Whites are not a monolith either.

Elias Miller,
Richmond, VA

This is a variation of the famous Shirley Chisholm quote.

I feel like so much of the corporate training in diversity, equity, and inclusion has the wrong focus: it teaches us to make generalizations about racial or ethnic groups and to remember those generalizations when we interact with others. The intention is to promote awareness of various cultural narratives, but I’m afraid this type of thinking often does the opposite: it elevates difference over our shared humanity and perpetuates stereotypes. We would be better off listening to what others are actually saying, rather than trying to remember narratives that are MORE LIKELY to have impacted them based on their group status.

I’m a gay, white, Southern, atheist, academic librarian in my early 40s, and, while I’ve benefitted from identity politics in some respects, I’ve also been disadvantaged by the stereotyping that identity politics encourages. It should be possible to be aware of the diversity of beliefs and experiences associated with a given subculture without letting that awareness undermine our shared values. At this point, I do feel like much of the rhetoric about diversity, equity, and inclusion is promoting grievances, rather than solutions that help and unite us.

 

Tweets by Michele Norris