What does diversity training really accomplish?
Today I had the pleasure of being invited to attend mandatory training courtesy of my employer. The subject; Diversity in the Workplace. For those of you out there who have been to similar training, you know what a joy it is to be told that you have predjudices, and let's prove it by performing exercises in which you blurt out the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the following groups of people... The point of Diversity training is really quite moot. Anymore anyone who vocalizes anything that is merely interpreted as negative (regardless of intent) against anyone except white males under 40, is swiftly whisked away by the hatchet squad (otherwise known as Human Resources) for any number of punishments up to and including termination. This is the way of the workforce world in most establishments these as directed by federal law. The number of 'protected'individuals are ever-growing and with a bit of research, virtually any individual can identify with a category for the purpose of filing a complaint against someone who has 'victimized' them.
Don't get me wrong, I think it is entirely inappropriate for people to degrade or humiliate a person based on ethnicity, religion, gender etc... However, the byproduct of Diversity training is that the students are taught that there are so many ways to offend any number of individuals that the possibilities are endless. Soon, even the white males under 40 are trying to figure out which protected class they can claim the next time their boss yells at them and questions their work ethic.
My point is, we teach our kids to ignore playground taunting, but as adults we're encouraged to make our skin as thin as possible. How about some 'Oversensitivity' training. The premise could be that only ignorant people will stereotype a whole race, ethnicity, religion or gender (ad infinitum!) and accordingly, we should realize that others can also identify them as idiots. Heck, that could be our next protected class!