FRIDAY, JANUARY 1, 2021
Only The Others were wrong: In this morning's New York Times, David Brooks presents a column, rich with links to academic studies, concerning the claim that diversity training generally fails to produce good results.
Brooks even links to one essay in the journal, Anthropology Now!
We haven't read the studies yet. On its face, we suspect that Brooks' column makes various good points. (As the column proceeds. Brooks presents a possible alternate way to reduce workplace discrimination.)
We suspect that Brooks' column makes sense. In one respect, we'd go beyond what Brooks says about such programs:
We suspect that such programs are especially counterproductive when their facilitators behave in ridiculous ways and make ridiculous claims as part of the mandated training. Such ridiculous claims and behaviors are not unknown here in Our Town.
We expect to peruse the studies to which Brooks has linked. That said, another reader seems to have reacted somewhat differently to the new year's newest column.
Among the many comments to Brooks' column, you can see her comment under "Reader Picks." In fact, her comment ranks second highest in the number of recommendations received from other readers of the column.
The comment appeared on last year's final day, when the column appeared online. The comment goes like this:
COMMENTER FROM MARYLAND (12/31/20): The reason I find Brooks hard to read is gems like:
"This is the year when millions of Americans—and not just your political opponents—seemed impervious to evidence."
Actually, it WAS just my political opponents who spent the year denying the most undeniable facts. There is only one political party that seeks to drag America into unending inequality, grievance, and sickness. They are the problem here.
Do better, Brooks and NYT.
In this reader's mind, it was the others, and nobody else, who misbehaved last year. The others were the problem, full stop. Things were and are fine in Our Town.
This reader was reacting to a throwaway statement at the start of Brooks' column. For ourselves, we would have advised Brooks not to include the quoted remark, if only because it would generate such reactions.
That said, we post this reader's comment, as a new year begins, in tribute to humankind's oldest known problem. We humans are wired to think this way, disconsolate major top anthropologists have repeatedly sadly alleged.