Meritocracy is the latest hate crime.
Several employees at the Interior Department have told CNN that Secretary Ryan Zinke repeatedly says that he won’t focus on diversity, an apparent talking point that has upset many people within the agency.
Three high-ranking Interior officials from three different divisions said that Zinke has made several comments with a similar theme, saying “diversity isn’t important,” or “I don’t care about diversity,” or “I don’t really think that’s important anymore.”
Each time, Zinke followed with something along the lines of, “what’s important is having the right person for the right job,” or “I care about excellence, and I’m going to get the best people, and you’ll find we have the most diverse group anyone’s ever had,” the sources said.
People are being hired based on the content of their character not their skin color? Have we learned nothing from apartheid? Why won’t Zinke reject the lessons of the civil rights movement and embrace progressive segregation instead?
To sum up this latest scandal, the Secretary of the Interior is trying to find the best people for the job.
And the Department of the Interior manages federal lands. Does federal land management really require that much diversity?
Swift pointed to two women and an African-American who Zinke has appointed to senior leadership positions, and said “Zinke has filled several other senior positions at the career and appointed level with individuals from diverse backgrounds.”
In a hallway meet-and-greet shortly after Zinke was confirmed, one staffer told CNN that Zinke was asked about diversity at Interior, a department with about 68,000 employees, of which more than 70 percent are white, according to the Office of Personnel Management.
What percentage of the DOI’s responsibilities involve white people? Some involve American Indians. I suspect not a whole lot involve African-Americans.
“That told me everything I needed to know,” the person said. “It’s a hard business as it is, and then not to be respected or appreciated for the diverse perspective that you bring to the situation — and that’s why it’s important in my opinion. It’s the fact that we don’t look at things the same way. When we have conversations about public lands and how they’re used, we cannot afford to have a small percentage of people making those decisions.”
Maybe you should take pride in the job you do, rather than your “diversity”?
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