The absurdity of mandating diversity

When you boil it down to its fundamental essence, it is an absurdity.

A line in the morning paper’s editorial causes one to stop, think and calculate. The screed takes issue with a comment Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto made in an interview with Politico, in which she said, “We should be mandating diversity in our committees, mandating diversity in our hiring practices, mandating diversity throughout the United States Senate.”

She later is quoted as saying, “You just have to walk in the room and look at the senators that are there — the 100 senators, right? You could see the lack of diversity.”

The editorial counters: “Does Sen. Cortez Masto seek a constitutional amendment to replace the democratic process with a federal quota system to ensure the ‘proper’ distribution of pigments and chromosomes in the nation’s highest legislative body?”

How do you determine successful diversity? Do you know it when you see it, as Cortez Masto does — just like the way Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart spotted pornography? Can it be precisely calculated?

The first absurdity is how to explain what is “proper” diversity? Equal amounts of certain properties, traits and characteristics? Or matching the current distribution in the population of those characteristics? Is that distribution fair? Or is it a quirk of fecundity?

If you were to demand an equal distribution of chromosomes, the Senate would have to have an equal number of X and Y chromosomes, thus all male. Even one female upsets the diversity balance.

Even if the first elected Latina member of the U.S. Senate, as both the interview and the editorial observe, is talking about skin pigments and/or ethnicity, that too gets to be a mathematical absurdity.

Are we going to return the days when states like Louisiana had laws on the books that stated any person with so much as 1/32nd black heritage was, ipso facto, black? Or does one pure bred ethnic person equal two mixed race persons? Should the ratio of black, brown, yellow, red, white and other pigments match the population from the latest census or extrapolate for changes in the future? May a person identify as any race or gender they so choose? Or would that upset the diversity quotient?

And what about IQ levels? Should the senators and their staffs be required to match the median IQ of the nation? For every staffer or senator with an IQ of 130, you’d need to hire or elect someone with an IQ of 70.

What about age? The median age of senators is 62. The median U.S. population age is 38. Seems like a lack of diversity. And that tacky constitutional requirement that a senator has to be at least 30 years of age certainly flies in the face of the all-important diversity objective.

Also, aren’t there too lawyers in the Senate and not enough hod carriers?

Each of us is a minority of one. Lumping people into categories and pigeonholes for the sake achieving a counterbalance for some past perceived discriminatory behavior is itself discriminatory, counterproductive and contrary to democratic principles.

By the way, the Politico interview was for a section called “Women Rule Podcast.” Not very diverse.

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (Politico pix)

What is the difference between demanding diversity and stereotyping?

At one point the “Women Rule” interview reports:

“There is a tendency for women to over think things, right? And so we think, ‘Oh, can I really — if I decide to run for office, am I qualified? Do I have the educational experience? Do I have the background? Do I have the ability?’” Cortez Masto says. “And I will tell you, there are men who look at the same office and say, ‘Well, how much does it pay and let me jump in and see.’ I think we need to do a better job of talking with women to say, ‘No, you don’t need to do that analysis.’”


38 comments on “The absurdity of mandating diversity

  1. Steve says:

    Seems to me the liberal community has re-evaluated the word Diversity and applied it to the word Discrimination.
    The two have different definitions but, liberals have managed to make them achieve the same results.

  2. deleted says:

    The stuff you focus on sometimes Thomas almost leaves me speechless.


    Geez man so much material out there today that could undoubtedly prompt some serious discussion. Take advantage.

  3. Serious discussion of a bunch of people screaming at each other?

  4. Anonymous says:

    interaction over not? Everybody does some things just for themselves sometimes (and I mean that in a non-sexual way) but shoot, hitting a topic that might elicit a little loud irrational exchange with todays headlines is better than the sound of silence that will probably greet this article you obviously spent good time writing.

    But, as they say Thomas: this is your world and we’re all just squirrels trying to get a nut.

  5. Rincon says:

    Assuming that different results for different groups can only be from discrimination is shallow thinking in the extreme.

