Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey appeared on a cover of a recent Variety magazine. Somewhere in the accompanying article, Ava DuVernay used the word Inclusion, saying she wants to be included, while the word Diversity is too broad and may or may not include her. She choose the word Inclusion because, she says, “I want to be included and not a participant in an experiment of diversity.”
An example can be found in looking at the progression of the Civil Rights Movement. I can use the Civil Rights Movement because I was part of the movement. The movement, from the 1960’s was designed to include Blacks in jobs, political representation, and voting rights.
We developed Afﬁrmative Action to make sure that Blacks who were intentionally and speciﬁcally excluded in the Constitution were included in hiring decisions at American companies. It was expanded to make sure there was a fair distribution of seats in American colleges, universities and schools that accepted Federal monies to keep operating.
Before we knew it, there was a me-too movement in the country, and White females were numerically found to be the real beneﬁciaries of the Afﬁrmative Action component of the Civil Rights Movement.
After the females said Me-Too, they often became the employees and supervisors. These new supervisors had the same biases as their precedent White male superiors and they returned to the “No Blacks” hiring policies.
Then came other groups, Bilinguals, Gays, and whomever else, besides Blacks, who were different from White males. These new policies diversiﬁed the work and student body force and left out the originators of the Civil Rights, anti-discrimination movement jobs and seats in the country’s colleges and Universities which are limited. They were created to give White male landowners a head start. Now they have to share, and they don’t like it.
As a result, classes and jobs were integrated, on paper, but in-fact there was no real integration, and companies were forced to integrate through Title VII and Title IX of the Civil Rights Movement in schools where you hear about classes where students are segregated at the classroom level.
In the workplace there is a new phrase where employers, like I found at Kaiser Pharmacy where they say, “We can’t ﬁnd qualiﬁed Blacks.” This is the same old phrase they’ve used for years. Funny, I’ve never heard the phrase “qualiﬁed Whites”. Why is that? In the City of Pasadena, we have no African American Assistant City Managers. Why is that? Prentice Deadrick was an Assistant City Manager, opening the door for others, but now we have none. Why is that? You’d be hard pressed to ﬁ nd Black heads of city departments. Why is that? White men are no longer the ones keeping Blacks out. Now it’s those “others” who got in under the civil rights movement, diversity movement who do the work for them of keeping Blacks out.
I worked in Afﬁrmative Action at Hughes Aircraft, years ago, and had to ﬁght to get Blacks into certain departments. We’ve all heard that the Professional Football teams couldn’t ﬁnd a Black Quarterback and no Black coaches in any sport for a long time, but we conquered that, but we must keep on ﬁghting in all other areas. I suggest that one word, “INCLUSIVE”, needs to be used more instead of Diversity. Then we are well on our way.