Diversity Training = Spam

As far as I’m concerned, diversity training is like spam.  Too many people get it and nobody wants it.

I recently read that the U.S. Agriculture Department has hired a consulting firm to advise it on “diversity” matters.  Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack has “taken a number of actions to make his department more sensitive to civil rights issues.”  This comes on the heels of the recent Congressional approval of a $4.6 billion settlement of a discrimination lawsuit filed by black and Native American farmers.  There are more lawsuits pending.

Interesting that over at the DOJ just the opposite seems to be happening.  Two officials, J. Christian Adams and Christopher Coates, testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, that the DOJ repeatedly showed “hostility” toward prosecuting cases which involved black defendants.  But I digress.

Let’s get back to diversity training.  Why is it even necessary?  What other country is as diverse as ours?  Didn’t we recently elect the first half-Black/half-White President?  Doesn’t that say anything for this country and its people?

This all reminds me of my own experience when I worked for the County of Los Angeles in the 1990s and required to sit through hours and hours of co-called “diversity training” to make me a better lawyer.

In my opinion, this is more political correctness gone amok.  Smooth talkers could put together some worthless seminar to “teach” people about sensitivities and bias – all at a very substantial price to the corporation or entity which feels compelled to provide this service to its employees.

We were all subjected to diversity training which revolved around Native Americans, Mexican-Americans, Men/Women, and, of course, the LGTB community.  My experience in the courtroom was one that did not see any real bias against homosexuals, but I’ve seen some against the transgender community.  I heard snickering and snide remarks, particularly from homosexuals and a lot of liberals, when that 6-foot tall woman who “doesn’t look quite right” was spotted in court.  It all comes down to hearts and minds – laws and forced training aren’t going to change attitudes.

All this training was to make us more sensitive to the needs of the parents and children in the dependency system.  I heard a lot of argument from attorneys who represented minority children when they were placed in white homes but not once did I hear anything when a white child was placed in a Spanish-speaking home.  Sounds like a double standard to me.

But the most ridiculous diversity training I had to participate in involved the young black community.  I’m sure everyone’s seen some young guy with his pants hanging down around his butt and his underwear showing.  It’s got to be the most stupid look I’ve ever seen and I’d like to see one of these fools try and run in those pants.  Well, according to our “diversity instructor,” this so-called “style” originated at Riker’s Island in New York, where prisoners aren’t permitted to have belts.  (Since then, I’ve also read that this style signifies sexual orientation or, at least, sexual willingness, in prisons.)

According to the instructor, black youth adopted this “look” because it’s part of their “heritage” even though it reflected a negative segment of the population, namely, prisoners.

Well, I’d never heard of anything so stupid.  So, in my inimitable fashion, I raised my hand during the seminar and asked the following:  “My father came to the United States in 1924 from Germany.  Based on your analysis, would it be okay for me to don a swastika because, even though it reflects a negative segment of the German population, it is part of my heritage?”

After stunned silence from fellow attorneys, the instructor attempted to explain away why my example was not analogous to the droopy pants look even though I knew I was spot on.  Afterwards, several of my co-workers absolutely agreed with my analogy.

Needless to say, I thought the whole diversity training was a big waste of time although it did count towards my continuing education required by the State Bar of California.  Up until I read the article about the Agriculture Department, I hadn’t a clue that diversity training was still being touted in this country.  I thought we’d moved way past this.

Apparently, we haven’t.  There are still “workforce diversity specialists” who go around the corporate world teaching people how to relate to one another.  For example, one website I came across lists the politically correct terms now acceptable in the corporate world.  For example, you shouldn’t say “guys” when speaking to a mixed group of people.  You should say, “friends,” “folks,” or “group.”  You’re not supposed to say “no culture,” when referring to parts of the U.S. where the opera and the theater are scarce or nonexistent but rather “lacking European culture.”  My favorite is that I’m no longer an “old person” but rather “chronologically advantaged.”  Does this mean that young people are “chronologically disadvantaged?”  Sounds politically incorrect to me.

Bottom line:  these are money-making industries by people who’ve convinced corporations that it’s necessary, especially if they’re after government contracts.  And the corporation, afraid of looking insensitive or something even worse, kowtows to this type of political correctness.  I see no difference between this type of training and the shakedown of corporation, like NASCAR, by the Rev. Jesse Jackson in years past.  Remember when NASCAR gave $250,000 to Jackson’s Rainbow/Push Coalition to develop programs to try and correct perceived racism and animosity towards blacks.

For how many years, the private sector has been bullied into diversity training.  Now we the taxpayers are spending, God only knows, how much to “train” the employees over at the Agriculture Department.  Whatever it is, it’s a waste of our money.

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.

