The word of the day is “diversity,” what exactly does it mean?
My Random House Webster’s does not go into a great deal of detail, it merely says: (1) The state of being diverse; difference; unlikeness. (2) variety; multiformity. (3) a point of difference. With a definition so vague the word can mean pretty much whatever the user wants it to mean. And it usually does.
Many years ago my dear mom taught me that words mean things and that they should be chosen with precision so that there is no mistaking what you intended to say. That long remembered lesson is the reason that I am no fan of definition creep.
A short digression if I may. In a recent edition of the Houston Chronicle a reporter wrote the following concerning a home invasion, “the burglars smashed open the front door, went inside and decimated the apartment.” I am at a loss to understand how one kills one tenth of an apartment.
It is quite common to hear a talking head on TV use the term “begs the question” to mean that something has occurred that would lead one to ask a specific question. The term was originally a rhetorical device used in debate in which you assume the truth of the very point raised in the question.
Read the U.S. Constitution using word definitions as they were in the mid to late eighteenth century and you will quickly see how definition creep can by used to usurp or increase power.
The motto “E Pluribus Unum” translates to “out of many, one.” When first adopted it referred to our being a nation of immigrants, all wanting to equally share in the promise of a new land. A diverse people united in their quest for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Fast forward to this modern era and you see the diversity that was considered a secondary characteristic by the early immigrants being pushed to the fore and used as a tool to divide and control the population of this nation.
This leads to a word for which the definition has not crept: Balkanize: To divide a country or territory into small, quarrelsome, ineffectual states.
Diversity as it is currently being touted and celebrated is a divisive tactic and does not serve well the immigrant population or for that matter any minority community, rather it balkanizes them.
I celebrate immigration. I am the product of immigrant grandparents and will be ever grateful that they endured what they did so that I could be born in this nation. And among other things, by choosing to come here and assimilate they taught me what it means to be an American.
That said, it is my fervent hope and desire that all immigrants to this country would view their origins as secondary characteristics and put allegiance to their chosen nation first.
As with adopted children, adopted nations are a matter of choice. It’s time to reject the current usage of diversity, restore the spirit of E Pluribus Unum and heal this nation.