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Friday, April 12, 2024

DEI – Replace the E and Get Rid of the I and the Woke

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By Bruce Hurwitz, Ph.D.

Diversity, equity, inclusion. The mantra of every Human Resources Department in the land. They all appear to be very admirable goals to which to aspire. But are they? Let’s consider each in its turn.

Diversity

Miriam-Webster tells us that diversity means “variety,” or, for our purposes, “the inclusion of people of different races, cultures, etc. in a group or organization.”

I take back nothing which I have written in the past. I believe that there should be diversity in the workplace. But not simply the hiring of people from “different races, cultures, etc.,” but people who either reflect the demographics of a company’s clientele or the community in which the business is located, whichever the owner feels is best.

Let’s do a little of what is called ad absurdum, meaning taking an argument to an absurb extreme. It would be ridiculous for a company located in a predominantly Hispanic community in the United States, which only has clients in India, to only hire Scandinavians. It would make no sense and could not possibly be justified.

But consider this: If the company is located in an “Indian neighborhood,” and has only, or predominantly, Indian employees, then the company reflects the ethnic makeup of both its clientele and location, but is not diversified unless we dig deeper. Gender immediately comes to mind. For sake of argument, let’s assume that half the employees are female, and half are male. That may or may not reflect the actual demographics of the community, but let’s give that one a pass.

Next you could consider religion. How many are Hindu? How many are Muslim? In case you don’t know it, there are also Christian and even Jewish Indians (5,000 in total, if you’re interested!). And, of course, we cannot forget sexual orientation and disability status. So, how much diversification is there and how much is needed to count as “diversified?” When you get into the minutia of demographics things can become quite complicated.

For example, President Biden likes diversification. His spokesperson is an African-American female homosexual. So he has checked three boxes. Can he claim all three or just one or two? (To use a Seinfeldism, can we have double- or triple-dipping?) And what about his Supreme Court nominee? He made it quite clear he would only consider Black women. But the woman he chose could not tell the Senate Judiciary Committee what a woman is! So, out of respect for the Justice, perhaps he gets credit for placing a “Black” on the Court, but we can’t say for sure if she is actually a “she.” Ridiculous? Moronic? Insane? Of course, but that is what this article is about, the insanity of the Woke culture.

Now the good Justice could have had a great retort. All she had to say to the Distinguished Senator who was questioning her was, “Senator, I may not be able to define it but I know one when I see one.” Everyone would have laughed, and maybe she would not have looked so foolish. (The reference, in case you do not know it, is to Justice Potter Stewart’s decision in the 1964 Jacobellis pornography case when he stated, “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description, and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.”)

Let’s agree that we all understand and accept the need for demographic diversity reflecting either a company’s location or clientele, if both are not possible, to the greatest extent practicable. Now that that is out of the way, let’s consider another type of diversity, which I have previously raised, decision making.

People reach decisions differently. People learn differently. Some are visual. They have to read the information to be able to appreciate it. Others are auditory; they have to hear it. In my case, I can sit down and read a book of hundreds of pages but I cannot listen to the audio version of the same tome. I concentrate on, and analyze information through my eyes, not my ears. And, of course, there are those who can only learn by doing.

A company should have people who learn and process information differently. All have benefits. All are important.

Enough about diversity. Let’s move on to the E in DEI.

Equity

Equity means “freedom from bias or favoritism.” How can that possibly be translated into the workplace? “Bias” and “favoritism” are human traits. We all have them. We like one type of food more than another. We like one person more than another. It is ridiculous to assume or claim otherwise.

In the workplace, I have had colleagues with whom I enjoyed working and colleagues with whom I refused to work. It had nothing to do with who or what they were, just how professional or talented they were. I am certain that most of you reading this are nodding in agreement. So, let’s replace “equity” with “equality.”

Of course, people are not equal. Some are stronger, smarter, or more skilled at certain things than others. I have known people who can do complex computations in their heads. I can barely handle two plus two. There is no such thing as equality except in one regard. And that is the only “regard” that matters.

Everyone, regardless of who or what they are, should have an equal chance to prove themselves. I have advised bosses to give colleagues a chance. Some have surprised us. I would go so far as to say that they surprised themselves! Others crashed and burned and we had a mess to clean up. (For the record, no one was ever forced to take on an assignment; they wanted the assignments, the chance to prove themselves.) It is just that some could not handle the responsibility. But everyone was given support and an equal chance to succeed, and that is what “equality” should mean.

Which leaves us with the I in our three-letter acronym.

Inclusion

What does “inclusion” mean? Returning to our friends at Merriam-Webster, we learn that it means “the act or practice of including and accommodating people who have historically been excluded (as because of their race, gender, sexuality, or ability).”

