diversity, Opportunity, Overview

Focus on Opportunity when we mention diversity

Our business school professors and investment advisors teach us to diversify stocks in a portfolio to reduce risks.  The justification is higher profit for risked adjusted diverse portfolios.  How do we apply this concept to social sciences?

As a nation of immigrants, USA has a diverse population from South America, Asia, Africa and Europe with different moral values and faith within each ethnic community.  Over 150 years ago, the unspoken goal of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was to provide more opportunities for slaves.  Looking globally over time, the unwritten problem of India’s caste system has been the concrete barrier among the castes where anyone born within a caste like “soldiers” can never be anything else but soldiers of different ranks.  The fatal problem of communism has been the complete annihilation of economic incentives where no one wanted to hard work (and therefore evolved into Socialism where limited private economic ownership is allowed).  Today, we are still fighting for equal opportunity, with the underlying belief that our diversity delivers greater value than other countries around the world.

Within the USA today, we are divided by our emotions around “black lives matter” versus “all lives matter.”  We have bigger issues with our constitutionally protected right to bear arms and our ability to identify (mentally ill) terrorists to draw lines that cannot be drawn (and if drawn, cannot be enforced by law enforcement agencies).

Remove our emotions, and we find ourselves trapped heading in the wrong direction.  We are increasing our spending trillions of dollar every year increasing security at airports, police regional conflicts around the world, and build bigger law enforcement agencies.  For the next 4-8 years, our commander-in-chief is a choice between:  1) a follower of eugenics like Hitler who, as an offspring of immigrants himself, wants to build walls to exclude immigrants; and 2) an extremely careless career politician with a cheating husband.  How can we sustain our global leadership status with these choices?

To take advantage of our greater value of diversity, we need to know possible paths, or at least hope, to provide opportunities.  We cannot deny white males opportunities which the court has guided us in cases such as the Bakke reverse discrimination case in 1979, or deny Caucasians to become mayor of Washington DC where a majority of the population is African Americans.  Let us acknowledge Native American rights have been violated for centuries and help them address the alcohol addiction problem with jobs.  We have gone beyond our borders when we celebrate Columbus Day when Columbus never landed in the USA, or remember the Jewish Holocaust in a DC Museum when the holocaust did not happen in the USA.  It is time to address issues that did happen within the USA.  If we want to fight for fair trade or universal human rights across the globe, we should first have fair treatment of Americans within our borders.  Our law enforcement agencies cannot be effective without the support of the people within the communities they serve.  Our teachers cannot be effective if they do not teach our children 80% or more of the Native American population was annihilated within 200 years of the arrival of the Caucasians.  We should know that the population of Africa remained flat for 250 years between 1600 and 1850 when the population of the rest of the world more than doubled because millions of healthy male Africans were captured and sold into slavery around the world.  USA would not have industrialized without slaves because the cotton gin revolution required slave laborers to succeed.  Russia succeeded in industrialization when Stalin forced famine upon Ukraine and other parts of their economy.  China learned to focus on the power of the market economy to avoid a repeat of trying true Communism through their Cultural Revolution.  India is finding out democracy is the worst form of government, except there are none better.

Our children can learn and establish their own moral values, and our value of diversity will re-emerge.  This is not a political game.  We learn from each other, and the result will be fewer emotional outbursts that involve guns and deaths.  Ultimately, when we deliver opportunities for everyone to do what they want within our moral innovation framework, we will have harmonious societies.  Where do we find these communities?  Look at our schools:  There has been harmony at the graduate school level where American and foreign students have studied together for many decades.  Within the last decade, foreign students have increased significantly at the undergraduate level and within the last 5 years, at the high school level.  When we promote global education instead of concepts like “axis of evil,” we have opportunities to achieve harmony.  Don’t expect that building walls at the Mexican border or sending more military advisors into Afghanistan or Iraq will solve problems.  Global education is one of many sustainable action steps to reverse our current course of self-destruction.  Education that delivers opportunities for comfortable living/lifestyles is blind to bias and rewards hard work.  By expanding education at various levels,  we can also deliver hope to homeless veterans and poverty stricken victims who are more likely to be converted by extremists and candidates for suicide bombers.

Think “opportunities” when we talk about diversity which, by itself, cannot deliver harmony.