One of the interesting things about hitting the treadmill in the gym is the bank of televisions with closed captioning. Since I don’t watch the boob tube, I’m not only exercising the body, but getting a glimpse into the alien world of the popular culture. Sometimes the juxtapositions are telling.
On one channel was an international soccer game between Belgium and Finland. Another channel had a talk show that was addressing the controversy about biological men competing in women’s sports – in this case, a male powerlifter who is being permitted into competition in the women’s division in the Olympic games.
The token black lady on the panel was yammering on and on about the buzzwords “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” For the reader of the future – perhaps landing here by means of a Google search – this is a fad of our present day based on the concept known as Critical Theory – which is basically the denigration of one intersection of demographic traits for the supposed benefit of others. The au courant acceptable hatred in this, the Year of our Lord 2021, pertains to racially being white, sexually being heterosexual and not inventing a pretend sexual identity for oneself (in other words, just being a normal man, woman, boy, or girl), politically conservative, and religiously Christian. One is also considered to be akin to the lepers in biblical times if one is not handicapped physically or mentally.
If one has all of these markers, it is socially and legally acceptable to treat such persons as the Untouchables in the caste system in India. And the fewer of these characteristics one has, the greater the worth of that individual. If you read about “apartheid” in 20th century South Africa, it’s a similar concept, only with the “bottom rail on top” as the old saying goes.
DEI is a godsend for people who cannot compete in a meritocracy, and who have bleak job prospects. For getting a cushy job in a big corporation is a piece of cake if one were to be, say, a lesbian black woman in a wheelchair who identifies as two-spirit non-binary Islamo-Buddhist, whose coffee is soy latte, skim milk, light foam, extra shot, and a dusting of cinnamon, and whose pronouns are zig and zag. It doesn’t matter is zig never showed up for class or passed a test, whether zig can read or add two plus two, or has a work ethic. In fact, it’s to one’s advantage in many cases not to.
Yes, this insanity was a part of our times, and it may well explain the collapse of our great civilization and why you are today speaking Mandarin and translating this from ancient English.The juxtaposition with this DEI to sports was interesting.
Let’s take them in order.
Celebrating diversity: the first all-black NBA team in 1979
“Diversity” refers to the distribution of racial/ethnic/sexual characteristics. It does not refer to what you might think the word means, such as having a diverse range of opinions or thoughts. In fact, it’s really the opposite. The most “diverse” group of people according to DEI orthodoxy will be 100% Leftist in their politics, and will think in lockstep about such things as DEI itself. The normal sense of the word is also distorted. For in a population sample where 13% of the people are, say, black – only 13% representation in a smaller sample is not considered diversity. In other words, if 80% of a sports team were to be black, this would not be considered a distortion, nor would the lack of, say, white players be considered a lack of diversity. To the contrary, this is actual “diversity” according to the new definition of the word.
The Finnish football team on the tellie had very few – if any – “diversities” playing in this game. And that is understandable. Finland is a Nordic country that is overwhelmingly white. Finland (unlike their opponents: Belgium) had no colonies, no presence in Africa, and not a great deal of immigration until recently. One could imagine the diversity on the field had the Finns been playing, say, Ethiopia.
Here is a picture of the current Ethiopian national football team:
Diversity rating: A+
It’s not much of a surprise. According to the classical understanding of diversity, this is not a very diverse team. And for all of the repetitions of the mantra “diversity is our strength,” the lack of whites, Asians, Latinos, American Indians, Aleutian Islanders, or Esperanto speakers from Nepal seems not to impede their ability to be successful on the soccer field.
And of course, this is why Ethiopia must be praised for its “diversity” in the Newspeak sense of the word, while Finland must assuredly be “problematic.”
And here is a picture of the Finnish team:
Diversity rating: D- (passing grade thanks to virtue-signaling)
So when it comes to sports, Olympics, international, or even in the NFL and NBA, the idea of diversity is a joke – as it should be. I live in New Orleans, and plenty of black guys wear Drew Brees jerseys. Maybe some radicals would call them Avuncular Thomases for doing so, but the average sports fan isn’t interested in quotas and affirmative action on the field. Rather, they want to win games and championships. In other words, sports fans of all ethnic and sexual configurations really overwhelmingly desire meritocracy over and against racial, ethnic, or sexual considerations.
On a side note, international football is perhaps the last bastion of nationalism. One can only surmise that there are plans afoot to rearrange the teams into non-national teams to get rid of the flag-waving and patriotism – one of the last impediments to our lords’ and masters’ dream of a Great Reset. The future reader will know whether this happened or not. I don’t see how it can be avoided. But then again, perhaps by that time, the evil and disturbing Klaus Schwab’s brain in a vat will be the human owner of a professional team of robots – and maybe that will be the sports of the future.
The concept of equity sounds nice. It sounds like “equality.” But it means something different. Equality means everyone has the same opportunity. No-one is penalized for his race, station in life, or any other immutable characteristic. Equality is a meritocracy. There are no second-class citizens, and no caste system.
Equity is the opposite.
Equity penalizes some people and redistributes advantages, real or perceived, (and perhaps even directly as money) to others based on the above-mentioned hierarchy of values.
