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The Diversity Scam
Michael Moore greeted the decline of whites with jubilation, calling it the “best day ever in U. S. history.” The question always seems to be not whether diversity is good, but how good it is.
Written by Bo Winegard.
The diversity scam is one of the most successful in recent memory, for diversity is a lie, a cheat, a swindle, a propagandistic slogan so lavished with ethical superlatives that its ordinary, morally neutral meaning has been cloaked with a halo of righteousness. One must submit to it as one does to other enchanted words such as “freedom” and “democracy,” whose incantatory power is used to manipulate and often to obscure. Elites laud it, claiming that it is a great strength, a force for creativity, dynamism, and moral progress. And its mere invocation often ends debate, for who but the wicked, the fearful, or the ignorant could possibly oppose diversity?
In the abstract (and using the traditional meaning of the word), diversity might be good, or it might be bad. A completely homogenous basketball team composed of 7-foot centers would lose many games and would benefit from some diversity. On the other hand, a wildly diverse basketball team composed of college players, construction workers, lawyers, and nurses would also lose many (all) games and would benefit from more homogeneity. The same applies, mutatis mutandis, to other teams, groups, institutions, communities, and even countries. Diversity of skills, interests, and desires can invigorate a coalition, encouraging specialization and productive disagreement. However, diversity of values, traits, and talents can fracture a coalition, encouraging discontent and internecine conflict.
But a measured analysis of diversity is virtually irrelevant for popular conversations because diversity in practice means something like, “fewer white people,” though it can also mean, “more black people,” depending upon context. Therefore, most conversations about diversity are misleading because the debate in question is not about real diversity, but only about an ideologically saturated and limited kind of diversity (racial). Appeals to diversity are more of a rhetorical tactic than an honest attempt to describe reality, and they are often used as a bludgeon to subdue those who might resist non-meritocratic attempts to increase the proportion of non-whites in some field or another.
This might sound tendentious, so it is worth adducing a mainstream example that illustrates the point. The Institute for Diversity and Ethic in Sport, founded by Dr. Richard E. Lapchick, who is “often described as the racial conscience of sport,” assesses the diversity of various sports’ leagues with a race and gender report card. For race, the grade is based on one criterion: The proportion of non-whites. The higher the proportion of non-whites, the higher the grade, with no ceiling. Thus, a hypothetical league with thousands of players but no white people would receive an A+ on the racial diversity report card. One predisposed to charity might think this an honest mistake or oversight, for surely the assessment could not be so obviously flawed.
But the report cards adhere to this parodic criterion. For example, Major League Baseball (MLB) received a commendable grade of an A because players of color (POC, a different term for non-white) comprise 38% of the league. But the National Basketball Ball Association (NBA) received an impeccable A+ because players of color comprise 83.2% of the league. Thus, in a country that is roughly 60% white, a league that is only roughly 17% white is very diverse, more diverse, in fact, than a league that more closely matches prevailing demographics in the country.
A similar duplicity pervades discourse about demographic change in the United States (and the West more broadly). Increasing diversity of the United States means a lower proportion of white people and is often greeted with panegyrics by elites, but a concern for and attachment to current demographics is denounced as a bigoted and reactionary posture, a futile attempt to stop the inexorable march of progress. Sometimes this is quite explicit. For example, Michael Moore greeted the decline of whites in the 2020 census with jubilation, calling it the “best day ever in U. S. history.” Similarly, a Jimmy Fallon crowd answered his description of the same census data with cheers and applause. But often it is just assumed and is built into the structure of the rather one-sided mainstream debate about demographic change. The question is not if diversity is good, but how good.
If one notices and discusses but does not effusively praise demographic change, some elites will assert that one is trafficking in a pernicious conspiracy theory known as the “great replacement.” But like the concept of diversity, the concept of the great replacement is strategically ambiguous and mostly used as a rhetorical truncheon. Dustin Jones, writing for National Public Radio (NPR), contended that: “the ‘great replacement’ is a conspiracy theory…that nonwhite individuals are being brought into the United States and other Western countries to ‘replace’ white voters to achieve a political agenda.” This is a standard claim, though some add that the great replacement theory also includes the belief that a coterie of elite Jews is striving to undermine gentile nationalism by promoting open borders.
