redlightpolitics replied to your post:Re your diversity workshop things, how you do feel this type of thing fits in with what you were writing yesterday about enagaging people and educating them on issues to help them develop their critical thinking about these things? Re your poster – GLITTER

There is a place for the AMS Bollywood video in that poster! It has all the ingredients for badly interpreted diversity. I say throw in a Zwarte Piet and you might have a winner ;-P

The funny thing is that they want a poster on how they’re awesome. Or really, they want a poster that shows how the department has been working with the new policies. Which would be great if it weren’t for the fact that the department I’m working for has no diversity (according to the school’s definition). This definition (which excludes Indonesians, for some reason) is only applied to employees of the department, so not to students and not to staff that works in housekeeping and such. It turned out there was 1 employee who fit the description (one parent from… Mali or something). Which is a whole different problem in and of itself, but it means that their policies couldn’t be implemented. So I’ve basically been winging it since I took over the project.

But yeah, I might just make a “this is not diversity, you assholes” poster and be done with it.

I really feel for you because I know how difficult it is to explain a concept to a group of people who are totally blind to the very subject you are trying to explain. It is no different than trying to explain homophobia, racism, etc, to those who are brutally immersed in the problem. It’s not so much that they do not want to see it, it’s more like they have no frame of reference to understand what you are saying. And our mainstream culture (not just in The Netherlands, but across the Western World) is making it difficult because it does perpetuate a lot of these issues. And people find validation for their views and actions in it.

Incidentally, not 100% related to this but this video from a PBS documentart, “A Class divided” (the link is for part one of four, but all four parts are available on YouTube’s side bar) is very good to illustrate the issue of perception and how people tend to be malleable to prejudice.

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