Exploring the Social Imagination

Monday, May 19, 2014

Diversity Today wasn't Diversity Yesterday... today's diversity isn't yesterday's

Diversity today is different from diversity yesterday. How? Diversity yesterday was when people of the same ethnicity and or race, religion, culture lived their experience, lived their uniqueness. Was there a sharing of diverse experiences among all the diversity of people's; as much as there could be. What does that mean? It means that some things are lost in translation. Diversity means different. It means that if you are raised in one culture you cannot become a member of another. Yes, you can imagine that if you speak their language, eat their food, you have some knowledge of what it is like to be them. But, you cannot be them in the same sense that they know who they are. If you think you can, then you effectively water down who they are and it would be the same if they 'try to be like you'. We can take from each other only that which we are able to. This means that we can only internalize information that makes sense to 'our culture or way of doing things;' as that new information does not exceed our comfort level or what we think of as normal... yes, what is comfortable for us. All other information that does not seem normal or comfortable to us is rejected or adopted as in make it our own. The first time I was in Poland and ate pizza out I was horrified as they brought out a pizza with corn and ketchup on it. For me, that was unimaginable. Today, pizza in Poland is more traditional as in what we accept as Italian style pizza as it comes closer to the normal idea of pizza.
You see, we can only use information that we already know have learned in social context with socialization in a place as normal and yes we can come to know something of other people and their way of living, but that does not make everyone everywhere the same. This applies to all human cultures in the world, primitive and sophisticated. Information is different as it is received in a place and shared in a place, shared in the same way so that we gain a sense of identity; who we are and are not. Hence, real diversity means being different and accepting that people are different and that will not change; less we are no longer truly diverse. Today's diversity has people thinking that diversity means people are able to have different skin color, different religious beliefs and traditions and be the same. But that diversity is essentially a false diversity. What does that mean? It means that people are different and some things that we gained in our socialization have been imprinted on us as a default mode; which cannot be deleted or changed. Americans today think that diversity means that we are the same regardless because everybody wants to be thought of as the same and liked...  in that we are the same. This is not diversity. I hear all too often the argument that people are of some universal thread... yes, to some extent we are just being human. But that does not mean we are the same. If we truly like diversity as in diverse information (that which we can look at in awe and respect as it is different...then let us take care not to change it too much from touching that which is different and certainly let us take care not erase it.

Acts 17:24  "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the world earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though He is not far from each one."

1 comment :

  1. When the Left talks "diversity" what they mean is every culture should be respected and elevated EXCEPT western Judeo-Christian European culture. It's just coded language for anti-western Marxist lies. America has always been diverse. The idea we suddenly need to be come diverse is silly.