“This is color-free zone here. Stanley, I don't look at you as another race” says our dearest Michael Scott. “ Is it treating everyone equally without caring about people’s race, ethnicity or sex orientation the best solution when facing diversity?
Honestly, at first I would say yes. It is definitely a safe way. Why bother potentially getting others offended while you can just ignore the difference. You don’t really want to come up to two girls holding hands in public and ask “how long have you guys being together?” or come up to an Asian guy and ask “Do you know Kong Fu?” What if they are not lesbians, what if he is not Chinese. Then in the end, all it leaves is some awkward silence.
While on the other hand, if just ignoring the difference, we are just pretending everyone is the same. But that’s not the case. We are different because of each unique background, religion, age and culture. But we are also similar in a way because no matter what jobs we are doing, what education level, what family background, all of us share some same identities.
She is a Chinese international 21-year-old student.
He is a Canadian Catholic retired solider.
They might look completely different, but they both share the same identity as bi-sexual.
Therefore, Ignoring the difference is not a good long-term solution, because we never truly understand each other. Thus the misunderstanding might cause more future conflicts in terms of lack of knowledge towards other diversity. So those questions might sound offended, might cause confusion, might not be polite now, but as long as we phrase in a politically-correct way, we are saving us from the long-term arguments. At the same time, we got the opportunities to explore other diversity we are not familiar with and we got closer to others.
Remember when I first moved to Canada and met Abdalla, an international student who is Muslim Egyptian, I don’t know anything towards his religion or country. I asked tons of dumb questions like why do you pray, how do you pray, what can you eat, can you kiss a girl, can you drink alcohol, how does your marriage work, do you go to church? Man, I might sound like a complete idiot! But now he is my best friend! And I started not only understand him more, accepted his behavior more, I even tried to embrace his culture more by visiting the mosque, experiencing Ramadan.
Diversity is not ignorance. Diversity is not tolerance. Diversity is embraced, using politically-correct language in an environment where questions and concerns can be safely expressed. “We don’t have to pretend we are color-blind. That’s fighting ignorance with more ignorance. Instead we need to celebrate our diversity” quoted from Office Season 1 Episode 2 Diversity Day. So start asking more dumb questions, start taking that step out of comfort zone and start embracing more to what you don’t know!
By: Paris Qian