Friday, May 14, 2021

Exclusion Is Not Part of Inclusion

Several weeks ago, I saved a tweet thread by A.R. Moxon, who uses the Twitter handle Julius Goat, and then forgot to post it. So today's the day:

My suggestion: Stop using "viewpoint diversity" to mean "conservatives get to talk more" and recognize that the conservative reaction against academia is mainly driven by a broad expansion of diversity in voices, which conservatives categorically oppose.

The problem with even talking about "both sides" is, it accepts the worldview of people with abusive intention and a politics of domination. They win before you start.

The idea there are only two sides, and they are one of them? That's their framing.

It's bullshit. It's a lie. There's a reason that conservative framing around diversity boils things down to roughly two sides of "conservative" and "liberal." It allows them to ignore the fact that we ALREADY have broad diversity, and to frame themselves as the marginalized "side."

And so: voices of every ethnicity become not a multitude of ethnic voices, but "ethnic studies." And so with every facet of gender studies, and religious studies, and all of THAT get boiled to one side: Liberal. Against which conservatives posit themselves the whole other side.

Listen: All of us, trying to figure out how to honor everyone's basic humanity? WE ARE THE SIDES. People with a politics of domination have a completely different mission—an unacceptable one. Our mission is honoring everyone's basic humanity. They aren't a side in that.

So of course the side that wants to be the "normal" side of a binary against a broad spectrum of diverse voices they boil down to a single "side" is going to feel marginalized. Their framing is anti-diversity. It is structurally anti-diversity.

The marketplace of ideas gets to reject ideas. I think conservatives could be capable of bringing thoughtful ideas to a marketplace of ideas that ALREADY supports a broad diversity. Largely what they've opted for is complaining to have their already-rejected ideas subsidized.

As long as "conservative" remains — by conservatism's own insistence — structurally anti-diverse, any institution committed to diversity of thought must categorically reject it, at a structural level, to preserve diversity of thought. That's not oppression. It's opposition.

"Why is there so little room for CONSERVATIVE thought when there is so much room for gender studies and queer studies and racial studies and ethnic studies and religious studies and..." That's called being one voice among many. That's what diversity is. Get used to it. Everyone else has. The only reason that would be difficult is if conservatism makes no room for any of those things.


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