    Although discrimination certainly exists and deserves condemnation, capitalism is one of the primary forces able to overcome it. If members of a particular group earn less for the same amount of ability and effort, then there exists a golden opportunity for a shrewd businessperson to hire only members of that group. That would provide a leg up on the competition.

    The veterinary industry provides a case in point. Male veterinarians make more money per hour than females. Interestingly though, the difference in incomes is greater for practice owners than for employees. Are we to assume that the pet owners discriminate? Not likely, since a large majority of owners bringing pets to hospitals are women.

    I think I have a better explanation. Although men are gaining, the predominant caretakers of our children are still their mothers. I know practice owners in the area (women) who keep their hospitals open fewer hours than most because their family is a greater priority than their practice. Wonderful, but others shouldn’t presume that the lesser income derived because of this is evidence of discrimination. It’s more likely evidence that there are lots of pet owners that want to be seen on evenings and weekends.

    BTW, in 2009, 78% of the students in veterinary schools were women. Shouldn’t liberals consider that in itself evidence of blatant discrimination?. Nobody notices when it’s the men that are rejected in favor of women.

  6. deleted says:

    “Although discrimination certainly exists and deserves condemnation, capitalism is one of the primary forces able to overcome it. If members of a particular group earn less for the same amount of ability and effort, then there exists a golden opportunity for a shrewd businessperson to hire only members of that group. That would provide a leg up on the competition.”

    Rincon if capitalism were a force to overcome discrimination wouldn’t that have resulted in no discrimination in the south after the Civil War? Especially since, if there was ever a time this country had fewer restraints posed on employers and the economy as a whole, it would have been prior to 1930 and FDR, and I don’t read history to show that this more “capitalist” period operated to rid the south (or anywhere else in this country for that matter) of discrimination.

    And the second part of what you wrote seems counterintuitive to me; sounds like the shrewd businessman would see a benefit that other businesses would be forced to copy if they wanted to avoid being “out competed” which would just result in a furtherance of the discriminatory practices. And if they didn’t, they’d be competitively disadvantaged until some outside force said business can’t do it.

    And Thomas it’s pretty clear that Maestro wasn’t suggesting anything other than that democrats ought to mandate greater diversity among democrats on committees, and also in democratic staffing practices, which of course is certainly their prerogative.

  7. Barbara says:

    Democrats look at the world through a group perspective. They are incapable of thinking of a person as an individual hence we get group rights, i.e. women, blacks, gay, immigrants. Democrats balkanize our society, always pitting one group against another. They preach diversity only as long as you think, act, and believe as they dictate. Look no further than our elite college campuses, long bastions of Democratic professors preaching their version of diversity.

  8. Steve says:


    partisan much?

  9. robertleebeers says:

    Let’s open this worm can. Affirmative Action is as much discrimination for retribution’s sake as what Masto is demanding. It is nothing more than societal manipulation for political gain with little to no chance of ever changing society for the better. If you want the best results you put the best people capable on the job, regardless of skin color. How is that an evil?

  10. Bill says:

    Cortez-Maesto reportedlt said, “We should be mandating diversity in our committees, mandating diversity in our hiring practices, mandating diversity throughout the United States Senate.”

    Note the operative word, “mandating”.

    I for one agree. There simply are not enough Lutheran Norwegians in the Senate. But, somehow or other, I think Sen. Cortez-Maesto will not agree as my agenda is undoubtedly not hers.

  11. Steve says:

    I think the Armenian Jewish community is being totally ignored and needs more representation in the US Senate.
    After all it was an Armenian Jew who brought us the traffic circle, we owe them a debt of gratitude!

  12. deleted says:

    Sure let’s tear the lid off that can of worms;

    For the first 80 years of this country’s existence, in the “conservative” part of the country, blacks weren’t even considered people, or, in the words of the legendary conservative a Supreme Court Justice “a black man has no rights that must be respected by a white man”

    For the next 100 years, in the most conservative parts of this country (including the “Mississippi of the West”) blacks were openly discriminated against across the spectrum of society.

    Now, after holding this entire race back for more than 180 years of this country’s existence, white America wants to say “ok, let’s being this race now as if we’ve all started from the same starting line”.

