The United States, as a country, has come a long way in terms of creating equality. We have gone through the civil rights movement to create equality among races, and spent decades going through waves of feminist movements to create equality among men and women. However, now the most current movement is one that promotes diversity. This movement of diversity includes diversity of religion, sexual orientation, and any other differences the human mind could think of. Pushing for diversity is commonly used through major organizations and institutions such as, universities, schools, businesses, and television and radio stations. They claim that they are promoting diversity by being inclusive. However, the concept of being inclusive and diversity are contradicting ideologies.
For instance, a common tradition, as of the past several years, for the U.S. is to say happy holidays rather than merry Christmas. This is a known phrase that promotes, what people think of as, diversity by including those who don’t see Christmas as a religious holiday, due to the fact that the word Christmas has the name Christ in it. However, by giving Christmas the generic label of “the holiday”, they are excluding everyone who thinks and celebrates Christmas as a religious holiday, and an extremely important one to their Christian religion as well.
Another example of this inclusive, rather than diverse, form of thinking is this years addition of the Starbucks seasonal cups. This year, Starbucks decided to take away all decorations reflecting of this season from their seasonal cups to promote openness to all. Starbucks has eliminated all ornaments, reindeer, snow, and other festive decorations from their cups and has left a completely blank red cup this year. Starbucks’ vice president said the company, “wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.” This is a literal example of taking away from the culture and tradition that characterize the U.S. Christmas season. Starbucks’ cup design is excluding everyone who celebrates this season with festive decorations yet claiming this design is purely inclusive.
The process of inclusion creates a plain white slate that calls everyone to abide by the same mentalities and ideologies, which essentially creates uniformity not diversity. The definition of diversity according to Merriam-Webster dictionary is the condition of having or being composed of differing elements and the quality or state of having many different forms, types, ideas. The idea of diversity is about being different, and recognizing the differences among people. By being inclusive, one is restricting the difference among people rather than promoting them.
One cannot promote diversity and claim to be inclusive at the same time. The U.S. is one of the most diverse countries in the world, made up of many different cultures, religions, and races. As a country we should promote diversity, not as a way of being inclusive, but in a way of celebrating the differences among us.