Walter benn michaels the trouble with diversity essay

Microsoft, for example, is very ingenious indeed. Diversity -- identity politics -- has one other supreme advantage: Perhaps a fourth reason is the money he would make addressing the issue. While the scientific community has accomplished much, it isn't very scientific to conclude there is no such thing as race.

And, second, even though the concept of diversity was introduced as a kind of end run around the historical problem of racism the whole point was that you could argue for the desirability of a diverse student body without appealing to the history of discrimination against blacks and so without getting accused by people like Alan Bakke of reverse discrimination against whitesthe commitment to diversity became deeply associated with the struggle against racism.

Our commitment to diversity has thus redefined the opposition to discrimination as the appreciation rather than the elimination of difference. And these social entities have turned out to be remarkably tenacious, both in ways we know are bad and in ways we have come to think of as good.

Identity is the red herring of politics: Identity, we find, actually preserves the notion of merit -- the assumption that people got where they are through their own efforts. Diversity of skin color is something we should happily take for granted, the way we do diversity of hair color.

And while it's not surprising that most of the rich and their apologists on the intellectual right are unperturbed by this development, it is at least a little surprising that the intellectual left has managed to remain almost equally unperturbed.

In reality, we obviously and increasingly don't.

The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality

We would much rather get rid of racism than get rid of poverty. The book is smoothly written and the subject is thoroughly examined by the author.

For example, white students can legitimately feel that they "deserve" to attend Harvard because Harvard has a diversity program and all races are represented on campus. I strongly recommend it for anyone interested in the subject of economic inequality and class.

We want a fictional George Bush who doesn't care about black people rather than the George Bush we've actually got, one who doesn't care about poor people. This attitude sets up a class of people against whom it is acceptable to bear prejudice.

From the standpoint of a left politics, this is a profound mistake since what it means is that the political left -- increasingly invested in the celebration of diversity and the redress of historical grievance -- has converted itself into the accomplice rather than the opponent of the right.

But many of those who are quick to remind us that there are no biological entities called races are even quicker to remind us that races have not disappeared; they should just be understood as social entities instead. For that very reason, conservatives also embrace debates on diversity.

What the rankings measure is the number of African Americans and Asian Americans and Latinos we have, not the number of Chicagoans. In fact, the closest thing we have to a holiday that addresses economic inequality instead of identity is Labor Day, which is a product not of the multicultural cheerleading at the end of the 20th century but of the labor unrest at the end of the 19th.

While admitting to differences among humanity, Michaels prefers to see those differences in terms of class, not race.

If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click 'Authenticate'. Including Native Americans seems like it should be part of the book, but surprisingly, as is the case across this land, the treatment is nominal.

So with respect to race, the idea is not just that racism is a bad thing which of course it is but that race itself is a good thing.

The class we like is the middle class. The trick, in other words, is to stop thinking of poverty as a disadvantage, and once you stop thinking of it as a disadvantage then, of course, you no longer need to worry about getting rid of it.

In the last year, it has sometimes seemed as if this terrain might in fact be starting to change, and there has been what at least looks like the beginning of a new interest in the problem of economic inequality. No issue of social justice hangs on appreciating hair color diversity; no issue of social justice hangs on appreciating racial or cultural diversity.

In an ideal universe we wouldn't be celebrating diversity at all -- we wouldn't even be encouraging it -- because in an ideal universe the question of who you wanted to sleep with would be a matter of concern only to you and to your loved or unloved ones.

And Hurricane Katrina -- with its televised images of the people left to fend for themselves in a drowning New Orleans -- provided both a reminder that there still are poor people in America and a vision of what the consequences of that poverty can be.

But [End Page ] there are no people of different races" And this vision has proven to be extraordinarily attractive. What's important about The Great Gatsby, then, is that it takes one kind of difference the difference between the rich and the poor and redescribes it as another kind of difference the difference between the white and the not-so-white.

Two things happened here. But classes are not like races and cultures, and treating them as if they were -- different but equal -- is one of our strategies for managing inequality rather than minimizing or eliminating it.

And what makes it a good thing is that it's not class. And we would much rather celebrate cultural diversity than seek to establish economic equality. And there are, of course, lots of other black people -- like Clarence Thomas and Thomas Sowell and Janice Rogers Brown and, at least once upon a time, Colin Powell -- for whom George Bush almost certainly has warm feelings.

It was not asserting that preference in admissions could be given, say, to black people because they had previously been discriminated against. But Gay Pride Day isn't about economic equality, and celebrating diversity shouldn't be an acceptable alternative to seeking economic equality.

If you're worried about the growing economic inequality in American life, if you suspect that there may be something unjust as well as unpleasant in the spectacle of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, no cause is less worth supporting, no battles are less worth fighting, than the ones we fight for diversity.

Rhetorical Analysis of Walter Benn Michaels, "The Trouble with Diversity" Words Oct 15th, Rhetorical Analysis of Walter White Essay Words | 5 Pages. More about Rhetorical Analysis of Walter Benn Michaels, "The Trouble with Diversity". In The Trouble With Diversity, professor of English Walter Benn Michaels explores current expressions of American cultural pluralism to prove its collusive relationship to the real force that underlies American culture: economic and religious ideology/5.

The Trouble with Diversity Paper instructions: Read an 8 pages article and respond in 1 page.

Michaels to Discuss the Trouble with Diversity

Discuss how Walter Benn Michaels uses F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby in “The Trouble with Diversity,” which discusses the “red herring” nature of many current “diversity” arguments. What is the most salient point Michaels makes in his essay?.

We will write a custom essay sample on Rhetorical Analysis of Walter Benn Michaels, “The Trouble with Diversity” specifically for you for only $ $/page Order now. Dec 24,  · A lot of progressive politics today, Walter Benn Michaels complains, involves denouncing and apologizing for “bad things that happened a long time ago.”.

Walter Benn Michaels, head of the English department at the University of Illinois, Chicago, will give a talk March 7 at pm in Gamble Auditorium about his latest book, The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality. Michaels, a literary and social theorist, argues in his book that America's embrace of the.

Walter benn michaels the trouble with diversity essay
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Michaels to Discuss the Trouble with Diversity | Mount Holyoke College