Diversity Is Big Business
The “Diversity and Inclusion” industry rakes in billions of dollars every year.
The market for Diversity and Inclusion was estimated to be $7.5 billion in 2020, according to a report from GlobeNewswire earlier this year, and was projected to reach $15.4 billion by 2026. D&I “puts companies in the position to hire the best employees from a diverse and often untapped candidate pool,” declared Forbes earlier this year. “Diverse companies make 19 percent more revenue than companies that don’t value diversity,” MSNBC reported in 2019.
And so, if you haven’t experienced it already, get ready for the stultifying, inconsistent world of D&I (or DEI if you add “equity” to the mix) corporate training. And if you feel particularly fresh, consider raising some of the below objections to your local DEI consultant or trainer and study the response.
One popular video in DEI courses is a Danish TV2 video entitled “All That We Share.” In the video, groups from disparate walks of life—professional and working class, ethnic Danes and immigrants, rural and urbanite—stand in designated boxes. A moderator asks members of each group to come forward based on various questions: if they were a class clown, if they are a step-parent, if they like to dance. The goal, purportedly, is to demonstrate that everyone, despite their differences, share things in common that can break down barriers.
At the end of the video, the moderator asks if anyone is bi-sexual. A lone, long-haired blonde youth awkwardly steps forward, extending a tentative smile. After a brief pause, he is greeted with applause. A voiceover declares, “and we, who acknowledge the courage of others.”
I wonder, though, is announcing who you would prefer to copulate with really that “courageous” in tolerant 2022, when people regularly suffer professional or personal consequences for protesting contemporary sexual mores? And if, on religious, philosophical, or scientific principles, a lonely soul refuses to applaud, how should we describe that person? Is going against the grain in that situation also courageous, or is it bigoted, since, well, they tell us so?
Another popular video in DEI programs was produced by Heinekin, whose advertising arm has cleverly capitalized on finding that special commercial sweet spot: how to both sell their product and carry water for wokedom. In “Worlds Apart: An Experiment,” three pairs of complete strangers are placed in a warehouse to cooperate on building a bar together. Each pair represents opposite ends of the political spectrum on one of three controversial issues: gender, sexuality, or climate change. Little surprise, those representing the conservative side of these issues are presented as intolerant and bigoted, the man acting as the archetypal patriarchal male declaring “women need to remember that we need you to have our children.”
Once each bar is complete—the pairs becoming friends in the process—each group watches videos of themselves describing their opinions on their designated hot-button issue. Don’t worry, there is a “happy” ending: The man who had asserted there are only two genders admits the errors of his ways to the trans “woman”; the “misogynist” male clinks beers with the black female feminist and declares “down with the patriarchy!” The climate skeptic…well, Heinekin doesn’t spend much time on him, perhaps because he didn’t actually change his mind.
Again, the lesson is clear: DEI doesn’t actually mean promoting a public square where different opinions, even if unpopular, are permitted. It means that those with the wrong opinions are given their opportunity to admit their error, repent, and join the revolution.
Can you even imagine the Heinekin commercial ending with the straight male, perhaps an evangelical, saying to the trans person: “You were created in the image of God, and your decisions are an offense against nature and harmful to yourself. But God loves you and is calling you to repent of your sins”?
Speaking of nature, DEI programs explain that biases are natural, a result of evolution. Our prehistoric ancestors needed bias, we’re told, in order to accurately identify friend from foe. How we learned this truth from prehistory is not explained, given our inability to conduct controlled experiments on people who died more than 7,000 years ago, or that psychological analysis on prehistoric humans is a bit harder than understanding, say, their burial practices or use of primitive tools. Anyway, the point is that biases were needed for man’s survival.
Nevertheless, DEI instructors tell us, we must learn to transcend these biases. We tend to make judgments about people based on their physical features, sex, attire, or behavior. But, we are told, such judgments are bigoted, misogynist, and cisnormative.
Yet if those judgments are based on some evolutionary process that enabled man’s survival, why, exactly, would we want to dispense with them? Isn’t survival good? Isn’t evolution supposed to be good?
Diversity specialist Joe Gerstandt, frequently cited in DEI courses, notes: “Diversity is not an agenda. Diversity is a natural byproduct of human beings interacting with each other. Any time you have two or people together, you have diversity.” Yet if that’s the case, it’s odd that academia, corporations, and government agencies so aggressively promote DEI. One wouldn’t think we’d need to spend billions of dollars to engender something natural. Then again, the DEI industry makes for good living—the average DEI consultant earning more than $80,000 a year.
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Gerstandt claims that diversity is not only the right thing, but necessary to facilitate professional success. We don’t want to steamroll over people and coerce everyone into uniformity, he says, but encourage healthy tension that engenders energy and creativity. It is, in a crude form, a manifestation of the Hegelian dialectic, in which thesis and antithesis clash to form a synthesis, thus propelling forward the positivist vision of human history and technological progress.
Though, of course, some opinions are not welcome in the technocratic model promoted by Gerstandt and other DEI ideologues. Certainly not “traditional” (read: archaic) beliefs about gender or sexuality. One’s gender and sexuality, like our race, are supposedly so intrinsic to our sense of self that to question or resist DEI doctrine on them is equivalent to fascism. Questioning and resisting, say, traditional gender norms, alternatively, is highly encouraged.
And so we see the supreme irony of the DEI regime that now permeate our nation’s institutions: a self-described multiculturalist movement that seeks to impose a flat monoculture based on progressive sexual, gender, and racial values. But perhaps that is only my white, cisgender fragility speaking.