Sure Deborah Orr may be criticizing U.K. society but the words ring true across the Atlantic in her article published in today’s The Guardian, “Diversity and Equality are not the Same Thing”
Here are some of the meatier sections to her astute argument:
…the Conservative leadership has embraced not equality, but diversity.
This is social progress, of course. But it is not the progress that the left once envisaged. On the contrary, in the same time as the argument for diversity has made such strides, the increased equality that was assumed to be part of its goal, has not materialised at all. Instead, inequality in Britain is now much greater than it was prior to the success of its various “equality” campaigns…
Does this matter? Is it important to understand that diversity and equality are different things, and that they are sometimes even at odds with each other? After all, the rooting out of discrimination achieves social justice, whether in the name of diversity or equality…
Yet who in the political mainstream is advancing this argument? Even Barack Obama, the world’s most potent embodiment of the advance of diversity, has trouble setting out, let alone winning, the equality argument.
In the current issue of the London Review of Books, US academic David Bromwich writes about Obama’s difficulties in persuading the nation of the overall benefit of his healthcare reforms. In a stinging phrase, just as applicable in this country, he says: “Equality in the United States in the early 21st century has become a gospel preached by a liberal elite to a populace who feel they have no stake in equality.” Miserably, he’s quite right.