In other words, there is no need for the “I” because, by definition, if you are diversified you are including persons who may have otherwise been excluded. The “I” is redundant. Therefore, I propose replacing it with an “L” for “liberty,” meaning that the workplace is a safe place for everyone to express their opinion without fear of retaliation, retribution, attack or demonization (the antithesis of Wokeism). If one person does not like something someone else says, they should have to explain their objections and then the person can explain what they said, why they said it, and choose whether or not an apology is warranted. (That’s how adults do it!) The problem is, as I understand it, the Woke are not forgiving and view apologies as a sign of weakness, and react accordingly. My advice, if you believe you did nothing wrong, has always, and will always be, to double down. In other words, the workplace should be free of Cancel Culture which, of course, is one of the pillars of Wokeism.

Everyone should agree that aiming for a diversified workforce where everyone has an equal chance to succeed, and is free to express their opinions, is noble. It should definitely not be a pipedream. The problem is that DEI is part of Wokeism which, as I have written previously, is a serious danger to business.

Wokeism

In the present context, Merriam-Webster does not even have a definition of “woke.” I therefore turn to dictionary.com where we learn that there are two definitions: “having or marked by an active awareness of systemic injustices and prejudices, especially those involving the treatment of ethnic, racial, or sexual minorities,” and “Disparaging of or relating to a liberal progressive orthodoxy, especially promoting inclusive policies or ideologies that welcome or embrace ethnic, racial, or sexual minorities.”

Fancy words. Nice sounding words. No doubt, in many cases, said by people with the best of intensions. But then you get things like this, posted online, on Twitter, albeit subsequently taken down (which is why I don’t show the person’s name.)

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This would be funny if it were not so dangerous. It happens in the workplace. Sort of like, wait for it, “Using Less Anesthesia in Surgeries Could Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Hospitals, Experts Suggest.” The article, as you will see, was published in the Science Times, referring to research done at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, and published in Anesthesia Progress. The claim was repeated by a physician from Henry Ford, but what is curious is that the study seems to have been authored by a dentist and someone with a Master’s degree in Public Health. (Click on the previous link and see for yourself.) Now according to an article on Fox, titled “Major medical group wipes study advocating doctors give less anesthesia to reduce carbon footprint,” “The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) deleted an article from its website this week highlighting research and comments from a doctor who advocates for reducing anesthetic gas in surgery to combat climate change.” Well, apparently, as you have already discovered, they did not do a very good job deleting it because I found it, albeit it just the homepage, elsewhere. I guess it is true that nothing ever really is deleted from the Internet. (Or maybe there were two articles?)

What’s the saying? “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”

When I was in university, one of my professors told us to consider Communism a religion. Winston Churchill spoke of “the Nazi religion.” He also described Fascism as a religion, as well as Communism. I believe Wokeism is also a religion. On the micro level, it’s target is employers. Internationally, the target is global warming or climate change. But what is it really?

Well, in a word, it’s “crazy” and the target, as you are about to learn, is business. Now I don’t have any children myself, although, as I understand it, according to the Woke, I can now get pregnant. I don’t want to. And I certainly don’t know how. But the climate kooks will like me because my not having children is apparently good for the planet. Perhaps they will build a statue in my honor. May I humbly suggest a bald eagle flying majestically through the heavens as I, to paraphrase the poet, “reach out my wing and touch the face of God?”

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SOURCE: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/your-kids-bad-environment-leftist-environmentalists-would-have-us-believe?test=81c860ffa15ec5d685c6547209e184c2
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SOURCE: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/20/style/breed-children-climate-change.html

But to be serious, every so often, as the adage goes, “someone says the quiet part out loud.” And so Greta Thunberg, hero (I assume it is no longer acceptable to say “heroine”) of the Woke, said the quiet part out loud. Climate change is about anti-capitalism. Sad thing is, that is a surprise to absolutely no one who really investigated climate change. Does it exist? Of course? Is the temperature rising? Yes. Is it an existential threat to humanity? Not quite.

If it were, would the deacons (no disrespect meant to real holders of the title) of the Church of Climate Change, when they recently had their annual pilgrimage to Davos, would they have flown in 1,000 private jets? (OK, the article says it was 1,040. Why quibble?) But let’s not chastise these leaders of the Faith. After all, they helped what I assume are small businesswomen, engaged, at least in Switzerland, in a perfectly legal trade, albeit prostitution. Isn’t it nice that rich men are helping women support themselves?

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This appears to be accurate but I can’t provide sources. It comes from a post on LinkedIn. (Thacker Pass is in Nevada.) That said, this is sourced:Donatebalance of naturetion>

It is sort of like one of the symbols of Wokeism, the electric vehicle. At least in the United States, and, no doubt, the percentage fluctuates by state and county, but, on average, sixty-one percent of electricity comes from fossil fuels. So much for clean energy. But don’t chastise these people for being hypocrites. There’s more. The minerals for the EV batteries, especially nickel and cobalt, come from African mines controlled by China, employing slave and child labor, or from Russia, which sells the minerals to China for refining, clearly neither being engaged in environmentally conscientious methods of mining or refining. (I wonder if any of the slaves or children are Woke?) In any case, however you slice it, EVs are very dirty. Now you may chastise.

