The Far Left: A Threat to Workplace Inclusion


Evelina Silveira, President, Diversity at Work, Publisher of the Inclusion Quarterly and Author Diversity and Inclusion On  A Budget

Is your workplace a de-colonized space?  Are you a victim of colourism?  Are you planning a civility workshop to tame your savage-like employees?  Are you knocking your head against a brick wall wondering:  How can I stop oppressing my clients?  Are you counting the number of micro-inequities that you will encounter in a day?  If you feel lost after reading this, you are not the only one.

The Far Left diversity movement is responsible for more harm than good when it comes to increasing understanding of one another and building bridges.  Frankly, it is turning people off from seeking out the help of good and balanced diversity trainers because as the saying goes: “the louder your scream the more you get heard”.  The Far Left is getting heard.

 Balanced diversity trainers see, hear and feel the residual damage of these trainers.  They have created two camps in the workplace:  victims and perpetrators. They make differences outstanding by creating divisiveness.  The language they use are degrading to both the “oppressed” and the “oppressor”.  They don’t give credit to the many people who they label as “oppressed” who make it in the world despite the odds. Instead, they will have you think that if you are in this category of “oppressed” than you are doomed because the world is against you and there is no escape from your oppression. How empowering!  Why bother even trying? You are either a victim or an oppressive-racist—those are your two choices.  Take your pick!

 This paradigm is far too simple to have any practical applications to everyday life.  How would the Far Left explain the rise of people like Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama?  Are the predominantly white men who lost their manufacturing jobs in my hometown of London, Ontario still privileged when they are out of work or working in survival jobs?

 While the Far Left likes to talk about inclusion, their language and community is elitist.  You need to belong to the group of the chosen few who develop these words and their meanings and expect the rest of the world to adopt. If you don’t use the words in the right way or to their liking you are given a big label.  Usually the label is “racist” but there are other good ones as well like “heterosexist”, ‘islamaphobe”, and the list goes on.  Realistically, if you disagree with the Far Left radicals, be prepared to be given a label and silenced.  Sounds a little like oppression to me!

 The Far Left do not realize that they create the same tactics of intimidation they accuse the privilege of engaging.  Labeling people before they get to know them is  called generalizing  and then comes the stereotyping.  This movement has done a really good job in falsely categorizing individuals.

 How strong is this radical movement?  Regularly,  I connect with employers and managers who find themselves intimidated and stressed by the tactics of these radicals who can be very threatening in an organization  if they don’t get what they want.  Misunderstandings that could easily be resolved through patience, dialogue and perhaps mediation become out of control.  Sadly, these incidents turn into replicating what the Far Left say they are against.  Furthermore, the employer will be less likely to hire someone from certain ethnic/racial/ or other groups because they don’t want to have “any more problems” again.

 To the Far Left, I say it is time to allow dissenting voices to speak without punishment.  We need to be having more diversity dialogues in this country, silencing others and shaming differing viewpoints is not the answer.  We need to hear from everyone and sort out how we can work to create a peaceful country where we can all be included.

Diversity Training Shouldn’t Be Comfortable

Evelina Silveira, President, Published Author, Public Speaker and Diversity Trainer

I remember hearing a clergyman one day talking about marriage and its ups and downs. He spoke about couples who argue commenting that: “If you don’t occasionally argue or disagree, you can’t possibly be speaking about anything important”.

The same can be said about diversity training. Your beliefs and values should be challenged and called into question. This is part of the learning process. Diversity training is just as much about personal growth as it is about gaining knowledge of others. If the trainer, has not aroused any uncomfortable emotions in you, there is a good chance that the following may have happened:

– You weren’t paying attention
– They stuck with “safe” topics.

Trainers who stick with “safe topics” do themselves and their trainees a disservice. Workplace diversity is very complicated. It is not easy for us to integrate many different types of people and expect them to get along. When you do not discuss the unpopular and controversial situations you are cheating your participants of the opportunity to learn how to deal with them and to begin the discussion. You make it seem like it should be so easy to do and why are they having so many problems?

The reality for the most part, trainers want to be liked. It makes it easier to get more business. But diversity training is not like other types of training. Some of it is based on our personal values and beliefs and that can be difficult to balance within a training session. Each person who comes to training will have a unique experience with diversity whether it be good or bad. A good trainer allows the bad to come through as well, and works with it rather than denounces it.

Next time you are hiring a diversity trainer, ask them whether they are willing to handle some of the really contentious workplace diversity issues that have come my way. For example, how would they feel about using the following experiences that have been presented to me in my work:

– A straight man who is harassed by a gay man
– A blind woman who bullies her immigrant co-worker because of his accent
– A First Nations woman who accuses you of discrimination because she does not meet the workplace standards
– An immigrant woman who wants to take you to the Ontario Human Rights Commission because you fired her for preaching over the phone.
– A General Manager who consistently makes racist and sexist remarks.

It is only by working through these real-life situations as described above will we make progress in how to deal with them. We need to abandon our political correctness that makes some groups as angels and others as devils. Diversity trainers should challenge themselves to use real-life workplace situations instead of labeling some groups as sacrosanct or untouchable. Creating unrealistic expectations of certain groups is an insult to the groups themselves and to the participants’ intelligence.

Next time, if you leave a diversity training session provoked or uncomfortable that might be a good thing. You should be taken out of your comfort zone with challenging workplace examples that can be used to create balanced and fair solutions for each situation.

Diversity at Work does not use political correctness as an excuse for excluding certain workplace diversity topics. Call us today for how we can help you get closer to your goal of inclusion. 519-659-4777 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 519-659-4777 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Stand Up Against the “B” Word

ImageSo it is summer, and things have slowed down and now I have time to do things like watch television.  It seems like it has been awhile since I have watched so much television, but I am going to put a halt to it very soon.   I cannot believe what I am seeing!  Has the world become so numb and accepting of the violence against women in TV?  Reality television has stooped to the lowest level when a bunch of women are vying for a bachelor? Roma women are punching each other and slapping the face of a pregnant woman?  Vancouver beauties fight over who has more filler or botox? And on top of that the “Bitch” word and “Slut” word gets furiously hurled around like it was nothing, even in daytime programming which was once supposed to have higher decency standards!

Since when did it become acceptable and common place to call women female dogs?  I don’t care if some women have reclaimed this word as their own.  The connotation is still negative.  We are ascribing half of the world’s population to the status of an animal.  Why are anti-racist activists so good at challenging the use of derogatory and racist words and women are not?  Is it that women are unsuccessful with challenging it, or are their calls not being heard? When was the last time you saw the “N” word written if full?  You probably haven’t.  The “N” word has become so repugnant in our vocabulary that the mere sight of it, makes a lot of people enraged.  It’s meaning heralds back to a time of slavery, inequality, and the inferior role that black people had in our society.

I wish that we could do the same with the “B” word or the “S” word and others  What will it take for us to see that calling women these words is repugnant as well? It seems that we haven’t really progressed that much. By using these words, we show that we are backward and that women have not reached the same equal status as men in our society.  We still judge them on their submission, passivity, and on their sexual history.

Let’s challenge one another when we use these words against women.  One by one we can make these misogynistic words cast outs from our vernacular.  It is going to take some time but  high time that women enjoyed equal status in this society, don’t you think?

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