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Face Reality About Top Management

Luke Visconti’s Ask the White Guy column is a top draw on DiversityInc.com. Visconti, the founder and CEO of DiversityInc, is a nationally recognized leader in diversity management. In his popular column, readers who ask Visconti tough questions about race/culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age can expect smart, direct and disarmingly frank answers.

Ask the White Guy Luke ViscontiQuestion:
I have been a regular reader of DiversityInc for years. As a diversity and EEO professional since the late ’80s, I have incorporated in my message equality, inclusion and respect. I must therefore take exception to your comment in your “Ask the White Guy” column in the Jan./Feb. 2007 edition.

Your reply to the question posed regarding slavery that I take exception to is, “If you believe that all people are created equal, there has to be a reason for this–and there is: racism.”

After sharing this comment with my African-American colleagues, three of which have a combined century of experience at [the hospital where I work], they felt the same way as I do about it. If we cannot present the message of equality, inclusion and respect–without the added mantle being applied of racism can only be by whites, white privilege, denial, etc., being applied to the white males and females during training–then we will never achieve harmony. There are truly the majority in this country who do not get up every day with the thought of discriminating against someone or not feeling guilty because of having privilege. “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed–we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.” With 89 percent women and minorities making up the employee population base of the hospital, we are living the dream.  

I would be willing to share my experiences with you and discuss some of your “Ask the White Guy” responses that I have read with regard to assertions of white privilege, denial, dominance, etc. As stated earlier, I am in the arena trying with all of my heart and soul to create a society that encompasses diversity with respect and equality. Your magazine has provided an outlet for many corporations to view diversity in a different light. I do not want that light diminished by those who may read your response that I am taking exception to, with dismay.  And, by the way, you can ask me as the other white guy; I am a white male–one of 11 percent who work at the hospital.

Answer:
I appreciate the warm sentiment expressed in your e-mail; however, I cannot think of a single example in history of achieving harmony without first forthrightly addressing reality from the perspective of all the participants.

Because the majority of white people are not overt bigots does not mitigate the reality that wealth and power is disproportionately distributed by factors including race, religion, age, orientation, disability and gender in our country.

I’ve kept the name of the hospital you work for from being public because I know it and feel it is a great institution. However, 89 percent of your work force may be women and/or “minorities,” but despite your hospital being the most progressive I know of, I sure don’t see that distribution in the top management listed on your web site.

This is absolutely normal. A lack of top to bottom representation makes your hospital no different than almost all U.S. corporations and our government; it speaks of the progress our society has yet to make. This progress, by the way, is not just for the justice of it all. Judging from your kindly worded e-mail, I’m sure you would agree that all people are created equal. If so, then talent is distributed equally, and when a system delivers an inequitable result, we must own the fact that we have not selected the most talented people for positions of leadership.

I don’t think that’s going to happen without clearly addressing reality. I’m not suggesting that we white people must engage in a period of self-flagellation or start the journey of diversity training by reading Tim Wise in training programs, but I think that soft-peddling the actual situation enables good-hearted white people to think that “all is well” and nothing more than good thoughts are necessary for progress.

Regarding Dr. King’s “dream” speech, you may want to click here to read my Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech delivered in Portland, Ore.

I hope you’ll keep e-mailing me. I appreciate and respect your viewpoint.

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2 Comments

  • White Woman

    “Equality,” even among individuals, is a myth. Intrinsic value as a human being created in the image of God, which was referenced as self evident truth by those who founded the United States, and “equality”, such as defined by a liberal, are not one and the same. Very simply, people are not all the same. We all are varied in every possible way, including in abilities and in intelligence. This truth is also self evident. Any thinking person engaged with reality can’t deny this.

    However, the liberal mind is like no other. It is twisted, illogical, delusional, and unable to face reality. It comforts itself with lies and denial. It frantically seeks to obliterate any perceived threat to its utopian dream with temper tantrums, insults, and more lies, all the while convincing itself of its moral superiority.

    God forbid anyone should trust their own observations and instincts. Yes, there are black people who are intelligent and honest. There are some who have achieved through their own merit. Most, however, are deficient in intelligence, character, and the basic knowledge of how to conduct oneself in a civilized society. Nor do they care. This is so obvious to any thinking person that I can only imagine that the average white liberal is suffering from a mental disorder; this, or they live in a part of the U.S. that is sparsely populated with blacks, and expose themselves exclusively to the liberal point of view.

