Meaningless Diversity Slogans
(We probably have used these more times than we admit. I pledge to stop myself before I use them)

1- The Golden Rule- Treat people the way you want to be treated
What if you hate yourself
What if they other people don’t want what you want
What if you have no idea how you want to be treated because you’ve been spouting slogans and doing nothing

2- The Platinum Rule- Treat people the way they want to be treated
 What if they have low self-esteem?
What if they want to be treated to your job?
How do you even know what they want? How often do you walk up to someone and ask, “How do you want to be treated?” Unless you are conscious of  your own cultural and experiential biases, you still see other people from your own culture and experiences.

3- The Shallow Respect Rule  I just treat people with respect. 
How many times have people said this right before they made some biased statement about a person or a group?
What does respect actually look like?
What are you doing when you treat someone with respect?
What if respect to you means calling someone by their last name, and to another person it means calling you by your first name?

The point of these three points is that unless you take time to get to know people who are  different than you,  understand your own background and why you behave a certain way, these slogans don’t translate into any real interaction. In fact, often these slogans are used to shut the diversity conversation down.

Simma Lieberman

Author Simma Lieberman

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