Vital Signs

Giraffes, Jellybeans, and the USDA

All over official Washington, D.C., the big buzzword these days is "Diversity." Cultural Diversity is not only the latest certified Wonderful Thing, it is Inevitable; and our arbiters of conscience have elevated it to the status of a sacrament.

As a result, Washington office workers are constantly subjected to important events like American Indian Heritage Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, etc., etc. Each has its posters, slogans, hall displays, "festivals," strange food in the cafeteria, and so on. We are bombarded with blather about Gorgeous Mosaics, Rainbow Societies, Toleration, Dignity, and, of course, that most sacred of all buzzwords, Change. Gorgeous Mosaics do have their limits, though. Asking when we'll see an Anglo-Saxon Heritage Month gets you nothing but a hard stare.

Despite, or maybe because of, the Inevitability and manifest goodness of Diversity, the Establishment tolerates no criticism of it. The Department of Agriculture recently decreed that conformance to "Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights goals and objectives" is a critical element of every USDA bureaucrat's performance. In plain English, this means that you can get a permanent black mark on your job performance record just for criticizing the current policy of favoritism toward nonwhites, or even for telling an ethnic joke.

This was all well under way during the...

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