We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Today in a meeting, which for the sake of clarity is 50% male and 95% white in its make up, someone mentioned a trade article. The article stipulated that "watching XYZ practice occur among companies is like watching a middle-aged white man try to dance." Obviously, the idea is that middle-aged white men can't dance, it's awkward, and funny to see them try. These companies clearly are not doing something well, I get it. That's not an issue.
The issue became the humor of the statement, as our leader stood up and pretended to do a 'dad dance' and soon everyone (except me) was howling. The jokes about middle-aged white men dancing flew for about 2-3 minutes. I've got a sense of humor, so I wasn't offended, and I even think the joke was on the mark. But I started thinking what if the joke had been "like watching an obese woman climb the stairs"? Add in any racial qualifier just to salt it a bit. What might have happened? Would someone have been fired or, at the very least, brought into HR for a stern talking-to and some sensitivity training? Absolutely.
The other night, Hillary Clinton stated that Political Correctness is about "politeness". Boy, that's pretty telling. As far as I can tell, PC behavior is about not having a sense of humor about yourself and your background. It's about taking yourself too seriously. What was even more amazing, to me, was that she followed that up with a joke about Eric Holder and Cory Booker being black and "they all look the same." Well, she's a female, a Democrat, and wife of the first 'black' president (remember that gem?). So she gets a pass. She's fundamentally diverse and I, as a middle-aged white male, most certainly have no diversity in me.
Diversity is not a goal. Diversity is barely a thing. If it's something you want, great. Diversity is important. Maybe it isn't. That's up to you, it's up to the companies that want to pretend it's something more than virtue signaling. But if it is real, then the behavior I saw today has to stop. Nobody has a claim on the right to champion 'diversity' if they think this kind of thing is 'funny' but changing the gender or race makes it 'not funny'.
Actually, diversity is something: it's a demographic statistic. Period. It has no "value" and is not a "value" in itself. It might have positive effects (lots of great ethnic restaurants!) but it might also have negative effects (interethnic strife!).
It is hardly new. The British Empire was diverse, as was the French Empire, the Spanish, the Ottoman, the Byzantine... well, you take my point.
There is a real societal value that gets completely ignored in all the (mostly) manufactured noise over "diversity issues". It's good old-fashioned tolerance.
Diversity is difficult. It has led to hideous catastrophes. If diverse people have some common goal or identity, it can work. If people are balkanized, it will end horribly. We're headed for the latter. The same people who fetishize diversity are also pushing balkanization. It's an impossible combination.
I understand the joke she was trying to make. The problem is, she made it, and she got away with it.
If anyone else who was unacceptable to the press or the left made the same joke, they'd have been excoriated, forced to explain themselves, and/or apologize.
My view is the joke itself was, like the 'middle-aged white man' one, pretty on the mark. But in today's hypersensitive OMG you're racist world, it was 'insensitive' and uncaring and certainly not diverse in any way whatsoever.
Anyone with a lick of sense knows that some jokes are funny and some are just mean-spirited, ugly, and bigoted. There are some faintly mean jokes that are aimed at demographics that are considered safe, like middle-class white guys. It's like making fun of Presbyterian casseroles. The humor is a little soggy; aimed at a traditionally illtreated demographic, and not having any real humor to buoy them, they'd seem more mean and deliberately insulting than anything else. If we start aiming deliberate insults at people, we'd better know what we're doing.
A really good comic can make fun of blondes, or lawyers, or Southwest Asian taxi drivers, in a way that even the targets find funny, because they can laugh at themselves, or at the incongruity of a silly stereotype.
"Diversity" isn't going to answer any of these problems.
I have a friend who is a lawyer and he loves lawyer jokes. The last one he told me was: What is black and brown and looks good on a lawyer? A Doberman. Every time I see him he's got a new joke. I should start collecting them and write a book.
But the point is that for most of my life jokes about various groups of people were not considered mean or hateful and even people in those groups proudly retold the jokes. OK, I agree over time it became less acceptable and I don't disagree with that. I like the respect and kindness better than a blue joke. BUT, what has replaced bad jokes is hateful accusations and name calling if you dare step outside the arbitrary and constantly changing boundaries. Was this an improvement over telling blue jokes? IMHO it is far worse. Anything people say should be interpreted in context. A joke may be an intentional insult or slur or nothing more than a retelling of a joke someone heard at that exact moment it seemed appropriate. What was the persons intent? If no harm was intended than no offense should be taken. Unless you are among the perpetually offended.