(Lack of) Diversity and Inclusion

Though I still have some work to do to finish the audio recordings for the third New Bayou Book (Baseball on the Bayou: The Colton Lacombe Story), I’m already neck deep in my next novel. I’ve learned my lesson about talking too much about a work-in-progress (you might remember discussions about a book called The Asian Cajun that hasn’t materialized yet) . . .  so I won’t get into specifics. 

Which is fine, because the thing I want to talk about is empathy and the irony of so-called diversity and inclusion (I’m omitting the word “equity” because I still don’t know what it means–something to do with short kids trying to look over a fence, I think).  

The book I’m currently working on is rooted in the bitter divisiveness of modern American politics (which legacy media outlets euphemistically call “polarization”). Specifically, the Christrian, conservative right. Trump supporters, to put a bumper sticker on it. 

Here’s the main insight: for all the lip service that traditional progressive people (like me) and organizations seem to give to the principles of diversity and inclusion, it appears to be just that. Lip service

If viewpoint diversity was really a core value, we would endeavor to understand, for example, why a significant percentage of Americans believed the 2020 election was fixed. In fact, we should be very interested in the parallels between the two camps–so many democrats, for example, still believe that Russia is responsible for Trump’s presidency in 2016. 

If inclusion was really the priority, Christian conservatives would have a seat at the table too. Just a few weeks ago in Nashville, three Christian children and three of their Christian teachers and administrators were stalked and killed by a woman who happened to enjoy pretending to be a man. Somehow, the public discussion in the aftermath of the killings excluded an analysis of the apparent anti-Christrian sentiment of the killer. A killer who wrote a manifesto, which appears to have been buried. 

As I go out of my way to read material and viewpoints that I wouldn’t ordinarily gravitate to, and as I get into the head of my main character–a fella that goes by the name of Dirt–the main thing I see is a lack of sympathy and a willingness to ignore the simple science of facts. Actually, that’s putting it too mildly. What I see, honestly, is a collective, brutal effort by media elites, government bureaucrats, and academics to stamp out all that is traditional in America. 

Diversity and inclusion is, I have come to believe, a Trojan horse. The goal is not to broaden perspectives and bring everyone into the tent. The goal is to solidify a singular viewpoint, a singular ideology. 

Frankly, I have more in common with these left-leaning social engineers . . . but my sympathies lie with the other side . . . with the real marginalized. The traditional Americans–who actually come in all shapes and sizes, despite the popular caricature–are the ones I want to explore. Why is their love of guns, God, and country so mercilessly mocked and ridiculed?  Why are we not concerned about what will fill the vacuum when we remove religion and tradition from the culture? Why are certain words taboo now? Why are average individuals more inclined to self-censor now? What happened to public debate and discourse? 

So many questions . . . so much to explore. 

See you next week.

Published by New Bayou Books

Jason P. Reed started New Bayou Books to spark a revolution in South Louisiana literature. The goal of the company is two fold: to discover great new writers from Acadiana while building a global community of readers and listeners. Join us! Sign the enlistment form.

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