For quite some time now, I've come to believe that our national obsession with race makes race relations worse; it does not improve them.
Yesterday, a Facebook friend of mine (and actual real friend!) posted something about the headline regarding a change in the racial composition of babies being born in the U.S. For the first time, Caucasian babies are a minority. There was much discussion following as to what language to use to describe this. Indeed, if "minority" babies are now being born at a higher rate than "white" babies - what terminology should be used?
My friend happens to be black, very liberal and very involved with all the attendant issues for those who have such a mindset. After I made a comment that I thought all of us were "people of color" - including lightly flesh colored me - I was excoriated by some. Although I am quite certain my skin color is not white like my kitchen cabinetry, I was told in no uncertain terms that I am not a "person of color". Morever, it is offensive of me to refer to myself that way.
"Diversity training doesn't extinguish prejudice. It promotes it," says Peter Bregman in Psychology Today. He's not alone in his belief. Walter Olson at Overlawyered.com has collected numerous articles detailing why diversity training doesn't actually make people more tolerant. In fact, it can open your company to lawsuits, as the Federal Aviation Administration found out way back in 1995.
Sigh. Sometimes I think that the author of this quote would be laughed off the podium today...