The new buzz is diversity or the lack of it. Marlon James, Book Prize winner last year, says that he’s done with the diversity conversation. There’s a lot of phobias going on in all hemispheres. So do people talk about it, tweet it about, fb about it or watch numbly?
James thinks that whatever we do, conversation misses the point:
“The problem is all this talking. Liberals, in particular love to talk. We debate issues, we explore the conservative angle (despite them never returning the favor), we talk about solutions, we even try to tolerate those who would not tolerate us. The problem with all this conversation, is that it is all we do.”
And this is because the people who are supposed to change don’t sit at the table where the discussions about diversity occur. What exists even in so-called cosmopolitan cities is a kind of glorified segregation- there all kinds of people who live and work in a city like New York or for that matter any global city anywhere on earth. There is a multiplicity of people, not togetherness.
Talking about diversity seems to be a far cry from inclusion. Maybe it’s time for action.
PS: Just found Murakami’s acceptance speech for the Hans Christian Anderson Award. He touches on the theme of accepting shadows instead of building walls. Read it.