“Diversity is our strength.” Remember that when you are “sheltering in place” in hopes of being spared by the coronavirus. “Celebrate diversity!” Remember that when your favorite body of water is infested with invasive species. “Coexist.” Ponder that brief bon mot the next time a drag queen reads to your seven-year-old son in the school library or a man claiming to be a woman shares a locker room with your young daughter. “Tolerance. Pass it on.” This is an especially helpful message when your “MAGA” hat is being ripped off of your head and you and your family are kicked out of a restaurant for supporting the current President of the United States. Or when one of the social media giants demonetizes you for not sharing their opinions.
Great Moments in Tolerance:
*1774— Colonial leaders decide to call the Coercive Acts imposed by the British the “Tolerable Acts,” despite the fact that the acts punished the colonies by closing Boston Harbor, forcing colonists to quarter British soldiers, and by the usurpation of the Massachusetts government by the British.
*April 12, 1861—The Confederate States fire on Fort Sumter and the garrison commander eventually surrenders the fort. President Lincoln decides to let bygones be bygones and says, “We’ll just have to tolerate succession. Maybe we could have avoided this whole issue if we had just fully tolerated slavery. After all, ‘diversity is our strength.’ Alas, we could have just coexisted.”
*Britain, today—Gangs of mostly Pakistani men rape young girls with impunity. Some estimates claim more than 1,400 mostly white pubescent girls have been victimized in Rotherham alone in recent years. British politicians and police actually have been exceptionally tolerant of these sex-crimes due to fears of racism, bigotry and xenophobia. No #MeToo here. I mean, there are ever increasing numbers of Middle Eastern men in (formerly) Great Britain, and the girls are way too young to vote. Tolerance. Pass it on. (Let’s fervently hope the Brits don’t engage in cultural appropriation in this case!)
Everyone repeat it with me now: “Diversity is our strength…diversity is our strength…diversity is our strength…” Orwell would be proud.