Diversity and Too Much Diversity

From Jerry Seinfeld to Haneen Zoabi.

jerry-seinfeldHas “political correctness” now taken us to the point where every area of human endeavor must reflect gender, race and religious diversity?

Two interesting stories caught my eye yesterday about two very different sources blowing back at the enforced diversity that the left-liberal do-gooders are seeking to impose.

One was the great Jewish comedian Jerry Seinfeld.   Melissa Clyne, writing in Newsmax, notes that in an interview with CBS This Morning, Seinfeld responded to a question about whether his new web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, is stacked with white men like himself.   Seinfeld thought the question was silly. He asked whether “people think it’s the census or something?”  “We represent the actual pie chart of America? Who cares? I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that.”

According to Jerry:  “Everyone else is calculating, is this the exact right mix? To me, it’s anti-comedy. It’s more about PC nonsense then, are you making us laugh?”

But it wasn’t long until the PC Police started to pounce.  Lily Rothman of Time magazine in a column told Seinfeld that he was on the losing side of this issue:

“A continued lack of diversity on his show would prove his detractors’ point — and make him look racist and sexist, even if he’s merely failing to actively think about matters of race and sex — while increased diversity would seem to acknowledge that the “nonsense” isn’t so nonsensical at all. There’s no longer a way for a prominent comedian with Seinfeld’s level of influence to be so glib about the issue — especially given that of his 26 guests, only two have been women and another two have been nonwhite. (There have been no minority women guests so far.)”

Jews have been traditionally been overrepresented in comedy in America.  In 1979, for example, Time estimated that whereas Jews made up only 3 percent of the American population, fully 80 percent of professional comedians were Jewish.  It probably stems from the Jewish habit of dealing with misery and adverse circumstances by making jokes.   I thought that was a great contribution to American culture;  unfortunately, being funny is no longer the main criterion for being in a comedy, so ethnic groups that have dealt with adversity through violence rather than jokes now have an equal right to be represented in comedy as elsewhere.   Poor Jerry, something has changed and he doesn’t get it.

As a Canadian who must live with so-called Human Rights Commissions adjudicating on diversity issues, I have seen the future that Seinfeld does not understand;  it is not pretty.

Take a look at the second story, which comes from what I have called the “first front” in the Islamist war against Western values – Israel.   With all its security problems in its very hostile neighbourhood where Muslim children are incited in kindergarten against the Jewish State, one would think there would be little interest in the diversity obsession.

However, in the Jerusalem Post, reporter Lahav Harkov writes about a controversy that arose when the Knesset’s Labor, Health, and Welfare Committee was discussing a bill to give Arab Christians separate representation from Arab Muslims on the Advisory Committee for Equal Opportunity in Employment.

Arab Muslim Member of the Knesset Jamal Zahalka took offense and suggested that the bill’s proponent, rather than seeking to promote diverse membership on the Committee was intending to “wickedly divide the Arab public, which is oppressed anyway.”

Christian IDF Officers Forum leader Lt. (res.) Shadi Halul, however, said he is proud to be a Christian and that he wants and deserves to be recognized as such.  Furthermore he called the Arab Muslim objectors “racists”.

This was too much for Arab Muslim member  Haneen Zoabi   This woman, who has a B.A. from Haifa University and an M.A. from Hebrew University (and who worked as a school inspector for the Israeli Ministry of Education), at the Knesset swearing-in ceremony on February 24, 2009, left the room because she objected to the singing of Hatikva, Israel's national anthem;  she has voiced support for Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons and participated in the Gaza flotilla, on board the MV Mavi Marmara.

Zoabi was ejected from the Knesset building by Committee chairman Haim Katz for implying the Christian Halul deserves violence, after she declared to him: “You are a coward! Go to the streets of Nazareth and Kafr Kana, say what you just said, and they’ll give you the response you deserve.”

The proposed legislation sought to expand the advisory committee by giving the 160,000 Christians in Israel their own representative and adding another Druze member.   (Druze are an offshoot of Ismailism, a branch of Shia Islam, whose adherents participate in the Israeli army, and the Israeli Judiciary and Foreign Service.)

The panel would also have representation from the ultra-religious, new immigrants, reservists, older people, and women.

So we see that attempts at diversity, rather than implementing fairness and harmony, will become nothing more than alternate battlefields in the culture war that has befallen us.  The left liberals who think that respect for diversity is the recipe for their tolerant paradise on earth will soon come up against the hard reality of the culture war where the Islamists merely use our tolerance, until they get power -and then will end all diversity representation just like they will end all tolerance.

And as Jerry Seinfeld would say, there is nothing funny about that, and it is, as he puts it, “anti-comedy”.

Howard Rotberg is the author of The Second Catastrophe:  A Novel about a Book and its Author and TOLERism:  The Ideology Revealed.  He is president of Mantua Books, an imprint dedicated to fighting cultural relativism and protecting fundamental liberties:  www.mantuabooks.com.

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