    Now assuming the “conservatives” believe that “all men are created equal” if you give one man a head start, in a “race” how fair is it to say “but from my 50 yard head start onward, all things were equal” as some justification?

    Affirmative actions isn’t perfect, and there will be some unfairness to those that didn’t play any part in holding blacks (and women and chinese and Heck, let’s just say it; everyone but white men back) but, in the long run, making this country stronger overall, which seems important in a world where America is competing against the rest of the world, can’t be achieved when one group has all the advantages ingrained in the system and others are consistently playing from behind.

  13. Why must everyone be roped into a “group”? It was wrong then. It is wrong now. It will be wrong in the future.

  14. deleted says:

    Why was everyone roped into a group then? (And that use of the rope Thomas, seems especially appropriate here by the way)

    Conservatives then roped the group together, and now, after they’ve gained their head start, they want to talk about individuals?

    Whites gained their head start for over 180 years (being kind) and now they want to talk about “let’s make it equal going forward”? Where does that leave the people who were held back all those years but behind and how is that right?

  15. Equal going forward.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Starting from far back even if things are equal going forward (which they can’t be and won’t be) means that the group that started from behind will always remain behind. At least if you assume that the group that was behind, is equal in all meaningful ways to the group that got a head start.

  17. Steve says:

    See that?
    Now THAT is a liberal spin squirrel in full on top gear!

    Wow, you must have a real low opinion of the people you so love to claim you want to “help”.

    With “help” like that, no one will ever climb out of their doldrums.

  18. Rincon says:

    A can of worms it is. Although it is true that some groups are and have been at a great disadvantage, there is evidence that their fate is not sealed. As I understand it, discrimination against Asian-Americans was historically quite severe, yet today, by many measurements, they outperform almost all other ethnic groups. Why did they experience greater success than many other groups? The answer to that question may provide ways to aid those other groups.

  19. Bill says:

    We can all recite a continuous litany of discrimination by one group over another in all parts of the world since the beginning of history and continuing today. Two of the greatest perpetrators have been governments and religion.

    Slavery in the in the United States was not unique at the time but what we went through to rid ourselves of the scourge was unique and even heroic.

    When the Europeans came to the Americas and took the land from the native tribes by force of arms, not all of the natives were peaceful pastoral denizens of an Edenic world. In fact, many, if not most of those “native” Americans themselves engaged in slavery, killing and conquering other tribes and enslaving them.

    As for the enslavement of the Africans who were brought to the Americas, they were themselves enslaved by Arabs and other African tribes who in turn sold those those slaves into the new world, both north, south and the Caribbean.

    When our country was founded most civilized nations practiced some form of slavery and/or indentured servitude. It was the accepted norm throughout most of the world. Many of our early immigrants were themselves escaping to the New World to bee free from religious and other persecution.

    One of the nations that has made great progress is the United States. We did so because our forefathers, recognizing the limitations of their times formed a government and enacted a constitution that expressed it’s aims in terms of man’s inalienable rights to life, liberty and property. That Constitution and those men provided the framework for the eventual emancipation of slaves and the abolishment of slavery in the United States. It took about a century after our nation’s founding and a bloody civil war to determine that slavery would not be the law of the land.

    It took about another 100 years before public consciousness resulted in further affirmations of the principle that all men are created equal. This was done by such litigations as Brown v. Board of Education and by the Equal Rights legislation proposed by a Democrat President and passed through the efforts of Republicans in Congress.

    Meantime, the United States fought a World War against Axis enemies that would have enslaved Europe and Asia. As had been done in the American Civil War, the citizens of the United States of all races, creeds and colors gave their lives and fortunes in the name of freedom. Regrettably, while we had progressed mightily in our elimination of racial prejudice, our Armed Forces remained segregated until 1950.

    After WW II, the citizens of the United States stood against the Soviet Union which had enslaved and slaughtered it’s own citizens.

    Today, we still stand for the principles of freedom.

    While our own progress has been slow, it has been steady. I for one thank our forefathers for providing us the framework and tools for doing so.

    So, if anyone wants to find victimhood, it is pretty easy to do it. It is always an easy excuse.