This redistribution can be based on historical reality. For example, a person from Tunisia may well point to his ancestors in Carthage who were defeated by Roman imperial legions in the Punic Wars in 146 BC, and so the descendants of the conquering Romans are on the hook. Thus the 21st century Italian government should indeed tax its citizens and wire the proceeds to Tunisia, where hopefully one will see modern-day Carthaginians driving Lexuses, and modern-day Italians posing for pictures with signs of apology and saying “no” to racism.
Or it may be based on fads. In other words, if a famous Hollywood actor reveals that he identifies as a hen and has a sexual fetish regarding eating corn kernels off the floor, this new lifestyle may be named (Poultryamory?) and picked up by young people, incorporating a new color on the LGBT flag, securing a place in the Pride parade, and receiving a new sense of entitlement. Perhaps the national soccer team should have a minimum of two players who pretend to lay eggs whenever their team scores a goal. Universities should provide special “coops” for such people. This would be an example of equity.
It may also be based on fantasy. Perhaps a young woman became enamored with a comic book about a race of aliens on another planet. These creatures have three heads and are asexual. And so this is how our sci-fi fan identifies. And in the story, earthlings came to her planet and wiped it out. Therefore, equity demands redistributive justice for our asexual three-headed identifyee. Maybe she should get a check every week for life to help overcome her oppression. This would be an example of equity.
As far as sports goes, as it stands now, there is no equity. What we see instead is meritocracy. Usain Bolt is not required to start the race a half-mile behind everyone else. LeBron James doesn’t have to wear a ball-and-chain on the basketball field. The NFL Super Bowl Champions are not required to spot opposing teams a touchdown or play with two less players during the next season. World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen isn’t required to give up a pawn to his opponents in competitions. Things don’t currently work like that, though perhaps they will by 2081. In fact, nobody would want to see it. Sports fans love that Usain Bolt and LeBron James and Magnus Carlsen can do things that nobody else can.
There is a meritocracy and a hierarchy in sports – both of which are anathema to the idea of equity (which seeks not equality at the starting line, but rather at the finish line). Fans want to see their hero on the highest platform brandishing a gold medal. Equity would rather that all players receive a participation trophy and there should be no champions. Or at very least, if there are champions, they should get there by means of various handicaps and imposed advantages, changes to the rules, and other manipulations. But again, fans would probably not want to watch such a thing.
Inclusion is the opposite of exclusion. And this is clearly at odds with sports. The motto of the Olympics is Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger). This is by definition exclusive, not inclusive. It is elitist. The whole world will not watch breathlessly as a bunch of guys my age chuck javelins. They want to see competitors in the prime of life, the elite of the elite, strive to set a new world record. And yes, there are the Senior Olympics, Special Olympics, and the Paralympics as specialty niches for fans who enjoy such competition. And yet, even there, participants strive to win medals and to perform to the best of their abilities. There is still competition – even if the competition is against oneself.
Different divisions for weight and sex and level of competition in sports are by definition exclusive. A heavyweight may not compete in the lightweight division. He is excluded for the sake of fair competition – regardless of how he “identifies.” Because a freshman football team lacks the physical size and experience of the varsity team, unless a freshman player is able to compete at the higher level, he will hone his skills with other freshman – excluding upperclassmen from the team. And until recently, women have enjoyed competition against other women, as their lack of testosterone, their disadvantage in upper body strength vs. men, and even their skeletal structure puts them at a dramatic disadvantage were they forced to compete with biological males. Real life isn’t like comic books or Marvel movies. No amount of Girl Power posters in grade school can prevent the vaunted American women’s national soccer team from being soundly defeated by a team comprised of fourteen-year old boys who towered over them, or the Australian women’s team being shut-out 7-0 by a team of fifteen-year old boys who weren’t even of championship caliber, or a world class champion female fighter having her skull broken by a crushing blow from a man in the ring in a “fight” lasting two minutes.
And this last plank of DEI is the camel’s nose in the tent of the sports meritocracy. It is at the present time a raging controversy, as high school girls are presently being denied scholarships and opportunity in the name of “inclusion” as boys are being permitted to compete against them in high school sports events. In professional and Olympic competition, there is the potential of seeing women virtually eliminated from competition – and to many advocates of DEI, this is an acceptable price to pay for their vision of a more “just and sustainable world.”
A Brave New World
So female competitors will just have to sacrifice their own opportunities and abilities to compete, and fans of women’s sports are just going to have to get used to seeing muscular men dominate these events in the name of inclusion. In time, we can expect champions to be handicapped and the lower-performing to receive affirmative action to boost their representation in the world of sports in the name of equity. We will also see new variations on the “paper-bag test” to assure even fewer white athletes than there are already in high level sports – and probably a busting up of international leagues to prevent even a small minority of nations being represented that are insufficiently melanized (not to mention to get rid of that nasty “nationalism’) – all in the name of diversity.
Sports fans are just going to have to accept the changes, give up on their meritocracy, and perhaps even some day be content to watch professionals and Olympians play “just for fun” without keeping score, as fans all wave the same flag in inclusivity and social justice instead of the diversity of banners of their own nations in pursuit of being the best.
Again, time will tell how far the insanity will go, and when – if ever – the pendulum works its way back to normalcy and the true meaning of sports, without regard to racial quotas, unconcerned with the guaranteed equality of results, and once more admiring the best of the best in fair and free meritocracy of competition.