Since the early 1990s, in-house corporate "diversity departments" and well-paid external "diversity consultants" have developed a gigantic industry consisting of training programs specifically designed to enforce political correctness in American businesses. These programs were initially implemented for the practical purpose of insulating companies from lawsuits while fostering a more harmonious working environment.
A hallmark of diversity training is its fundamental lack of tolerance for any variation in the political and ideological perspectives of the employees in a given workforce. To enforce conformity of thought, the trainers typically use coercive behavior-modification techniques to intimidate and indoctrinate the employees. One common practice is to have a workshop facilitator begin a corporate diversity program by attempting to identify the employees most in need of re-education. For example, a program used by AT&T, Chevron, and Nabisco features an opening exercise that requires employees to sit in a circle and give an immediate "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" response to statements provided by the facilitator on subjects such as affirmative action, interracial marriage, and AIDS in the workplace.
According to the program’s creator, the statements are designed to provoke a "gut" response that will give the facilitator insight into each employee’s mindset. If any responses "indicate confusion or bias" or seem incompatible with the ideology being presented by the workshop, the facilitators are urged to "waste no time in seeking help from a diversity consultant, corporate attorney or other human resource facilitators."
One overriding message of diversity-training programs is that whites are -- whether they realize it or not -- the principal cause of racial disharmony in American society. White participants in the training sessions are commonly urged to publicly confess their own hidden prejudices and bigoted impulses; they are routinely told that racism is, by definition, nothing broader than "the systematic oppression of people of color"; and they are taught that their own racism is much like an onion, composed of many layers which they must continuously strive to "shed" throughout their lives -- whether or not they consciously see themselves as racists.
In the typical diversity workshop, any objection to such premises is dismissed as indicative of "confusion," an unfortunate condition that requires further, more drastic, indoctrination techniques -- and, by logical extension, an increase in corporate diversity spending. Decent behavior, tolerance, and non-discrimination towards one’s fellow-employees is not enough; employees are required to buy into a set of political attitudes.
After any "confused" employees have been identified, the diversity facilitator typically launches a multi-faceted assault designed to force the resisting individuals to conform. Tactics range from group pressure, in which the facilitator encourages politically-correct employees to pressure non-conformists into accepting the consensus view, to isolation in which the dissenting individual is ostracized from the group.
Such tactics have drawn comparison to the Tavistock Method of behavior modification, a technique once employed by Soviet mental hospitals to "re-educate" political prisoners:
"[A] controlled stress situation is created by a group leader ('facilitator') with the ostensible goal of achieving a consensus or agreement which has, in reality, been predetermined. By using peer pressure in gradually increasing increments, up to and including yelling at, cursing at, and isolating the holdouts, weaker individuals are intimidated into caving in. They emerge, facilitators hope, with a new value structure in place, and the goal is achieved."
Diversity seminars and sensitivity-training groups have also been known to use physically traumatic events to break non-conformists. In the mid-1990s, male employees of the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) were tied to a toilet together; female employees were forced to bathe in the same shower, share a bed with their male supervisors, and undergo sleep deprivation and verbal abuse. The FAA diversity training sessions also featured exercises in which groups of dissenting, or even potentially dissenting, employees were tormented by their peers. For example, white males were "verbally castigated" by their black co-workers and then were forced to run a gauntlet in which they were aggressively fondled by their female co-workers.
Diversity consulting has become a financial gravy train for a parasitic class of consultants and attorneys. Forbes magazine reports that U.S companies spend as much as $10 billion per year on corporate diversity training. Similarly, according to the Wall Street Journal, "a network of hot lines, crises centers and advocacy groups, many with close ties to plaintiff’s lawyers, has emerged to advise persons troubled by sex in the workplace." Nolo Press has published a self-help book entitled Sexual Harassment on the Job that comes complete with a reference guide detailing key phrases which "a lawyer wants to hear," such as "fairly serious harassment," "personal injuries (the more serious the better)," and "a solvent defendant." Racial discrimination and sexual orientation have also fostered the creation of similarly lucrative alliances between the diversity industry and the bar.
The corporate diversity industry has created a sanctuary where careerist radicals can continue to disseminate their racially divisive message. Nearly all of the early leaders of the diversity industry are products of 1960s leftism. Marilyn Loden, Elsie Cross, Judith Katz, Mark Chesler, Lillian Roybal Rose, Tom Kochman, and Price Cobbs all developed their ideology through experiences in higher education, race relations, and the civil rights movement. Despite the nearly wholesale rebuke of their far-Left "diversity" agenda by American public opinion as revealed in polls, these radicals have kept their ideology alive by slowly migrating from academia and the civil-rights establishment to the corporate boardroom.
Corporations have been intimidated to the point where an employee’s ability to navigate the corporate ladder commonly centers around "diversity" characteristics, as opposed to actual ability. By exploiting corporate America’s lawsuit paranoia, "diversity pioneers" have managed to develop a massive war chest which allows them to continue their radical crusade. While taking every possible step to ensure that businesses feel perpetually pressured into retaining their consulting services, they also lobby for more legislation in order to provide more grounds for lawsuits, which then pay for more lobbying, and the vicious cycle continues.
Presently, one of the most popular trends in corporate America is the "cultural audit." For $20,000 to $35,000, a Washington DC-based consulting firm will perform a "cultural audit" of a company in order to reveal any "discriminatory" or "insensitive" practices that might conceivably spark a lawsuit someday. Potential red flags are then reported to corporate executives, who, eager to avoid legal difficulties, hire the consultant, or an organization connected to the consultant, to conduct diversity or sensitivity training.
Adapted from "The Corporate Diversity Scam," by Ryan O’Donnell
(January 27, 2003).