When it comes to pushing for diversity in an industry, it is usually hard to put into words how a lack of diversity truly hurts the field. However a recent New York Times article released last month, shows what happens when no minorities are present in the process of analysis.
The article in question is supposedly a critique on the life and marriage of Tony and Maria Hovater, two White Nationalists feeling empowered after the President Trump election. While I’m normally not offended by things like this, reading a man talk about the inferiority of your race and then have him portrayed as a somewhat sympathetic figure is tough to swallow. The issue with the piece is the eerily humanization of the couple and the justification of their beliefs.
At one point the article discusses how the couple is ok with interracial relationships, they just think the country would be better with a separation of races. A very subtle yet dangerous idea (which we’ve seen exist in the past and benefited no one outside of those identified as white).
This is the danger of a lack of diversity. When minorities are not included in conversations, a justification takes place of certain ideas that are not beneficial for everyone. Obviously the most extreme case in American history is slavery, but there are also subtle cases like education, wealth distribution, and opportunities that are seen everyday outside the scope of white America. This is not just a problem with conservative America but liberal America as well. When too many white people are in a room, we get a justification of White Nationalism however when too many minorities and women are involved we jump to the other end of the spectrem and fall into a weird intersectionality where the most discriminated against is now the most powerful.
An apology letter for white nationalism should never have made it to the New York Times but alas here we are. There will never be a similar article for black or latino extremist nor a justification for Christopher Dorner the black officer who killed four people. Instead we are left with this, the hatred of minorities by white extremists being brought into the mainstream as normal and something we should all respect.