Political Correctness Abounds

When did all this happen?  When did “gentlemen’s club” replace strip joint?  Strippers are now “exotic dancers.”  “Noncitizen defendants” is the inoffensive way of saying criminal illegal aliens.  When someone’s tax credit exceeds the amount he pays in federal income taxes, the money received is now called a “tax refund” instead of welfare.  Panhandlers are no longer called “bums.”  You shouldn’t call anyone a “black sheep” but rather an outcast.  Gifted children are now “advanced learners.”  Can you believe this crap?  (Am I allowed to say that?)

Of all the euphemisms that are around today, the one that drives me insane is “single mom” which describes any woman who’s raising her children alone.  It’s overused by those who want to pull on my heartstrings because of some woman’s plight in raising her children by herself.  For example, Mary is a single mom who has to work two jobs to pay the rent, etc., etc., etc.

Before my heart starts bleeding for someone, I want to know how they got in their predicament in the first place.  Call me cruel and uncaring.  That’s fine.  I just want to know how this woman came to be a mother raising her children on her own.  Is she divorced?  Is she widowed?  Is she an unwed mother?  I want to know this before I start pouring out my limited reserve of compassion.

Is she divorced?  Is the father paying child support or is he a dead beat dad?  The father might have left the wife for some dumb reason and is a real s.o.b.  That’s truly unfortunate but I’d hope she’d be taking his sorry butt to court and getting every court-ordered penny of child support out of him.

Is she widowed?  The dad might not have had life insurance and left the wife unexpectedly to fend for herself and her children.  I’ll save my compassion for people in this category.  Women who did the right thing, got married, had children, and for whatever reason, are left with the children after their husband dies.  My mother died when I was eight years old.  I never referred to my Dad as a “single Dad.”  My Dad was a widower raising two little kids.  He did all the right things and deserved the status of “widower.”

Is she an unwed mother?  Well, then, where’s the father?  Does she even know who the father is?  Is he paying child support?  If not, why not?  Has she gone to court to enforce a judgment of child support?

For me, the bottom line has always been when did it become socially acceptable to be an unwed mother?  I’ve no idea.  Back in the 60s, I went to a lot of weddings.  But if a baby came soon afterwards, “we” all started counting backwards the number of months since the wedding.  No one was ostracized but we were all aware of the fact that the couple “had to get married.”  That’s the way it was done.

On this subject, I’m unapologetically old school.  When I was looking for a photo to accompany this article, I plugged in “courtship, marriage, children” and a photo of Elizabeth Barrett Browning popped up.  That tells you something.  We’re not talking about a generation gap or being old-fashioned, we’re talking a whole other century and not the one we just left behind ten years ago!

While there may be growing numbers of financially independent women and older and single women deciding to have children on their own, as reported in the Washington Post in May of 2009, I know the sharp rise in unwed mothers is not in this demographic.  I’m going to say, and I’m sure the statistics would support my conclusion, that the upswing in unwed mothers is among poor, young women, of all races, who have no education, no career, and no future and who simply don’t have a clue how difficult raising a child can be even if they were married.  (By the way, I’m not supposed to use the word “races.”)

This entire subject is mind-boggling to me on so many levels.  Unless a woman is the victim of rape, it’s her choice to have unprotected sex.  So much for all that free birth control we’re funding through Planned Parenthood and all those years of sex education in schools.  It’s really working, isn’t it?

In the Washington Post article, an astonishing statement from one woman was, “he’s a good dad and a good person, but he’s just not right for me.”  Are women so desperate for affection/attention/love, they’ll go to bed with a man without even knowing whether “he’s right for me?”

The Post article mentions the old adage, “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage.”  Well, fine, the article says this no longer holds true.  Does that mean there is no continuum today on how relationships develop?  Do women today have so little self-worth that they’ll risk creating a new life with someone they’ll, in all probability, not even remember in five year’s time?

You meet someone, you give them your number, they call, you talk a few times, you go out for coffee, you decide whether the person’s worth your time for a second date.  You have a few more phone calls.  You find out about the guy’s background, his family, his education, his career.  You have a third or fourth date. In today’s world, with all the risks involved, how does sex come before all this?

Doesn’t any woman nowadays wait to find out who a man is before they have sex with him?  Don’t women know that in any relationship they have the ultimate power and control over the situation?

Now, I’m sure some of you are saying, “Gosh, she’s so out of touch.”  Well, I may be almost 60 years old but I’ve never behaved in such an irresponsible way as to bring an illegitimate child into this world.  (Oops, I don’t think I’m allowed to say that either.)

And while I’m on the subject, the only other term I despise more than “single mom” is “baby mama.”  After reading the negative connotations of “baby mama” in the Urban Dictionary, I haven’t a clue why any woman would allow a man to call her his “baby mama.”

From a purely grammatical point of view, is “baby” a noun or adjective?  Shouldn’t it be “my baby’s mama?”  The implausible meaning of “baby mama” would mean the baby is a mother.  Bottom line, the use of the phrase “baby mama” is not only offensive but ridiculous.

I don’t get any of this, but if you do, God bless you.