Diversity Revisited

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A renowned professor has left Duke Divinity School after a disagreement over diversity training. My goal is not to throw stones. Does our country have intolerance and inequality in its history? Of course.  Is there an element of ideology in such training? Of course. Could the professor have been more temperate and the dean a better defender of free speech? Doubtless.

But my point lies elsewhere. The House of Bishops recently had such a session. There was some grumbling on the part of bishops of various stripes. But something interesting happened midstream. The presenter spoke of the need, in our post - colonial era, to appreciate the distinctive ways traditional societies thought and acted, consistent with their ancient lore and inherited mores. Conservative bishops smiled, looked at one another. Sounds like us!

What if in our present moment diversity calls something forth which neither side imagined at the outset? We are a minority view within a diverse scene.  As such we are not merely to be tolerated until we die out, but to be given space.  As I have written elsewhere, we are “biodiversity.”  Resistance to what I am saying is just what the training aimed to challenge.