Drowning in the waters of cultural decline
by La Shawn Barber
Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013, at 10:50 am
Back in 2004 I read about a police department in Florida dropping the swimming requirement for officer candidates in order to attract more “diverse” recruits. I thought I’d heard everything. Why lower the standard of safety because it disproportionately affected blacks? A swimming requirement is racially neutral. Offer interested, non-swimming candidates lessons and help weaker swimmers improve before they apply. Or does the government think blacks are incapable of learning and improving?
Despite the turbulent fight for equality before the law, it turned out equal treatment wasn’t so important after all—it was equal outcome. Have you ever noticed that the government’s efforts to increase diversity often entail lowering standards based on race or sex?
Consider this: Let’s say you’re swimming. Suddenly, you can’t keep your mouth above the waterline. You sink, and your friends don’t notice. You can’t surface. Then you feel someone grab you and bring you to the surface. Do you care if your savior is black? Would his or her being white make a difference? Would your gratitude depend on whether he spoke Spanish? For reasonable people, the answers are an emphatic no. But that’s not the case for others, as this report from National Public Radio indicates (emphases added):
“After noticing that most of the lifeguards at the public pools used by Latino and African-American kids were white, the Phoenix aquatics department decided to try to recruit minorities. More than 90 percent of the students at Alhambra High are black, Latino or Asian. On a recruiting effort there over the winter, the city’s Melissa Boyle tells students she’s not looking for strong swimmers. Like many under-resourced schools, Alhambra doesn’t have a swim team. …
“‘The kids in the pool are all either Hispanic or black or whatever, and every lifeguard is white,’ she says, ‘and we don’t like that. The kids don’t relate; there’s language issues.’”
Strong swimmers with white skin need not apply. Your darker-skinned fellow humans can’t “relate” to you. The Phoenix aquatics department seeks darker, weaker, and preferably Spanish-speaking lifeguards. That someone can say this to a reporter—or in public at all—apparently with no shame is more evidence of what I consider cultural decline.
American society didn’t become this way overnight. It happened slowly, and for some, imperceptibly. The goal should be to push people to do their best, to work hard and go beyond what they think they’re capable of achieving—to challenge themselves and reject the government’s attempts to define them by race. Remember that old idea about judging people by the content of character? With taxpayer-supported government polices like “affirmative action,” skin color is character, or in some cases, a character flaw.
I see “diversity” as a god. People worship it and bow down before it. To rationalize lowered standards inherent in the goal, they contort themselves into weird positions. We humans are made to worship, but directing our worship toward such politically correct notions makes us look like idiots.
La Shawn Barber
La Shawn writes about culture, faith, and politics. Her work has appeared in the Christian Research Journal, Christianity Today, the Washington Examiner, and other publications