But I digress, I asked if climate change is an existential threat to humanity? Well, you tell me.

Remember the hole in the ozone layer? That was real. Countries took it seriously. How do we know? The Montreal Protocols of 1987. Here’s a random shot of it:

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Notice the language? “Each Party shall ensure…” That means the signatories have to, must, no choice in the matter, do what they promise to do.

Now let’s take a look at the Paris Convention of 2015 on Climate Change. Again, a random sampling:

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Again we have “shall,” but this time with the caveat “as appropriate.” So the “shall” is really a “shell” as in “shell game.” But then there is always Article 2:

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So there it is, clear as day, the aim of “the global response to the threat of climate change” is “to eradicate poverty.” The purpose of the Montreal Protocol was to eradicate the hole in the ozone layer, period. Paris, on the other hand, is all about, as Ms. Thunberg admitted, capitalism. (And, no doubt, a great excuse for world leaders and their spouses to do a little shopping in gay Paree!)

And that is why Wokeism is a threat to business. When you hire someone who is Woke, by definition they will disrupt the proper operations of your company by crying sexism, racism, or whatever “ism” is the “ism” of the day. If you will, you will be endangering the solvency of your business. You will have to spend time dealing with moronic proposals like changing surgical protocols! Even though they are moronic, a response will be required! If HR is spending all their time babysitting, their important work will not get done.

Now I am certain that some of you are thinking, or are about to, that I am engaging in conspiracy theories. Woke employees, taking jobs at companies that don’t meet their standards, simply to destroy them from within is ridiculous. Well, keep reading.

Wokeism may not be akin to religion. It may be more serious than that. The better analogy may be to an addiction. Addicts never take responsibility for their actions; they always blame the substance. It’s the alcohol. It’s the drugs. They are the victim. Even if they rob, assault or murder they always play the victim card. It was the drugs/alcohol that made me do it! It wasn’t my fault! The workplace equivalent goes like this: He’s attacking me because I’m a woman. Because I’m a person of color. Because of my sexual orientation. Because of my religion. The idea that someone could condemn their actions or disagree with them for substantive reasons never enters their minds.

The Cure

The cure, I believe, is to have a very clear and detailed employee handbook and, an employment attorney on staff (perhaps in the role of HR director) or on retainer (depending on the size of the company) so that, at the first sign of Wokeism, it can be dealt with quickly, thoroughly, effectively and legally. You don’t want a bunch of quislings and, to resurrect another ancient term, albeit in a different context, fellow-travelers, running around your office, whose loyalties are not to you and you alone, but to a movement. After all, it is far from farfetched to assume that people who would glue their hands to, and throw soup on masterpieces of art, would not hesitate to work for a company that is not up to their standards with the aim of sabotage. Don’t forget what happened at BasecampDisneyNetflix, and Spotify. “But” you are saying, “those are big fish; I’m just a little minnow.” The Woke don’t discriminate, even a cafe owned by homosexuals was not Woke enough for the employees, so they shut it down! (Actually, because of the heading, I prefer this article, “Woke Coffee Shop Closes Down After Insane Demands From Even-More-Woke Employees.”) In other words, it could happen to you. Wokeism, or Woke employees, could be crypto!

In addition to the employee handbook and attorney, you should also make it a habit of asking candidates questions concerning how they deal with rejection and then confirm their responses with past employers or supervisors (i.e., their references). It may not be legal to ask someone if they are Woke, especially if it is considered a religion or “creed” which, in some jurisdictions, is a protected class. (I am not an attorney, so I am not going to deal with the question of “reasonable accommodations” which Woke employees could request.)

If you really want to hear about the ridiculousness of Wokeism and climate change, there is no one better than Konstantin Kisin. Not because of the humor, but the conclusion. And he is right. We have to have faith in our young people, the future scientists and engineers who will solve these climate problems, as they always have.

And that is what is ironic about the Worshippers of Wokeism. They have no faith in humanity. All they know, all they preach, all they believe in, is victimhood. Who, in their right mind, wants employees who every time someone disagrees with them, play the victim card? They are so sensitive, which brings me to the image at the start of this article from the IT Department, not the Gender Studies Department or School of Social Work mind you, but the IT Department of Stanford University. To be fair, the backlash was so great they were apparently forced to reverse themselves. But you can still find remnants of it on the web. Read it. If it were not so pathetic it would be funny. But first, watch the video!

And for the haters who wish to “cancel” me, I shall once again quote Lord Randolph Churchill, Winston’s father: “I am only too happy to bear the brunt of a little temporary effervescence and to be the scapegoat on which doomed mediocrities may lay the burden of their exposed incapacity…”

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