From the Publisher: Diversity is Fundamental

From a business point of view, diversity makes sense – despite debunked theories to the contrary.

Soon it will be spring, and I can’t wait. One of my favorite pastimes is to have my coffee outside in the morning and watch the creatures descend upon our habitat. First the cardinals and finches start fluttering around the feeders. Then the towhee, the brown thrasher, the chipmunks and the squirrels hide under the lantana bushes and poke out their heads to forage on the scattered seeds.

I wonder if there are conversations taking place. Do different kinds of birds speak the same language? Do the squirrels and chipmunks have discussions? Do they talk to the birds and do the birds answer? In their way, yes, of course they do. And in their way, more importantly, they get along. In some ways they compete and in others they depend on each other. Diversity makes a healthy garden.

As I read this month’s issue, I applauded the courage of Dan Amos, who has championed diversity at his company, Aflac, and the strides made by the Atlanta University Center Consortium to help increase diversity in the ranks of our engineers. From a business point of view, diversity makes sense, and there are many ways in which gardening, bird watching and all of nature showcase parallels for both establishing a business and growing it into a healthy force.

There are some philosophies and conspiracy theories that question the importance of diversity. Unfortunately, some of these are gaining currency among certain influential circles and political leaders. One particularly heinous and dangerous one is the Great Replacement Theory, a White-supremacy claim that immigrants, especially immigrants of color, are being brought into Western countries to replace White people. Presumably, these nonwhite immigrants will eventually undermine or replace the political power and culture of White people in Western countries.

Another theory is the rise of a “professional-managerial class” that will replace capitalist leaders that have established their companies and no longer need to be on hand to run them. This theory argues a new class made up of technocrats will take the reins.

In Russia, textbooks teach students that Russia itself is a kind of god. The leader is a sort of angel guiding the country to conquest and world domination. A similar purity-of-races thinking is guiding the territorial hostilities in Ukraine, and Vladimir Putin seems to believe he is on a mission from God.

These remind me of another far-out and disproven theory that is not yet popular but could be in time. “Glacial Cosmology” or “world ice theory” refers to the descendants of “icy” cultures being the true inheritors of civilization. Their ancestors supposedly grew strong in ice and snow. It fits with the thinking that the paler your skin, the bluer your eyes, the closer you are to God, etc. This theory became popular with Nazi leaders in Germany after World War I.

Great Replacement Theory is hard to square with the offshoring that began taking place in the 1960s, which eliminated the need to “replace” workers in the first place. It is also at odds with the need for immigrant workers that many companies are facing.

Regarding the managerial revolution, the rise of techno-capitalism has proven leaders can run large companies without surrendering power to management, and today one finds this theory mostly applied to cultural elements, such as blaming middle management like content moderators for “wokeness.”

As Georgia Trend has noted in many interviews with business leaders, support for diversity initiatives is required from the top down in order for those initiatives to succeed.

Regarding Russia, we are witnessing what happens when the quest for world domination by one race crashes into more widely held principles of democracy and diversity.

And where does White supremacy or nationalism lead? Even among those who are not persons of color, there are different lineages and genealogies in their ancestry. Are we going to get out a microscope and break it down to establish our own “pure” leaders as we bully the marginalized for being less pure, less White, less American, less … icy? Who’s next?

Farmers know that for healthy soil, they need to grow different kinds of crops. Children know that variety is the spice of life. Even the animals know that diversity isn’t optional. It’s fundamental.

Categories: From the Publisher, Opinions