  20. deleted says:

    I suspect there are many reasons why discrete racial groups including some Asians have prospered in this country to an extent not realized by, most specifically blacks but it must remembered that they were never subjected to discrimination in this country to the same extent that blacks have been, nor for as long as blacks were discriminated against.

    Asians weren’t broght to this country originally and for many years, against their will and immediately sold as property. They were not denied the right to vote or own property or denied education and housing and heck even the right to swim in hotel pools here in Las Vegas as recently as the 1950’s as blacks were.

    Asians constitute a far smaller percentage of the population of course, and from a purely superficial standpoint Asians look more like whites than blacks do and therefore it was easier to keep them out of mixing with whites in housing and schools and other places where the public gathered.

    Asians weren’t introduced into this country where families were separated at the whim of the whites that bought and sold them as property, making their familial ties weaker as a result.

    And at the end of the day, assuming all races are “equal” so long as no effort is made to encourage the groups that have been held back, even at the sacrifice of more qualified whites that have been given more than 150 years of a head start, you can only reasonable expect a large part of this country’s population will remain behind.

    “where you end up depends in large part on where you start.”

    To me, it’s unacceptable to damn this huge population to running behind the rest of the country because we, as a country, handicapped them. Why is it that this country has no problem understanding it’s obligation to encourage handicapped veterans even at the expense of “more qualified” other Americans but it can’t understand how doing the same for an entire race of people, who this country has effectively “disabled” through no fault of their own, is equally justifyable?

  21. Steve says:

    Patrick’s “solution” to his imagined problem is to hold everyone else back in an attempt to make his selected downtrodden race seem to be better off than his current “understanding”

    Trouble is, his selected downtrodden race is not being held back by Patrick’s selected “masters”
    In fact it is very true they are being held back by the very actions Patrick claims are meant to “help” them.
    These programs trap people into thinking they cannot better themselves and must forever live at the behest of their “betters” thanking those so called “betters” for paying and providing their section 8 houses, EBT accounts and even FCC provided phone service.

    There are many in Patrick’s selected downtrodden race who have discovered for themselves what that trap is.
    People in the “system” in Patrick’s chosen race call those who escape the trap, names like “Uncle Tom”
    Even Patrick holds those people in high disregard calling names on any who do not toe his political line.

    Handouts are hand ups.

  22. Steve says:

    Oops, “Handouts are NOT hand ups.”

  23. deleted says:

    Like I said Thomas, the use of the word rope in one of your comments seemed especially appropriate when speaking about the way the group of blacks have been discriminated against n this country.

    And when this just keeps happening (and I can’t remember the last report about an Asian lawmaker being so threatened even when that lawmaker makes a suggestion that action be taken against a conservative “hero”; Daniel Inoye anyone?)

    I’m speechless….almost.

  24. Rincon says:

    Saying that Asian Americans didn’t have the same problems as African Americans misses the point. Although the problems of the African Americans may have been more severe, I think it insulting to Asian Americans and their ancestors to belittle the discrimination that they experienced throughout recent history. The fact is that this once beleaguered minority has managed to not only catch, but surpass the European Americans (we’ve really got to find less awkward politically correct terms) that discriminated against them in the first place. Instead of burying our heads in the sand, we should consider this evidence that discrimination can indeed be overcome and we should be asking how it occurred and can the knowledge gained help other, less fortunate minorities.

  25. Rincon says:

    “And when this just keeps happening (and I can’t remember the last report about an Asian lawmaker being so threatened even when that lawmaker makes a suggestion that action be taken against a conservative “hero”; Daniel Inoye anyone?)”

    Back in the early 20th century, these sort of threats against people of Asian descent were likely common:

    “Like the Chinese, the Japanese had been welcomed at first as a source of cheap labor, but shortly thereafter, became targets of anti-Asian campaigns, maligned as the “yellow peril.” They inherited much of the new prejudice directed previously against the Chinese, especially as the Japanese moved from itinerant farm laborers to become owners of farms and small businesses.

