I am pro-diversity. I am also pro-individualism. I do not believe the two are mutually exclusive. I believe they are complementary. I believe in salads, goulash and stews. I do not want a melting pot, where the essence of one’s background is melted away and is indistinguishable from the pack.
I do not want a color-blind society. I want a country blinded to act unfairly based on color. I don’t want a clone society. I want to celebrate our differences, not live in fear of them. I want to know that a black far right conservative has something in common with a black far left liberal.
I want to know what that strain of commonality is that allows both understanding and supporting the Civil Rights movement. I want to know that a black conservative understands the impact of the southern strategy in a way that is different than his white ally, and that difference allows them to construct a better strategy.
I want to know that the Hispanic community is not monolithic. That white Hispanics don’t all agree with non-white Hispanics, but they are united in some causes, e.g. the Dream Act, as a Hispanic community.
I want to know that there are Latin Hispanics and non-Latin Hispanics. I want to know that some Latin Americans may not be fond of European Spanish Americans because of the legacy of colonialism that occurred in Latin America.
We should know that Asian American cuts a wide swath, which includes people who have deep, cultural, historical differences. And those differences inform their political opinions. Japanese Americans may not agree with Chinese Americans on our trade policy with China. Chinese Americans may not agree with Indian Americans on the level of foreign aid given to India.
Shouldn’t we know that it is offensive to not recognize that there is a difference between Korean Americans, Japanese Americans, Chinese Americans and Taiwanese Americans? They have values informed by their cultures and historical interactions.
I want to know why you can be considered anti-Semitic if you are anti-Israel, but not anti-Semitic if you are anti-Arab nation. They are both Semitic people. Shouldn’t we understand why Iranian Americans should not be included in the definition of Arab Americans? Iranians are Arab-speaking Persians. And that is a difference they should be proud to celebrate.
Shouldn’t we know that there is an element of racism that still exists in the Arab community? That slavery still exists in Arab countries. That black Arab Americans may not agree with white Arab Americans on America’s foreign policy on Africa.
I don’t want America defined by one cultural norm. America is better when we make informed decisions to change our thinking, laws, and ways of life. I want inclusivity and diversity as the foundations from which to establish and sustain inclusivity. I want equity and justice that focus on empowerment and co-ownership of the community, in strategically building on and sustaining diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusivity.
Diversity is who we are. We can still all be Americans if we’re different. We can all still pledge an oath to America if we’re different. We can all bleed red, white and blue if we’re different. What’s wrong with being different?
We are a better, stronger nation because of our differences. We have the greatest opportunity to build the greatest society because we are informed by our differences. As a democratic nation we define ourselves through diversity.
We believe in equal opportunity and equal access. Diversity exists in spite of, and sometimes because of, the actions we take. American culture by definition is diverse. We have proven that a diverse, multi-cultural nation can be the shining city on top of that mountain. In America, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.