The Trouble with Diversity

For anyone working on the politics of race of late one thing is clear: diversity is being attacked as both a concept and a practice. Just outside Philadelphia, in the town of Bensalem, there is an emerging uproar over the recruitment of Latino and Black officers to the police force because, it is claimed, such a practice is a thinly veiled guise for racism and discrimination. The claim comes at the heels of the township’s hiring of a firm to attract and recruit Latino and Black officers. According to a recent editorial, “this use of public money advances racial discrimination under the polite guise of diversity.” The piece goes on to note that the police force is comprised of of 102 officers. Of these, one is Black and the other is Latino. Hmm? Two “diverse” officers in a police force of 102? In a county where the racial demographic does not bear out the paucity of racial and ethnic diversity in the force, it never occurs to the writer that the combined Black and Latino population of almost 16% in Buck’s county has a history. A history that makes it possible to see “diversity” as a racist practice.

I’ve just finished reading Walter Benn Michaels’ The Trouble with Diversity and will write a post on it soon.

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The Trouble with Diversity

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