    Discriminatory laws passed during the early l900s denied the Japanese the right to become citizens, to own land, and to marry outside of their race. In addition, they could not buy homes in certain areas and were barred from jobs in certain industries. Some could only send their children to segregated schools, and in 1924, immigration from Japan was halted altogether.

    In fact, America as a whole in the 1930s was a place of little tolerance toward people of color. Institutional racism prevented many of them from living in places of their choice or moving about in society at will. Many unions prohibited them from membership. Employers routinely barred Asians and African Americans from choice jobs. Native Americans lived on reservations in poverty, ignored.”

    Yes, discrimination against African Americans today is far greater than that against Asian Americans, but minorities of all kinds experienced major discrimination in years past. As they improved their lot, it slowly diminished over time. People of Asian descent improved their lot long ago, so today, the discrimination has largely disappeared.

  26. Steve says:


    What about them Dago bastards? They overcame a bunch of very violent racism.

    What about them kikes? They didn’t even have a country and were pushed all over the place.

    And those kykes you two keep throwing under the bus. Rincon is right, they overcame racism just as many with brown skin have once they figured out the trap Patrick keeps laying out for them.

  27. deleted says:

    Don’t take the acknowledgement that blacks endured far greater discrimination, for far longer, on a far greater scale, as anything but the facts. Which doesn’t diminish at all that Asians were discriminated against (you can acknowledge the fact that the Jews were targeted by the Nazis and suffered at their hands without diminishing the fact that gypsies, and the handicapped also were targets)

    Like I said from the beginning, there are undoubtedly reasons why Asians have prospered to the extent they have in this country that would inform any actions that we take in the future to address the discriminatory affects blacks have suffered from but there are also dis similarities that make the comparison inapt.

    Asians weren’t brought to this country involuntarily, en masse, and sold as property, en masse, to others. There have always been few Asians in this country (around 10 million today as opposed to more than 60 million blacks) Asians weren’t involuntarily broken up when one family member was sold by one conservative plantation owner to another conservative plantation owner.

    Asians, weren’t denied the right to vote, or attend schools, or sit at lunch counters, or eat in restaurants, or ride busses, or rent hotel rooms, or walk down the same side of the street, or drink at the same water fountains, in nearly one fourth of the landmass in this country up until the mid-1960’s.

    It is a tribute to the Asians in this country that they have overcome the irrational hatred spewed and attained a place where they have worked hard to be, but this does not minimize at all the impact that blacks have sustained as a result of the far greater hurdles put in their path for far longer, by whites in this country.

    Ignoring it, diminishing it, justifying it, or worse, means that it will continue to the detriment of us all; “as you treat the least among you, so do you treat me”.

    And Rincon, would you justify this country giving preferential treatment to veterans? Or handicapped, or people that had been wrongfully imprisoned for years?

    If so, then why not blacks who were handicapped through no fault of their own?

  28. Bill says:

    Historically, Asians have suffered discrimination in the United States such as the internment of the Japanese and confiscation of their properties during WW II. Also, we had numerous laws against Asians, particularly the laws discriminating against the Chinese in California. And, if my memory is correct, American Indians could not purchase alcohol in California until the 1950s. If you want another example, the laws against miscegenation applied equally towards marriages between “whites” and “other races”. And, finally, there is the oft cited and very real discrimination experienced by the Irish. I do take exception with the observation, “…Yes, discrimination against African Americans today is far greater than that against Asian Americans…” but do agree that, “all kinds” of minorities have experienced experienced … discrimination in years past.”

    We are still a ways away from the dream of the day when all men are judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin but we keep working towards that goal.

    I for one, think that the most divisive and subtly vicious forms of discrimination is the discrimination of lowered expectations.

  29. deleted says:

    Anyone who believes that “the most divisive and subtly vicious form s of discrimination is the discrimination of lowered expectations” has never been shot by a police officer because they were black, or killed by the state after committing a crime another race would have been imprisoned for, because they were black, or had a cross burned in their front yard after their house had been firebombed because they were black, or had a “leader” of their struggle murdered even while advocating peaceful resistance to the oppressive racism they were incurring, because they and their leader, was black.

