Friday, March 16, 2007

The Trouble With Diversity

Are we being fooled by the illusion of "diversification"? A few weeks ago, I saw Walter Benn Michaels discussing his book, The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality, in C-SPAN's BookTV, and something he said caught my attention. He said, more or less, that diversification of the elite doesn't change anything if all it means is "people of different colors saying the same thing."
Michaels writes in The HuffingtonPost: "Diversity is useful. But what it's mainly useful for is selling people a bill of goods, the main one being the idea that as America becomes an increasingly unequal society, everything will be OK if all the rich people -- like the stars of TV shows and the executives on Madison Ave -- come in the right colors. Right now America leads the developed world in income inequality and the top 1% of American families is richer than the bottom 90% -- would those facts be less disturbing if the 1% were black and brown as well as white and yellow?" But Slate Magazine's Alan Wolfe takes issue with Michaels propositions in his article, "Should We Shut Up About Diversity?" .
What do you think?

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