In its continuing “Race in RI” contribution to the national effort to distract and divide the people of the United States, the Providence Journal has interviewed the powerful people in Rhode Island government. Governor Gina Raimondo is currently leading on the scoreboard for inadvertently getting to the heart of the superficial, dehumanizing matter. Right at the beginning:
GOVERNOR RAIMONDO SAYS RACISM AND WHITE PRIVILEGE ARE REALITIES IN RHODE ISLAND, and she sees the need to boost diversity in areas such as the state judiciary and to slash racial disparities in areas such as home ownership. “Racism is alive and well, and we should realize that and not try to pretend that it’s not,” Raimondo said in an interview. Also, she said, “Diversity is a good thing — I say that all the time to my team. You make better decisions if you have diverse people around you.”
To repeat the premise: “You make better decisions if you have diverse people around you.” In the paragraph that follows, Edward Fitzpatrick goes on to point out that only 3 of 26 members of the governor’s cabinet are not white. By those terms, I can’t help but note that, as far as I can tell, not a single one of the twelve Providence Journal employees with “managing editor” in their job titles are not white. Unless I’ve missed somebody in a quick look, it also appears to be true that not a single columnist for the paper is not white.
Remember, though, that this is their gauge, not mine. My own opinion is that a newspaper should hire people to write and edit, period, that government should look for judges and advisers to judge and advise, period, and people should accumulate friends to be their friends, period — not people to write and edit while also being black, judge and advise while also being Hispanic, or be friendly while also being Native American. In all likelihood, making superficial diversity such an important measure leads to truly privileged whites’ bringing on relatively privileged minorities to the detriment mainly of less- or non-privileged whites, who still make up the largest portion of our society, thus contributing to strife, resentment, and societal disconnect among those who lack privilege.
And all of it gives the privileged people pretense for perpetuating ideological conformity. The governor may proclaim the importance of diversity, but how many people on her cabinet hold worldviews that differ substantively with her (i.e., how many are conservative)? The Providence Journal runs a long series on race without ever having to challenge the core assumptions that so clearly underlie its reportage in this and other matters.
In that regard, skip to the end of the article:
“The most troubling thing to me is how little progress we have made,” Raimondo said toward the end of the interview. But with racial matters making headlines throughout the nation, she said, “Norms change and policies change in times of crisis, and hopefully this will be a moment when we can rally around this issue and finally start to move things forward.”
Note the evidence: “racial matters making headlines throughout the nation.” Control the headlines, and you can make the story whatever you want it to be. This is certainly a question of opinion, but I’d suggest that the headlines are built on falsehoods, insinuations, and spin to deliberately create the impression of a crisis for ideological and partisan political purposes. (Race isn’t alone in being manipulated thus.)
The truly lamentable part is that the news media can make phony problems real to some extent, harming mainly the people whom progressives and liberals claim they want to help. If you’re looking for racism, look there — in objectification of people in the service of ulterior political motives, self-promotion, and personal gain.