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NCJ Number
Security Management Volume: 37 Issue: 9 Dated: (September 1993) Pages: 35,37,38,40,42
M Mobley; T Payne
Date Published
5 pages
Backlash against diversity efforts in the workplace is the biggest challenge facing diversity trainers.
Deep-seated biases and prejudices have emerged in reaction to rapid societal change, and sensationalistic media have accentuated stereotypical thinking and scapegoating. Job shortages have intensified competition. The political correctness movement is a large factor contributing to backlash. It has created an uneasy feeling among well-intentioned people and has been associated with such legitimate issues as multiculturalism, pluralism, equal opportunity, and affirmative action. Some see the movement as a threat to the freedom of speech. Affirmative action and equal opportunity programs have been poorly implemented, and complaints of discrimination and reverse discrimination have been overused. Some whites and males have grown tired of being made to feel guilty in every discussion of diversity. A major mistake in diversity training has been the overemphasis on white men's attitudes. A broader approach is needed that also includes the following components: management support; involvement of employees; an inclusive interpretation of diversity; affirmation of all persons' experiences and viewpoints; acknowledgement of the value of sameness as well as differences; an open, fun atmosphere; and conspicuous diversity, as well as expertise, among trainers. Trainers should expect resistance and know how to deal with it. Political correctness policing should be discarded.