Had an interesting conversation with the wife tonight while watching the College episode of Penn & Teller: Bullshit. She suggested that diversity experts were useless, a nonsense creation of the PC movement because most people would prefer to maintain the status quo and make sure that people aren’t uncomfortable in a situation.
I think that’s a fair assessment. I’d go a step further and contend that in the absence of government intervention, people’s prejudices probably won’t ever go far.
Granted, that’s a pretty sizable caveat: human history is filled with one group finding pretense under the law for legalizing their discrimination. In America, we’ve seen legalized slavery, separate but equal discrimination, and long train of additional abuses. But I’d bet that that’s more a function of the government having too much power to legislate discrimination than it is the populace being too discriminatory.
When you’re talking about a system where people are solely dedicated to chasing that dollar, I’d wager that discrimination would all but disappear nearly immediately. What profit is there in offending potential clientèle? What does one stand to gain by publicizing their racism?
Ultimately (and this may be the free market idealist in me), I’m of the belief that the profit motive would quickly kill any desire to discriminate. I’m not so naïve to believe that hate or racism or discrimination would up and disappear; I simply am suggesting that when there’s a buck on the line, people would in most situations shut their trap and extend their good or service to the widest possible consumer base.
Racism only has power when there’s a state which can enforce it. When the government can enforce separate but equal, when it legislates servitude, we see an ugly side of history. Absent that state — or rather, in the presence of a state which is committed only to providing equal protection under the law (such that all men, being created equal, have equal opportunity to make and spend money) — what’s the point?