At McClintock High School in the enlightened Phoenix suburb of Tempe, students participated in an assembly designed by faculty and students to promote unity between the sexes. The brain trust that conceived, as it were, this assembly did so in a cloud of peace, love and bad taste and produced the season's event. A male student wrestled a female student in a gelatin-filled child's pool, threw down the female student and proceeded to ride her rodeo style. Condoms were blown up like balloons and tossed about. Male students chanted, "Pork chop, pork chop, good and greasy, McClintock girls are easy."
Cadence, thanks to their intense literary backgrounds, was absent. While this kind of behavior may be acceptable and covered by executive privilege in the Oval Office, it is difficult to fathom that our little dears accomplished this by pairing up with the rigor and moral standards of public educators. Administrators responded with full accountability, "Kids will be kids." Actually, something else drove this Animal House routine. McClintock High was in the midst of a sensitivity and rape-prevention program, deep in a state of heightened awareness, karma and Zen catharsis, which, apparently does not preclude coed Jell-O wrestling.The South had its carpetbaggers. Tornado-shocked Nashville suffered through insurance scam artists. Magazine subscribers have their "American Family Publishers" millionaire promises for a year's subscription to Dolphin Weekly. Organizations have diversity consultants.
Sensitivity and diversity trainers are omnipresent and making more money than Bill Gates, sans justice department wrath. Diversity trainers get results. Without exception they ignite a fire under the organizational nincompoop who will, thanks to his Dalai Lama leaders of the diverse, hire a class-action attorney and eventually own the company with back-pay damages.
If diversity training doesn't yield a company wrong, there is liability for hiring a diversity trainer who spouts thin-air, whole-cloth maxims such as: "Because white men are naturally better at counting, they've used math as a way of keeping women and minorities out of high-paying jobs." Square roots are, ergo, the root cause of the glass ceiling problem.
The federal government was sued over a diversity trainer who utilized construction site role reversal methodology: male employees were forced to sit in the center of the floor as female employees walked around and made anatomical comments. There was the Texaco diversity trainer who trained employees to think of each other as jelly beans: black, white, pink and yellow jelly beans who co-exist in a big jar thus creating a beautiful collage of colors and taste. Michael Row the Boat Ashore comes from the jar.
Texaco settled its suit for $176 million.
Diversity trainers are not particularly schooled in history, current events or accuracy: European males are oppressive; the Apaches were a peace-loving people; and Aztec priests had their reasons for human sacrifice. Diversity trainers explain that all societies exhibit evil but do so commensurate with their developmental stage. Primitive cultures boil people alive and wear Polo loin cloths while more developed nations produce nuclear weapons and elect Bill Clinton.
Diversity trainers make recommendations for achieving diversity. In fact, Towers Perrin, an international consulting firm, got caught giving the same generic advice despite its motto that "prescription without diagnosis is malpractice." For $100,000 Towers offered the same recommendations to Nissan that it made to Westinghouse and Bechtel: "Create and use diversity-based behavioral competencies as prerequisites for managerial and leadership assignments; and cluster and communicate diversity benefits under the work/life banner." All we are saying, is give peace a chance.
Of course, Towers' recommendations included three reminders to have diversity training. The $100,000 pays for recommendations - all training extra.
Diversity trainers urge Diversity Days at work. Have food booths for Hispanics, blacks and American Indians, they say. They never recommend a Scottish booth. Plaid jelly beans need not apply. And therein lies the problem with diversity trainers. They create a world of limited diversity, misinformation and wacky ideas about bringing people together. They lump people together, put labels on them, and then create goofy exercises for acting on those labels. And so it was with McClintock High's assembly. Sensitivity training spawned this bizarre session in which staff and faculty witnessed, without protest, an infantile orgy.
I have the same question I had for Hugh Grant, Michael Kennedy, Frank Gifford, Eddie Murphy and Kelly Flinn: WHAT WERE YOU THINK-ING? WHERE WERE YOUR MINDS?
The real success of diversity/sensitivity training comes when the trainers produce graduates who have so arrested independent thought and analysis that the inexcusable is allowed in the name of repairing and righting undocumented injustices. If McClintock High School has problems with the way boys treat girls, correction and discipline would help. Jelly bean theory, Jell-O and the hostility and intellectual vacuums are the tragic byproducts of diversity and sensitivity training.