I wonder whether Marlon James will draw down the same opprobrium down upon himself for critiquing “diversity” as had Lionel Shriver for doing so with “cultural appropriation.” My guess is he will not, for like me, he is black. The diversity proponents don’t quite know how to deal blacks who don’t comply with this comfortable construct. We make it hard. It’s not supposed to be hard. It’s supposed to be comfortable. Since this is the era of white guilt, all manner of knee-jerk abuse can be heaped on whites (especially if they’re male) backed up with pseudo-philosophy and guilt-trips substituting for analysis. Who, exactly, needs this? Who thrives on this?
While I don’t necessarily agree with everything Marlon is saying (or perhaps I’m missing bits he isn’t saying), I’m glad that “diversity” and “cultural appropriation” are not universally held to be self-evidently correct. Looking at the actors driving such phenomena will yield more than “doing one’s bit for them.” One of the wonders of being human is the rich diversity of our species. When diversity is appropriated from the species and ossified as sacrosanct and inviolate attributes owned by circumscribed groups, we end up in our currant bizarre situation of selling diversity back to ourselves, only this time without the vibrancy, fluidity, adaptability and fertility, for now it is pressed into service to preserve our divisions. White are not the only guilty ones.