Inclusion – As Defined By A Conservative White Guy

Before I go off – let me say I’m 100% sure Pro Diversity and Inclusion camps don’t have me in mind to be their spokesperson.  You see I’m white. I’m middle-aged. I’m a male.  I tend to lean conservative in my political views, moderately.  So, if you’re really into Diversity and Inclusion – I can totally see why you’ll immediately discount everything I’m about to say.  If I was a women – a black woman – a liberal black woman – a liberal black woman in a wheelchair  – well then – I’d expect you’d listen pretty closely. Right? Don’t kid yourself.

If that’s the case – you’re as closed minded as you believe I am.

I’m completely sick and tired of hearing about Diversity and Inclusion in the way it is being advocated for by my HR brothers and sisters.  It literally makes me sick to my stomach.  Here’s why – with every program, every communication you espouse about your organization being ‘Inclusive’ – what you’re really saying is –

“ABC Company values Inclusion as long as you’re view points are the same view points that we share.”

This isn’t Inclusion!  This is ‘Exclusion’ to the definition!  But you’re selling it as Inclusion.  Am I insane!? (Don’t answer that – it was rhetorical!) Or did someone change what Inclusion really means?

You see – by my middle aged white conservative viewpoint – Inclusion means we should accept everyone – all view points, all colors, all shapes and sizes.  But when ‘I’ the middle aged white conservative guy wants to share ‘my’ beliefs – your organization doesn’t want to hear those.  What you want to hear is that I really have liberal beliefs, that I support abortion, that I think marijuana is harmless, that tattoos are super cool, that everyone should be working from home, that all people have the ability to do all jobs, that I’m not religious – and if I am it’s a religion that you totally support, and that if my religious beliefs somehow don’t support your liberal view of inclusion that I’ll never speak those views publicly and make those employees who do have different views that I uncomfortable – although it’s fine if they throw their views in my face, since that is what ‘Inclusion’ is all about…

The funny thing is – I would define myself as a fiscal conservative, socially liberal and I don’t go to church but was raised around many religions- so I can adapt and fit into almost anywhere.  But since I’m white and middle aged and voted Republican – I can’t fit into most of your Inclusion demographics – which is again is funny to me – since Inclusion is defined as:

“the act of including or the state of being included”

No where in the dictionary did the definition include: “if you believe the same things we believe ‘inclusion’ to mean” or “if you some form of minority”.  The definition is short and clear – Inclusion means everyone is included – even Me – middle aged conservative white guy!  My HR peers are forgetting the “Inclusive” part of “Inclusion”.  I’m reminded of this daily, not because of my own demographic makeup – but I have a 70 year old father still in the work force and he continues to share stories with me about how his 50 years of experience is no longer relative.  That somehow 50 years of experience is becoming worthless.  That on a daily basis – he feels his organization is less inclusive, and more exclusive – because the only people who know anything are the young.  Again – Inclusive-Exclusion at its finest.

But – I understand while you’ll discount this – I’m not liberal – I’m not a minority – the only disability I have is horrible grammar.  I don’t count.  Maybe we can call this ‘new’ Inclusion – “Inexclusion” – being inclusive to those that we share our same ideas, beliefs and opinions.  What do you think?

8 thoughts on “Inclusion – As Defined By A Conservative White Guy

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  2. I 100% agree!!! I am a 31 year old white woman and it is frustrating to me that I can’t voice my middle of the road political and social view points because no one feels I have the right to speak becaues my opinions are not “diverse” enough. Inclusion means all!!!

  3. I agree well said. Rhetoric used as a tool to promote certain ideas has to be first understood as such and then thoughtfully considered for merit. I think many in our nation have lost their objectivity button.

  4. I think there are at least three conversations that go on when inclusion/exclusion starts being talked about. The first and second (and so forth) conversations are what happens in the head of each participant and the last is the watered down, politically correct words and body language that actually get exchanged. The art of the inclusion/exclusion conversation is not only to get everything that is going on in everyone’s head on the table but to get everyone else to listen to the other opinions while withholding judgement. This obviously requires a high level of trust, usually between people that do not entirely trust each other. This trust must be maintained through the entire conversation and is easily derailed by a flippant remark or semantical ploy. In a work environment, the conversation is viewed in a larger context of life and livelihood, which can cause the participants to be defensive. The question is: How do you build a work culture that respects all viewpoints?

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