Monday, September 22, 2014

Everyday People

Razib Khan:

Not to be racist, but what really bothers me is the amen chorus of white liberals who deconstruct and denounce all manner of cultural production for its lack of “diversity”, but who live lives as populated by white people as the protagonist of Boyhood. As it happens I have a lot of white friends, and sometimes on Facebook you see wedding photos. Most of my friends are liberal, though not all, and one thing that is salient is that these wedding parties and attendees are mighty white. Even in California, where half the population is non-Hispanic white, good white liberals seem to be inviting only white people to their seminal life events.

Diversity for thee, but not for me; what a strangely recurring theme. Anyway, from my own perspective, I can't help but be struck by what a, well, professional-class problem this is, that of the poor fishbelly who has all the right beliefs and attitudes, but nonetheless, due to barriers of education and employment, finds hizzorherself deprived of the recommended daily allowance of exposure to the exotic Other.

I mean, I hear Spanish being spoken most every day. At one job, I work in an environment where openly gay dudes, lesbians, blacks, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, white rednecks, conservatives, liberals, single moms, young dudebros and senior citizens all mix and mingle with no one caring one way or the other. In a former job as a satellite technician, my three best friends in the crew were an Iraqi refugee, a good ol' boy from Kentucky who had served as a sniper in Iraq, and a Juggalo. Your typical online social justice progressive wouldn't be able to conceive of such a situation without demanding some sensitivity seminars, workshops and permission slips in triplicate before anyone would be allowed to talk openly to anyone else, but in these environments, there's work to be done, so everyone just gets the fuck on with it, no drama.

I'm not trying to romanticize the uncorrupted character of working-class, manual labor types or anything. I'm just saying that the kind of diversity being fetishized by Razib's pale friends is actually pretty easy to find, especially if you want to quit your office jobs and go slumming among the high-school-graduate-and-GED crowd, and in practice, it's just as mundane as anything else in life. The humor is rough-and-tumble and most definitely offensive to the perpetually-offended, but people are just people, as uninspiring as that sounds.