian Empire in 1947-1948. In the division of the Punjab, many millions of Muslims moved from India to Pakistan, fearful of living in a predominantly Hindu India, and even more Hindus moved from Pakistan to India, equally anxious about living in Muslim Pakistan. Precise figures are hard to come by, but most historians believe that more than one million people were killed in the “communal” violence which accompanied the partition.

A more recent example of the curse of diversity was the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards after Gandhi had ordered the Indian Army to occupy the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar, an assault which left hundreds of Sikh militants and soldiers dead. For four days after Gandhi’s assassination, there were “communal riots” throughout India in which three thousand innocent Sikhs were killed.

Let’s look at the effects of diversity in Europe. For several centuries following Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 theses on the castle door at Wittenberg, Germany, there was savage warfare between Catholics and Protestants. The Thirty Years War in Germany between 1618 and 1648 between followers of these two Christian faith traditions resulted in the death of one-third of the German population.

In England, King Henry VIII had 18 Carthusian monks killed between 1535 and 1540 because they refused to sign an oath stating that the king was the head of the church in England, which went against their beliefs and their conscience. They took no part in politics, but they were influential because common people admired them, so they were forced to take a stand publicly, on pain of death.  Seven were hanged, drawn, and quartered; two were hanged in chains; nine were starved to death.

Twenty years later, the noose was on the other neck. Henry VIII’s Catholic daughter reigned as “Bloody Mary,” sending prominent Protestants to be burned at the stake. One was Thomas Cranmer, the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury and author of the English Book of Common Prayer, in 1556. A year earlier, in 1555, Queen Mary ordered the Oxford Martyrs, Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, both Anglican bishops, to be burned at the stake. Latimer is alleged to have said as the flames were lit:  “Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle by God’s grace in England as shall never be put out.”

Executions over religion eventually ended in England. Yet the profound legal, cultural and social division between Protestants and Catholics in Britain lasted for more than three centuries. Vestiges remain today.

More than vestiges remain in Ireland. The yawning gulf between the Catholic and Protestant views of Christianity dominated Irish history from the 1500s through the 1900s. About three-quarters of the island gained autonomy from England in 1922 and eventually independence, and religious divisions are less pronounced in the Republic of Ireland than they once were. Yet conflict over religious heritage continues in Northern Ireland, even after years of improvement.

The diversity problem is not always about religion. Wherever people see what they consider important differences, there are likely to be serious divisions. On the European continent, for instance, there are current independence movements by the Catalans in Spain and by the Basques in Spain and France.  Each separatist movement has been triggered by differing lingual, cultural, and political characteristics, which its adherents believe entitle them to a separate country. For some, these differences justify violent attacks on the national government they reject.

Since the beginning, the human species has formed tribes, clans, and nations. These groups have almost always developed a fierce loyalty, allegiance, and pride in their own tribe – and often a distrust, fear, and even hatred towards others. This has been true whether in Europe, Africa, Asia, or in the Americas. One only needs to think of the nicknames that Europeans used to call foreigners from France, Germany, and England – frogs, krauts, and limeys, respectively. While people tend to smile at these epithets nowadays, many react more emotionally to harsher derogatory names for Italians and Spaniards.

Africa has been bathed in blood for much of its existence.  For one dramatic modern example, consider Rwanda in 1994, when members of the Hutu tribe massacred 800,000 people from the Tutsi tribe. The difference was not in skin color, but rather in height, build, and socioeconomic status. How hard it has been to overcome the tribal instincts of fear, distrust, and hatred of outsiders that seem part of our human condition.

In North America, long before Europeans arrived there was centuries-long savage warfare among native tribes, and in many cases, prisoners who were taken in battle were burned by the victors. In the more genteel recent times, divisions remain acute. In Canada, the province of Quebec, where the population is mostly French-speaking, has repeatedly sought independence. Some of us can remember when Charles De Gaulle, on a trip to Canada in 1968, appalled his Canadian hosts when he exhorted French-Canadians in a speech: “Vivre le Quebec libre.” (“Long live free Quebec” – a rallying cry of Quebec separatists.) The Quebec sovereignty movement continues as a force in Canadian politics because many in Quebec believe that their language, values, and worldview are not just distinct but also fundamentally different from those of other Canadians.

What can possibly mitigate such differences? Could it be a cultivation of virtue?

But what is virtue?

The four classical Greek virtues are prudence, justice, temperance, and courage. To these, Christians add faith, hope, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and charity.

Neither tradition mentions diversity. Why would it? What aspect of diversity makes anyone a better person? What aspect of diversity leads to peace and prosperity?

But then, the drive for diversity isn’t about becoming a better person.  It isn’t about peace and prosperity.  It’s about certain ideologues using diversity as a shield to grab for power.

The genius of America is not diversity. It’s America’s ability to deal with diversity. We do it not by recognizing groups, but by emphasizing individuals. The Founders wisely recognized the natural rights of every human being and defined civil rights only for individuals. There are no articles or amendments in the federal constitution that award rights to ethnic, racial, or religious groups. No ideology or distinction by class or sex or gender identity gets special treatment in America’s founding documents. The point, as Martin Luther King Jr. famously put it, is not the color of your skin, but the content of your character.

This is the reason that historically marginalized individuals have made so much progress in America over generations. Over time, all Americans have been called to account for the principles that the Founding Fathers declared and the movement toward justice that they put in motion. Whenever America is legitimately found wanting, petitioners with just cause have only to appeal to standards the founders set.

Diversity did not achieve the standards of equality, justice, and dignity that the founders of America declared in 1776. Those standards come from God. Embracing those standards is a decision made by men many years ago. Trying to live by them is a decision many Americans have made during the past 250 years.

They didn’t do it out of some ideological commitment to diversity.

The current demand for diversity of race or sex or sexuality over achievement, quality, and merit is harmful – not only to white men, but to all of us. The endless mantra of diversity in modern America is an attack not on members of groups that are supposedly in power, but on America itself. The result isn’t to build up supposedly marginalized groups. The result is to tear America down.

Diversity tends to pull people apart.  A common standard of fairness tends to bring people together.  Which one is more important to a society?  Which one is more important for individuals?

Diversity throughout history has generally been the cause of unhappiness, destruction, and death. The only way that diversity can function in a society is if citizens embrace a common worldview. This means what the America’s Founders understood when they designated the motto of America — e pluribus unum.  In English, it means:  Out of many, one.  Out of many cultures and languages and ethnicities and races, one people.

If we are no longer a people who can hold to a common belief in what it means to be an American, who understand the greatness of this country built on freedom, on democracy, on the family, on free market capitalism, on the love of country, on the Christian virtues, then we are a society that is committing suicide. Our demise will not come from without but from within.

We need to embrace Martin Luther King Jr’s exhortation to value people by the content of their character – not by their race, tribe, color, sex, sexuality, or identity.

On this principle we don’t need diversity. We need unity.


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