Since the claim that demographic conservatives are attached to the great replacement theory has become popular—indeed, some describe it as “Republican orthodoxy”—, it’s worth addressing. First, the premises, from most general to most specific: (1) Demographics in the United States are changing rapidly such that the U. S. is becoming less white; (2) Democrats and Democratic politicians are more enthusiastic about demographic change because it helps their electoral chances; and (3) A cabal of elites, probably Jewish, is spearheading the demographic transformation of the United States, perhaps to undermine gentile interests.
The first premise that the US is rapidly changing demographically is obviously and undeniably true. In 1965, the United States was approximately 85% non-Hispanic white, whereas in 2015, the number had dropped to 62%, for a roughly 23% decline in share of the population in fifty years. Furthermore, demographic change accelerated after 1980, and continues apace. This demographic transformation was not the unavoidable outcome of physical laws; it was the avoidable outcome of policy decisions, many of which were deceptively described (and perhaps misunderstood by those who enacted them).
By current estimates, whites will become a non-majority by 2045. As noted by William Frey in “Diversity Explosion,” “Soon, most children will be racial minorities: Hispanics, blacks, Asians, and other nonwhite races.” That the United States is radically diversifying is thus undeniable and has been noted by political analysts on both sides of the divide.
The second premise that demographic change is applauded by one political coalition because they believe it benefits them is more complicated but also true. Liberals have long championed and cheered the demographic transformation of America at least partially because they believed it would redound to their advantage. For a blatant example, the one-time Democratic consultant Patrick Reddy wrote:
The 1965 Immigration Reform Act promoted by President Kennedy, drafted by Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and pushed through the Senate by Ted Kennedy has resulted in a wave of immigration from the Third World that should shift the nation in a more liberal direction within a generation. It will go down as the Kennedy family’s greatest gift to the Democratic Party.
Other analysts have written popular books about this; and the phrases “coalition of the ascendant” and “demographics are destiny,” showing a clear awareness of the political effects of demographic change, have been popular for many years.
The third premise that this demographic change is being perpetrated by a coterie of elites is implausible and dismissible; however, very few people who are accused of espousing the great replacement theory actually espouse the view that demographic change is the consequence of a Jewish conspiracy—thus the strategic ambiguity of the phrase great replacement, which can be used to smear anybody who laments the rate of demographic change by suggesting that they are committed to conspiratorial balderdash.
Apart from implausible conspiracies, the “great replacement” is largely an accurate description of reality; and in fact, it is the view that many liberals and progressives hold. The only difference between them and conservatives is that they applaud the decline of the white population, while conservatives decry it. This creates a bizarre world of discourse in which demographic change is said to be a phantom of the xenophobe’s imagination when he expresses reservations about it, but when the liberal praises it, it is said to be a great good for the country. In other words, demographic change is happening, but only if you celebrate it.
Related to these double standards, perhaps even undergirding them, is the double standard about racial identity. Elites often praise black identity, Hispanic identity, BIPOC identity, and they encourage black pride, esteem, and rejection of the staid “white” status quo. A recent Vox article, for example, contended that “Finding ways to build pride in…Blackness can ease tension from racial trauma.” But these same elites often lambaste whites, whiteness, and white identity, calling those who promote white interests racists, bigots, hate mongers, and myriad other names. The lesson is clear: Non-white people should work together to combat the hegemony of whiteness, perhaps even eradicating it altogether, while whites should voluntarily relinquish their identity, allowing the world spirit to fulfill its mission of recognizing itself in a universe unblemished by whiteness.
And this is what the diversity scam is really about: A competition in which many non-whites have affiliated with white elite progressives to redistribute the status and resources of other whites. Diversity does not mean diversity; it means more status, more resources, more moral praise for non-whites and for the white educated elites who are their allies. Complicated, nuanced debates about intellectual, ideological, or experiential diversity are thus beside the point because the goal is not to enhance institutions; the goal is to secure more well-paying jobs and resources for non-whites and more affirmation for the right-thinking elites who lead this glorious cause.
The best thing for those of us who are who are incurably skeptical, inveterately curious, recently disillusioned, or merely mischievous, and who no longer view “diversity” as inviolable because its costs and duplicities have become obvious, is to be honest. We should not allow the rhetoric to obscure the underlying reality: Diversity is largely an instrument to accelerate demographic change and support affirmative action and other equity-based policies. Those who want to achieve these ends are welcome to continue to pursue them, but they should not do so while masking their behavior with morally elevated discourse. Diversity is about power. It is anti-meritocratic. And it is a scam. People should not be afraid to unmask it.
Bo Winegard is the Executive Editor of Aporia.
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