    There’s another breed of liberal though, the one who knows all of this and is able to remove himself from the plague of “diversity” through financial means. He fully realizes that the average black has a sub-par i.q., which does indeed exist; that integration hasn’t truly occurred because of black deficiencies, not white discrimination; that race also exists, not only as a social construct, but biologically. This matters not in the least, because he benefits financially, socially, and/or politically from the fallacies he perpetuates. Diversity Inc., indeed.

    It should be a requirement for the obnoxiously loud group of people shoving “diversity” down the throats of everyone else to live among the blacks as an average citizen. Do a little field study. Just six months. Frequent the convenience stores where they’re loitering, head to the local Walmart or grocery store. Observe the “microaggressions” and outright hostility you will be subjected to on the road, in the stores, walking down your street. Enjoy a dose of blatant rudeness, such as being screamed at from a car window; being mocked within earshot for standing there, or maybe for doing yard work; enjoy having your dark skinned neighbor literally run across a store in order to jump in front of you as you approach a cashier. Enjoy relaxing in your yard while listening to the unintelligible babbling you will be able to hear from two blocks away; enjoy the screams you will hear as the “youth” start attacking each other and littering the street with weaves. Comfort your child after she is attacked at the playground next to your home, held down by two black innocents while a third shoves dirt in her mouth and up her nose. Accidentally leave your bike out in your (fenced) yard overnight and see what happens! Just tell yourself it was a donation. The neighbor who took it must have needed it more than you did.

    Keep reminding yourself of the fact that these poor people were brought here in chains. Never mind that their fellow Africans were the supply source. Never mind that this was 200 years ago…it was just yesterday that they were drinking out of separate water fountains! They didn’t have the right to vote! Remember! This country was built on their backs! Cotton picking made us who we are today! Keep up your supply of white guilt. You must know that you have no more intelligence than any black person! You are only where you’re at because of your white privilege! They have every right to be angry and rude to any white person as they please! They have had terrible experiences with white devils, such as being watched or followed in stores! Where are their reparations, damn it?!

    Who, in their right mind, can blame these poor people for behaving as they do? They are being oppressed by white privilege; there is no amount of bending over backward, special privileges, quotas, black tv, black magazines, black sororities, black fraternities, black country clubs, black record labels, black production companies, black businesses, curved testing, biased application processes, more quotas, equal opportunity, diversity, multiculturalism, second, third, fourth, fifth, or eleventh chances, or destruction of the white race in general that could ever be enough! Black history month? It should be black history every day! And only the distorted version, of course! Let’s give them something to believe in!

    Wallow in your white guilt, fan the flames of division, and always remember that you are a white worm who stole what you have from every other race (although race does not exist…oops); yes, wallow and remember that black people, of course, cannot be racist, no matter how much they seem to hate whites. Everyone knows only white people can be racist!

    Nobody cares about skin color any more, except black people themselves (colorism, anyone?). This is about content of character, found sorely lacking, and failed policy. This is about intelligent people of every color being afraid to openly discuss the truth. It’s about brainwashing and censorship. It’s about intimidation and the herd mentality required to sustain political correctness. It’s about reducing the quality of life for everyone (except the elite), while being able to feel that you are superior to those who don’t want to be condemned to live with hateful negroes who delight in destruction. It’s about excusing their actions and laying blame at the feet of every white person in the U.S., despite the fact that most of us are descended from immigrants (not slave owners) who were dirt poor, but assimilated and refused to stay that way; became the original melting pot, in fact; a feat achieved without government intervention.

    Mr. Visconti, I am aware that you will be unable to respond without insulting me on some personal level. I can almost see your veins bulging as you attack your keyboard. I did insinuate that you may be mentally ill, or greedy and self-serving; even though all things are, of course, equal, I am assuming you may find these assertions to be offensive. And, of course, you are outraged and insulted when confronted with a reality that doesn’t conform to the lies you live by. You should take into consideration the fact that it is just as horrible to hate someone for having an opinion or values that differ from yours, as it is to hate someone for being black. Yes, hating others for any reason is a bad thing, Mr. Visconti.

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