Diversifying your household

If this is a complete joke, it’s a rather elaborate one. They certainly went through the trouble of putting together a serious-looking website (albeit other articles linked on that page include “A Quick Word From Lucifer On Cultural Appropriation” and “The Lion, The Bitch, And The Wardrobe: C.S. Lewis’ Complex Views On Women” so the joke theory is not to be entirely ruled out).

The piece in question wrings hands about a topic we’ve addressed here before: namely, racist dating preferences. The one substantive claim I could make out was that the unbearable whiteness of Hollywood is imposing white-centric beauty standards on society:

This is about social forces shaping our preferences, and we’ll never progress without acknowledging that fact. To take one of the most obvious and simple examples, consider Hollywood, which is notoriously white. According to the 2014 and 2015 Hollywood Diversity Report, minorities “remain underrepresented on every front.” They’ve reported that “more than half of films had casts that were 10% minority or less.” (The Every Single Word Spoken project is a great illustration of this.) Hollywood is also hot. Like really hot. The societal norm for “hot,” in fact. That means the math equation looks something like this: If Hollywood=White, and Hollywood=Hot, then White=Hot.

I don’t watch nearly enough TV and movies to know first-hand, so I’ll just have to take this claim on faith. Come to think of it, forcing Hollywood to diversify wouldn’t be such a bad idea, right Steve?

Ms. Tessler goes on to note that freedom of association has been thoroughly stomped out in the business world:

I’ve had clients turn down dates because their match’s name sounded too “ethnic,” and they want their children to be white. That is a real sentence that someone said. Now switch the scenario and pretend it’s an employer, discussing who to hire (maybe replace children with interns? It’s not a perfect swap, but you get the idea). That would never fly. Whether workplaces adhere to their goals of diversity is another, much longer, discussion, but the guidelines are there. The ethics have been agreed upon. You can’t be blatantly racist in your office.

The last refuge of this retrograde monster is the home, which is Tessler’s next logical target:

But the reality is, your office isn’t your family. And our society has tacitly decided that those guidelines only apply to your professional life. People are happy to acknowledge that hiring someone based on their skin is racist. But somehow, dating someone based on their skin is not. We’re comfortable (theoretically) with integrating our schools and workplaces, but we stop short when it comes, quite literally, too close to home.

So there you have it: only a matter of time before the census bureau will demand to have your family’s diversity statistics, with appropriate penalties for violators.

Exit question. There is no doubt in my mind that Ms. Tessler would celebrate an African family’s desire to maintain ethnic and cultural continuity, just as surely as she would condemn a European family for this. But where do, say, Koreans fall on this scale? Jews? Are these groups allowed to strive for coherence (e.g., by eschewing exogamy), or is any such desire racist by definition? The extrapolation here is non-trivial and inquiring minds yearn to know.


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