Diversity and Heresy

Denise Young Smith, Apple’s first vice president of inclusion and diversity, is resigning from her position after less than a year. Smith’s announcement follows the response to comments she made during a panel discussion in October. As reported by Quartz:

When asked whether she would be focusing on any group of people, such as black women, in her efforts to create a more inclusive and diverse Apple, Young Smith says, “I focus on everyone.” She added: “Diversity is the human experience. I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color, or the women, or the LGBT.”

Young Smith went on to add that “there can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blonde men in a room and they’re going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation.”

For the heresy of viewing life experience as being as central to a diverse workforce as is race, sexual orientation or gender identity, Young Smith (at the very least) felt pressured to resign.

And Democrats wonder how it could be that so much of the white working class has abandoned the party of progressivism.


Who Supports Freedom of Expression, and Who Doesn’t

The libertarian Cato Institute has a major new survey report on The State of Free Speech and Tolerance in America.

Among the many, many findings were several on LGBT-related issues. For instance, the national survey of more than 2,500 U.S. adults found that just half of Americans (50%) say that business should be required to provide services to gay and lesbian people even if doing so violates their religious convictions, but 68% say that bakers should not be required to bake a custom cake for same-sex weddings if it violates religious convictions, while only 32% would force them to do so.

By party, just over half (52%) of Democrats would require bakers to bake a custom cake for same-sex weddings, while 13% of Republicans would require that a baker do so. LGBT progressives who think that they have sweeping support for this are mistaken.

On hate speech, 40% think government should prevent hate speech in public. Also, 59% of liberals say it’s hate speech to say transgender people have a mental disorder, while only 17% of conservatives agree. And 51% of Democrats support a law that requires Americans to use transgender people’s preferred gender pronouns.

Looking further at LGBT issues, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say a business executive should be fired if he or she believes:
— transgender people have a mental disorder (44% Democrats vs. 14% Republicans).
— homosexuality is a sin (32% Democrats vs. 10% Republicans).

While some may feel that personal belief unrelated to job behavior in this circumstance shouldn’t cause anyone to be fired, it’s interesting that Americans appear more opposed to a lack of acceptance toward transgender people than toward gays and lesbians.

Guy Benson shares his take:

But Aren’t Hollywood Liberals Superior to the Rest of Us?


Plus, a twitter feed roundup.

Time for Some Counter Views

Courting controversy, from Stacey McCain, a generally rightwing blogger:

The destruction of Kevin Spacey’s career for what he did (or allegedly attempted to do) in 1986 must be put in context of this pervasive decadence. How many 14-year-old hookers were turning tricks in New York in 1986? …

Far be it from me to defend the (alleged) behavior of Kevin Spacey, a Hollywood liberal and close personal friend of Bill Clinton. Nor is it my intention to endorse moral relativism as a defense of (alleged) behavior that was so clearly wrong. It would be the easiest thing in the world for me to denounce Kevin Spacey and demand that he be banished from polite society, at a minimum, and perhaps prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But before the mob seizes Spacey — tall tree, short rope, some assembly required — I must ask, why should this one man be made to suffer grievously for his alleged wrongdoing, when so many other wrongdoers have gotten off scot-free? Because he is famous?

Because he is rich? Because he is “privileged”? Because we are experiencing belated remorse about the Sexual Revolution? Because the Harvey Weinstein scandal has reminded us of other rich, famous men who got away with worse than what Kevin Spacey allegedly did?

And from this blog’s comments, “Bryan” writes, pulling no punches:

Perhaps the teenage Anthony Rapp shouldn’t have attended an adult actor’s party, stayed behind after all the other guests left, and been found sitting on Spacey’s bed when the actor walked into his bedroom post-party and somewhat drunk.
And perhaps, since no sexual act took place (Spacey rolled over onto him and Rapp got up and left), maybe Rapp shouldn’t be publicizing this (and, himself) 30 years later when his career is dormant.
And maybe GLAAD and all the others who took Harvey Weinstein’s money shouldn’t be virtue-signaling now by helping to destroy Spacey’s life and career.

Finally, Joseph Fischel at Slate:

Let me be as clear as possible that Spacey’s alleged conduct, imposing himself unwanted on a 14-year-old boy, is in no way defensible, nor is closeted queerness an excuse that authorizes bad behavior. (Spacey’s statement doesn’t dispute either of these points.) However, we can condemn the alleged events of Rapp’s story without falling into the trap of fueling moral panic around the specter of the pedophile. And in its pitchfork-and-torches response, that’s exactly what the gay community is doing. It used to be straights who “pedophiled” gays to deny them civil rights and social inclusion. Now we apparently pedophile our own for moral purification and self-satisfaction.

Identity Politics In, Class Consciousness Out

Joshua Mitchell writes::

“Identity politics rejects the model of traditional give-and-take politics, presupposing instead that the most important thing about us is that we are white, black, male, female, straight, gay, and so on. Within the identity-politics world, we do not need to give reasons—identity is its own reason and justification. Because identity politics supposes that we are our identities, politics does not consist in the speech, argument, and persuasion of normal politics but instead, in the calculation of resource redistribution based on identity—what in Democratic parlance is called “social justice.” … What speech does attend this post-political age consists in shaming those who do not accept the idea of identity politics—as on our college campuses. In the 1960s, college students across the country fought so that repressed ideas would receive a fair hearing. These days, college students fight to repress all ideas except one: identity politics.”

He also observes:

“Once, the Democrats were the party of the middle class, attentive to how it might be lifted up—or at least, kept from falling. But during the 2016 election, the Democrats offered the middle class nothing—Americans counted only insofar as they belonged to this or that identity group. And when the Democrats lost, they blamed white members of the middle class who voted for Trump and who had had enough of identity politics.”