Posting comments

Comments are welcome, but you need to sign in. You may use an alias. To compose a comment, please click on "sign in," top-right, and either use your existing Google sign-on, or create a new one. Comments are subject to review, but are not placed in any queue.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Distracted Notes on a Diversity Morning

I was once playing golf on a course located inside an aboriginal reserve. Our two-some was joined by a third party, a Native man of approximately 21. He was terrific: not a shot from tee went less than 300 yards, and, when Hole 18 appeared, he must have been sub-par. As we elderly tottered across the fairways, he fairly flew.
When, during a pause, he was asked what he did for a living, he answered, “Nothing right now.” After a moment he added, “I’m on Disability for a bad back.” Turned out he was receiving payments from a provincial fund designed for people “severely disabled,” i.e., crippled and confined to tiny apartments. His claim had been validated by a practitioner in the pay of the Band office; the Fund simply looked the other way; cheques were sent to the Band, and I’m Alright Jack.
Well, at least the Fund had found a way to be Diverse. I thought of this as I listened to CBC this morning. I currently live in southern Ontario, so am forced to listen to the CBC, the only station that provides low-key chatter before 9 am that is not overwhelmed by advertisements.
                   On this CBC morning, we listened to the show host, Matt Galloway, a voice as androgynous as you could ever wish for, and a face as Diverse as is mandatory at CBC. Among Matt’s news items were the following:  
  • The newly Diverse face of the Calgary Mayor’s Office  
  • A talk Matt was giving about achieving “plurality” in urban planning  
  • A woman who was doing interviews of girls in Afghanistan  
  • The placement of Visible Minorities on city councils and other bodies
Wait for it: “achieving plurality in city planning.” Plurality! A word to sugar-coat hiring quotas? A planning law that mandated curry shops beside Fish & Chips? What social engineer had invented that phrase, I wondered. Well, but, let’s push on and have a listen.
For the first item, we heard from a lady who was “interviewing” schoolgirls in Afghanistan in order to publish a book of such interviews. She spoke about the aspirations of females in that war-torn country – certainly, a cause which all modern people relate to, applaud, and support. However, her organization was not composed of All Modern People, it was called Women for Women, so was obviously restricted to females. The context of the lady’s work was that only women were interested in the oppressed females of Afghanistan.
More significant was the context of her spot on radio, that day, in Toronto. She was to speak at a conference of Ontario teachers, in order to help them organize class activities that supported her work (and to get them to purchase a collection of her interviews she was going to publish later, one supposes). And what was the “theme” of this conference? Was it, “How to be a better educator?” or “Why boys are dropping out of school?” or “How do we reverse declining literacy?” Well, no. It appears the conference was entirely dedicated to “Social Justice.”
One could ask whether this was the first such thematic conference of Ontario teachers. Hardly! They go back decades. But, if trends continue, it will certainly not be the last. So we have nicely, politically calibrated school teachers. What does that address in educational shortcomings? And isn’t it easier to push politics, or prate about one’s pristine Social Conscience, than to overcome one’s gender prejudices, smugness, and lack of teaching skills?
After the promo by Women for Women, Matt announced he’d be talking about Diversity in the next hour. Well, there was something new and fresh, thought I, but let’s curb the irony for a moment. So I listened, and here is roughly how he phrased it: How to elect boards and councils that look more Diverse. How to get Diverse Faces elected, he said. Note the nuance: Faces, not minds behind the faces. Not “How to elect competent officials,” but how to ensure that whoever holds power has a non-White, non-male face.
I switched the radio off. Checking the show’s web page, I discovered it had recently featured a “Right-to-Play Project Coordinator from southern Ghana.”  Also, a Mental Health Initiative at Bell Canada called Let’s Talk Day (talking about feelings: so gender-specific that it positively wails its womynhood). Also, of course, of course, an aboriginal conference at a local university.
 Sure, there were no ads bothering the mood or cutting into Matt’s agenda, and that might have been a selling point of CBC. However, on balance, it’s a dissuader: the radio is entirely self-constructed. Actually, I think it explains why the CBC is so ripe for closure. What exactly is this “public broadcaster”? Tell you what it is on morning radio: a cave for identity politicians, self-referential diarists, affirmative actioneers, female supremacists, and assorted shills of the Boomer Age. A megaphone for fledged leftists. Like our healthy Native golfer, it needs to be released into nature, on its own means. If we now shut it down, only our national debt would be diminished.
Signed, Recti.

No comments:

Post a Comment