Your Lying Eyes

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30 October 2005

Fun With Diversity!

That is, it can be fun to type in the word "diversity" in Google News search and see the silly things that pop up... Read more... Like this one:
Local schools strive for better diversity I like that - "better" diversity, as opposed to just "more" diversity. As you might imagine, the article discusses the astounding phenomenon that a lower proportion of teachers are non-white than students, and thus the need for more recruiting of minorities into teaching. What are some of the challenges to this recruiting?
[Heraldo]Richards, who oversees Project MORE (Preparing Minorities to be Outstanding Responsible Educators), said the responsibility of paying for exams, buying professional clothes and having transportation on top of regular tuition and fees can be a burden for cash-strapped students.
Whoa! with hurdles like those, surely only the most dogged and privileged could possibly scratch and claw their way into the teaching profession. Yet, at the same time, who'd even want to be a teacher?
"Many minorities may come from low socioeconomic backgrounds," Richards said. "Many of them don't see teaching as achieving the American dream, economically speaking. So, we lose them."
"Teaching is not an appealing area for a lot of college students," [Roy] Jones said. "Then, to hear from teachers themselves who say they are overwhelmed by the challenges of the students and weighted down with bureaucracy is not encouraging."
So, you see, not only do you need to have substantial resources to crack into the teaching profession, but you also need to be particularly unambitious to settle for such an uninspiring profession.

Meanwhile, in Mesa, Arizona, they're having different diversity problems. Mesa leaders aim to ease tensions. You could probably guess that the tensions are Anglo-Mexican in nature. And you could also probably guess which side the article thinks needs to do the easing. And again we are presented with the kind of brain-twisting contradictions that are part-and-parcel of "diversity" discussions:
"Change brings conflict, and conflict is sometimes scary," said Phil Austin, president of the Mesa Association of Hispanic Citizens, speaking at the fourth-annual Mesa Latino Town Hall. "It is scary. The unknown is scary."
Ah, yes, fear of the unknown. But...
In April, ethnic tensions erupted during a town hall meeting when some Anglo residents criticized Hispanics for not learning English fast enough and filling their front yards with beer cans and parked cars.
The day-labor issue was thrust into the spotlight - again - a few months later. Police and business owners launched an aggressive campaign to prevent workers from congregating near Broadway and Gilbert roads, long considered the "ground zero" for the day-labor explosion in Mesa.
So it sounds like it isn't the "unknown" that is feared, but the all-too known. This year has also been a trying one for the city's Hispanic community the article intones. The situation sounds quite dire, indeed: Recently, the threat of severe budget cuts has put the city's Diversity Office in jeopardy as Mesa struggles to overcome a projected $36 million deficit next year. Damn those insensitive, Anglo bastards! And on Thursday, David Garcia, one of three finalists for Mesa's city manager position and a Hispanic, withdrew his candidacy, saying Mesa wasn't the "right fit" for him. Could you blame him? Is there no limit to the indignities one group should have to suffer?! But there's hope on the horizon, if only the Anglos would only just ease up:
The challenge in years to come will be battling stereotypes about Hispanics that could further polarize Mesa, said Napolean Pisano, the education chairman of the Mesa Association of Hispanic Citizens.
"When you see day-laborers on the street, they're there to get a job, not urinate on the street or harass passers-by," Pisano said.
It's intolerance and bigotry that prevent people from seeing past a little urine and harassment.


Anonymous erob said...

October is National Diversity Month!!!!:)
Oh darn, I forgot again. Well i still have one day left... Hey I could be diversity man for halloween, and go around and make the world a a more diversified place. For example I could ecourage the Anglos and the African Americans to sit together in the school cafe, and tell the Latino cleaning the floors to join us. So we can all eat our fried chicken, tacos and London broil in harmony.

October 31, 2005 1:08 AM  
Blogger ziel said...

No, no, no, no, no, it's not necessary that you actually fraternize - no one actually wants that - no, when you're sitting around your segregated cafeteria table, just make fun of how bigoted rural whites are, unlike us enlightened folks in the more sophisticated areas - that's all your really obligated to do.

October 31, 2005 7:59 AM  

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