Thursday, May 26, 2005

Diversity of Thought -- False Premise

These days I hear many people say -- in their effort to seem politically correct and not racist -- that diversity of thought is the main reason for their preference for an ethnic individual or a minority individual over another who belongs to a majority group or of non-ethnic background. To me this seems utterly strange and entirely opposite of what it should be. The premise that this view is based on is this: diversity of thought comes with the diversity of people of different ethnic or minority backgrounds. Therefore they are preferred over others because of the way they think and not because of their skin color or their race (so they say). In other words, diversity of thought seems incapable of arising, or atleast is less likely, among individuals who do not have an ethnic or minorty background. The idea that diversity of thought cannot exist in just about any random individual who is capable of using his/her intellect rationally and broadly and inductively, is absurd. I think using diversity of thought as a reason for racial and ethnic preferential treatment or hiring is a pathetic facade over the true reason of racial bias. This racial bias does not necessarily have to arise out of personal preferences but may arise out of politically, legally mandated racial and ethnic quota laws. The true and correct premise should be that diversity of thought is purely a matter of one's intellectual capacity to think and rationalize broadly upon a variety of topics and situations and therefore should be equally possible to arise among any intelligent, rational, individual. Yes, I agree that there are situations like a persons personal experiences of birth and childhood and travel and experiences in culture that can predispose a person to the kind and manner of thinking they develop, but again, those characteristics are not necessarily only an attribute of so-called minority or ethnic individuals. Any individual, regardless of any identification to class, race, country, religion, etc. is quite likely to have a diversity of experiences that can give rise to a diversity of thought. Hence, Diversity of Thought as it is popularly undestood today is based on a false premise... and is just a facade for the phenomena of racism (or lookism) that is still quite alive in our society.


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