I hear this regularly from people. It is partially true from one perspective. It is certainly true from another perspective. If you believe that the discussion should be totally about race, then this is an appropriate criticism of discussions of class. It should not pass the readers notice that if you believe that the discussion should be totally about gender, then replace “race” with “gender”, and it is certainly true. It is also true that for many people a discussion about class is easier than a discussion about race or a discussion about gender. Discussions about race and gender come with lots of baggage, accusations, recriminations, and otherwise negative experiences. No wonder some people don’t want to go there. I find that a discussion about class is a good place to start a discussion about race and gender. This is what brings me to my current response to this attitude.
“People talk about race and gender because they don’t want to talk about diversity.”
A conversation about diversity is a very different conversation than one about race. A conversation about diversity is very different than a conversation about gender. A conversation about diversity is very different than a conversation about class. While it is important to know something about gender, about ethnicity, and about class, it is really important to know something about diversity.
“Not mine, not yours, ours.”