Triteness. Trite statements may be overused but they often speak a truth. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” is a trite but true statement. The flip side is also true. If it is broken — fix it
The decision is whether something is broken or not.
Another trite statement is — “doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result is the definition of insanity or stupidity.”
If something is broken and doing the same thing over and over is not fixing it, I should consider changing my approach.
Inequality. Each individual has an opinion about equality. In my opinion some current approaches are damaged if not broken because they are leading to more divisiveness rather than togetherness. I believe we are growing farther apart rather than closer together.
If I keep doing the same things in the same way over and over hoping it will improve equality and it is not working, it is insane or stupid to keep doing the same thing expecting a different result. I believe I should have the courage to examine whether new approaches will improve the situation.
Recently I suggested a change by emphasizing prejudice and bias rather than race and racism. Not everyone agreed. They made thoughtful arguments to keep race and racism as pillars of the model in the fight for equality.
I expect some will also disagree with my next suggestion.
A New Suggestion. I start with a question — is diversity training improving equality more than unity training would improve equality?
I have had feedback from people who have gone through diversity training. Paraphrasing — what they heard was white people brought black people to America as slaves. All white people living today have a responsibility for the mistakes of some white people 200 years ago. The problem is whiteness. Essentially their diversity training experience was finding fault with whiteness. That may not have been the intent of the training, but that was the result. The question is — did the training help reduce inequality?
Ibram X Kendi, the well-known Black historian wrote a book, “How to be an Antiracist.” Any policy that produces racial inequalities is racist. Any policy that reduces inequality is antiracist.
Oddly enough, by his definition, if diversity training is increasing inequality, it is racist. The question is whether diversity training is helping reduce inequity or increasing inequity. I have serious doubts if telling one group of people they are the problem increases the desire to work together.
I would like to see some organizations try training people in unity rather than diversity. If we see each other as members of the same human family, then we might be able to see each other as brothers and sisters. MLK Jr. said it well: “We must learn to live together as brothers [and sisters] or we will die together as fools.”
Thus, I believe it is legitimate to consider — would unity training do a better job of teaching us we are one family than diversity training? Would unity training lead to better equality than diversity training?
If diversity training is doing the best job, I will support it. If it is not, we should have the courage to address the problem in a different manner. My goal is to improve equality and I am willing to examine new ways if they would help the cause.
Some aspects of diversity training are appropriate. For example, I certainly am not suggesting we should hide objectionable parts of our history. Education should include the mistakes in ways we can learn and improve. Also, some systematic remnants of slavery remain today. We should be working to overcome those factors.
I am not certain what unity training means. I am just at the point of suggesting a different direction might help the fight against inequality. I am suggesting the approach and the goal should be unity not division.
I attend an integrated church. My deepest feelings of equality and having a shared human family occur in my shared faith. We start with the assumption we are all flawed and seek help together to face those flaws and bring tolerance into our world. Just as with families, we have problems but we certainly have more equality through unity than I observe in the world today.
As always, I welcome your thoughts.
Turkey/Syria Earthquake Victims. I have been struggling for the best way to contribute aid for the victims of the earthquake in the Middle East. A former pastor of ours and good friend made me aware that her husband’s mission program has a presence in the region and they are sending aid. Information can be found at their website. The Outreach Foundation has a top rating with Charity Navigator, which rates organizations on the amount of money kept for administrative purposes, and the amount given away. I know her husband. I can vouch for the integrity of this mission.
A good friend followed up my story about Carol Ward in the last blog. He sent me information about the prison ministry of her organization. The news is very good news. I cannot get the site to post, so anyone interested in the material, please let me know and l will forward the information.
Young man with a good heart.
He usually avoids publicity but this is good news:
This one had me crying!!
Mardi Gras. On Saturday, I spent three very cold hours in a Walmart parking lot in Orange Beach, Alabama, just so I could see our youngest son for a few minutes and have him throw things at me. Shane said he was blessed to see happy faces in children and handicapped people receiving gifts of toys. He was in a Mardi Gras parade for the first time. His mother loved it.
Mardi Gras is over. Lent is underway. Lent is a special time of reflection for me. I am always renewed by the season and Easter.