Thursday, November 19, 2020

Against Diversity Training

James Lindsay, of the New Discourses blog, has written an excellent analysis of the perils of diversity training. (via Maggie’s Farm)

Diversity training is now all the rage in corporate America  in America’s educational establishments. As happens, when something becomes all the rage, the chances are very good that it is bad for your health. 

According to Lindsay, such training programs create a divisive atmosphere and a hostile environment. In effect, he argues, that is what it is designed to do. It is not designed to enhance corporate efficiency or to educational opportunity.

He argues:

It’s not a bug of “diversity” training that it creates a divisive atmosphere and hostile working or learning environment. That’s what it’s designed to do for the Critical purpose. 

You might imagine that diversity training is designed to produce a climate of racial comity. In truth, to the extent that it borrows from Critical Race Theory-- a radical leftist ideology-- it is designed to set groups against each other. It is designed to undermine cooperation and compromise.

Lindsay explains:

Put more simply, “diversity” training is designed to create conditions for hostility, discomfort, polarization, conflict, and collapse in the institutions that use them. There are many reasons for this that go too far outside of the scope of this warning to articulate, but they can be summarized pretty neatly by pointing out that they increase sensitivity to certain types of issues, mandate taking action upon them, and engage in hostile, zero-sum thinking about them (rooted in what’s known as “conflict theory,” which is not an articulation of how to manage conflict but instead a way of convincing yourself conflict is what’s already happening and needs to be made visible and reversed).

It’s not about managing conflict but about producing conflict. If jobs, bonuses and perks are not handed out proportionally, that means proportional to the representation of different racial and ethnic groups, then that constitutes, ipso facto, evidence of racism. 

By declaring war against thought crimes, diversity training undermines objective standards of performance and efficiency.
Since you can never know to an absolute certainty what anyone else is thinking or feeling, the opportunities for abuse abound. The man who declares that he is not a racist is really a racist because his denial constitutes an admission of guilt.

Then, the group will divide against itself, with some trying to defend themselves against false imputations of racism while others become the thought police, seeking out proof of racism. At that point the company will no longer be in business to produce or distribute goods and services. It will be in the business of policing thought internally. Isn’t this what has happened to the New York Times, for instance?

Some people in the organization will become or join the activist core that drives for this kind of training and that seeks to make “diversity” activism a central project of the organization, consuming ever more resources. These people will buy in for either genuine or selfish motives and become “diversity” advocates. Not very many people exposed to a dull, unpleasant, unwanted “diversity” training at work will become part of the activist core, of course. What people who want to implement this stuff need to understand is that it only takes a few, maybe even one dedicated activist to do a lot of damage in the right circumstances. That person could well be the person who brought it in to begin with.

Lindsay explains that this can easily become a civil war:

A population of agitators will exist, even if small, with a fairly significant band of sympathetic support who will take their side in any conflict that arises. Meanwhile, people who think otherwise will be mostly cowed into silence, and people who might stand up to it have been discredited or removed. Just like a badly managed forest, all such an organization will need is certain conditions and an inopportunely dropped match to ignite a conflagration that management isn’t going to be able to control or put out very easily.

He continues:

The internal culture of the institution will crack as it polarizes. Then the institutional “diversity” civil war will begin, “racists” versus “anti-racists,” with both terms representing misleading but morally charged lies. If the internal conflagration gets big enough, or if your organization is important enough, enough attention may be drawn to add in heavy activist pressure (and dissident resistance pressure) from the outside, replicating and amplifying the divisive characteristics of the inside and the stakes of the fight. 

But, this is not such a bad thing for the diversity trainers. They have not designed their programs to produce functioning organizations.

This is bad for the organization, but that’s not a concern of the “diversity” trainers. Their goal is to produce “diversity,” not functioning organizations. Organizations are merely another means to this end. This point cannot be overstated, and it is very poorly understood. The utility of your organization to “diversity” trainers is not to enhance what your organization does but to leverage its capacity to be divert resources into achieving what it calls “diversity.”

And also:

Either the organization folds to their pressure and becomes a “diversity” activist organ that diverts the maximum amount of resources to “diversity,” or it collapses, which will be rationalized as another racist organization dying.

Lindsay adds, correctly that Critical Race Theories are not about building anything. They are designed to bring culture war into the workplace, generally undermining productivity. At a time when we want American business to compete in the world, especially against rising Asian powers, the last thing we need is an alien ideology to infest corporate America and academic America-- producing division and dysfunction.

It’s good to remember here that the Critical Theories at the heart of “diversity” training do not build. They do not even have the capacity to build. This is because Critical Theories are divorced by design from “traditional theories” that seek to know how to do things, like build products instead of activists, provide services, achieve their missions in the world, and make themselves profitable on their own merits. Therefore, conquering organizations for “diversity” or making them collapse for rejecting “diversity” are both winning outcomes for “diversity” activists.


Sam L. said...

Ahhhh, the "Diversity" scam! Whitey BADDDDDDDDD!!!1111!!!!! Asians...are now white.

Hey, kids! Let's tear down all the businesses in this country!

David Foster said...

Part of the problem with this 'diversity' training is that it ignores a kind of diversity that really matters.

Many years ago, I was at a company management training class at which we had several outside speakers. One of them was a psych professor, of the Jungian persuasion. He talked about how people of different personality types really do see the world differently, and:

'You will have a strong temptation to hire people who have personalities similar to your own. Resist this temptation. If you give into it, you will all have the same blind spots, and you will all walk happily off the cliff together.'

I have tried to keep that advice in mind.

Now, race/ethnicity/sex/sexual preference all probably do correlate with personality type *to some degree*, but by no means completely. If you hire a bunch of extroverted Harvard MBAs...some black, some white, some male, some are not likely to get a huge range of personality diversity.

Anonymous said...

It's obvious on its face that "diversity training" can never result in success because all the diversity departments/officers won't have jobs anymore. They are invested in this scam continuing and even getting worse. Diversity has already expanded into "systemic racism" for which there is no remedy. And for how many generations will "reparations" have to be paid? There will conveniently be no end to the demands for it, because slavery had effects that last centuries and may never end.

Sam L. said...

How DOES one teach others how to be "diverse"? Inquiring minds want to know....

Walt said...

It's always seemed obvious to me that the result of these sessions and lessons would be inflamed resentment on both sides or, at best, a new and unwelcome self-consciousness. What doesn't make sense to me is this guy's theory that that's the actual goal, rather than just an acceptable (to them) casualty. If he's saying it's a purposeful Marxist aim to destroy capitalism, I think that's a leap.