Diversity R Us


If the political term “diversity” actually meant “diversity,” I would be the ultimate diversity hire. Like many whose ancestors have been in Canada for some time, I am diverse ethnically in my own being. Some of my genes, are Irish, some Scottish, some English, some French, some Flemish, some Mohawk. My cousins and in-laws have Indian cards.  I have no known African blood, but because of my Irish blood, most African-Americans are probably distant cousins. There is a reason so many American blacks have Irish surnames.

I am culturally as well as genetically diverse. To begin with, Canadian culture is a melting pot of elements from all over the world. I grew up in NDG, an immigrant neighbourhood in a bilingual city. I went to school with kids whose parents were from Italy, who spoke Italian at home, or from Poland, or Latin America. The kids on my block were one generation removed from Poland, Greece, Lithuania, the Ukraine. One of my best friends in high school was from India, one from Greece. My first girlfriend’s parents were from Latvia. My first wife was born and raised in Pakistan, and my second in the Philippines.

I do not think this is so unusual for a Canadian. 

As an adult, I have also lived in Asia for almost thirty years, in China, Korea, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates. I have studied non-Western cultures and the classics of Asia at the doctoral level. I have published on Hinduism in India, and on Buddhism in Korea. I have lectured the Hadassah Society on Judaism.

Yet, according to modern political usage, I do not count as “diverse.” Apparently, that has only to do with the colour of my skin, which is rather pale. Instead, government and businesses hire people with little knowledge of the world, with little experience of cultures other than their own, often little or no interest in cultures other than the one they grew up in. And little aptitude for living with people from other cultures. And they hire them in the name of “diversity.”

More evidence that the world is mad.

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