  30. deleted says:

    Yeah Bill, I’m sure you’re “right” “lowered expectations” is far worse than this.

  31. Steve says:

    Such things filled me with horror—but then with relief, even triumph. After all, wasn’t the point of All in the Family that Archie was powerless in the face of his daughter and son-in-law’s racially progressive positions? Didn’t his black neighbors have the moral upper hand—and wasn’t it they, not Archie, who got to move to the Upper East Side? By my twenties, in the 1990s, I felt grateful and excited to live in times of bracing progress for my race.

    Yet during the decade I came to realize that this feeling made me odd man out among most black Americans. In every race-related debate—whether over Rodney King, O. J. Simpson, the Million Man March, Ebonics, or affirmative action—almost every black person I knew, many with backgrounds as comfortable as my own, started from the fierce conviction that, decades after the Civil Rights Act, whitey’s foot remains pressed upon all black Americans’ necks. For most black Americans, the rapid increase of the black middle class, of interracial relationships and marriages, and of blacks in prestigious positions has no bearing on the real state of black America. Further, they believe, whites’ inability to grasp the unmistakable reality of oppression is itself proof of racism, while blacks who question that reality are self-deluded.

    John H. McWhorter

  32. Steve says:

    And it continues to this day, when any African American express’s any indication of the radical idea of self efficacy they must be summarily debased and belittled as stupid or an uncle tom or any of a number of other things meant to keep the victimhood community alive and well.

  33. Rincon says:

    I remember seeing a Rush Limbaugh show at the time of the Rodney King beatings. He claimed that the media failed to show the entire videotape and then presented a portion depicting King lunging at one of the cops. He claimed that only CNN showed that portion of the tape and that they had done so only twice. Taking Limbaugh’s video at face value, it appeared to be manipulation of public opinion by the mainstream media. I can’t readily find it online. Am I remembering it wrongly or did Rush fabricate this? Does anyone else know?

    I did find an article in the LAist (conservative rag?) purportedly written by Dorothy Bailey. She says, “But I assumed that the videotape showed everything that had happened. I was amazed to discover how much more of it existed than had been shown on television. The whole tape was only eighty-one seconds, but even so, only a small portion of that eighty-one seconds had been shown on television. The whole tape, seen in context, presented a far different scenario than what the public had seen.”

    She also claims that, “…FBI enhancement of some blurry parts of the tape made it easier to see that Mr. King was defying the officers who were trying to arrest him.” Did the public ever get to see the enhanced version?

    While one cannot excuse the brutality of this beating, my question is, did the media present all of the evidence in an evenhanded manner? I still find myself questioning that.

  34. Rincon says:

    Sorry, Dorothy Bailey was the jury foreman (foreperson?) at the trial.

  35. deleted says:

    I have to tell it’s beyond sad to read about how the conservatives in this country treat blacks for so long, but during my research I did come across a few things that made me belly laugh to see the believable stupidity of some of the laws racist white conservatives passed in this country:

    “The Blind: The board of trustees shall…maintain a separate building…on separate ground for the admission, care, instruction, and support of all blind persons of the colored or black race. Louisiana”

    I mean…seriously? THEYRE BLIND.

    You really have to see this to believe it.

  36. Steve says:

    Apparently Patrick (AKA deleted), was born in the wrong century.
    He just can’t stop living in the past.

  37. Anonymous says:

    From todays headlines:

    “In a Facebook post published Saturday night, Mississippi state Rep. Karl Oliver went on a diatribe about the controversial statues in his neighboring state, which have been taken down in recent weeks:

    The destruction of these monuments, erected in the loving memory of our family and fellow Southern Americans, is both heinous and horrific. If the, and I use this term extremely loosely, “leadership” of Louisiana wishes to, in a Nazi-ish fashion, burn books or destroy historical monuments of OUR HISTORY, they should be LYNCHED! Let it be known, I will do all in my power to prevent this from happening in our State.”

    And note that MANY republicans in state office in Miss. LIKED this post officially, and others liked it in their hearts

  38. Steve says:

    Those who insist on forgetting, ignoring and hiding history are doomed to repeat it.

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