WASHINGTON First they came for the drones.
No, not the unmanned kind that kill strangers from a safe distance, but the sort who sit in meeting rooms and repeat slogans until they absorb the proper way of thinking. The killers, figuratively speaking, are the diversity trainers who numb the human mind with slogans and rote instruction on emotional correctness.
Thanks to Judicial Watch, the conservative-leaning watchdog group, and The Daily Caller, we recently have learned about the United States Department of Agricultures magical diversity training programs, i.e. professional development opportunities, wherein employees learn how they ought really to think about things. Lessons include such angst-inspiring tropes as the U.S. has destroyed other nations, we all commit sins of discrimination, and America should repent and stop being so proud of itself.
More or less.
One does not have to be a flag-waving, uber-patriot to find this sort of mind-training repugnant, though watching clips of the USDA sessions might help one better understand the recent rush to collect ammunition. (Ahem: I am merely making an observation here, not suggesting behaviors that some might find troubling or offensive.)
The sessions recently highlighted are not new. Most corporate employees and all American students have been exposed to this wee-minded busy-ness.
Exhibit A this go-round is sensitivity trainer Samuel Betances of Souder, Betances and Associates, who appears in clips culled from a 3.5-hour Cultural Sensitivity Training session that have been featured prominently in conservative media in recent days. As detailed by Caroline May at The Daily Caller, Betances leads a group through a process of self-enlightenment.
I want you to say: If we work for a federal agency. Say that. (Audience repeats) We have discriminated in the past. (Audience repeats) Say: Every federal agency, (Audience repeats) has discriminated against African-Americans, (Audience repeats) Hispanics, (Audience repeats) Native American Indians, (Audience repeats) and other groups (Audience repeats), Betances preaches.
In other clips, Betances regales his audience with a history lesson. Not only did the U.S. steal the lands that are increasingly being populated by illegal immigrants (Texas, California, Arizona) hence, implicitly, they have a right to re-occupy but Americas founding fathers took their governing cues from Native Americans. Oh, and they stole their symbol the bald eagle.
Well, gosh, I feel so bad about all this that Id like to cede the lower U.S. to Mexico and adopt the chicken as the national symbol. Theres no end to the ways by which nations can make recompense to those whose fates were altered by history. Shouldnt we all just pack up and return whence we came?
This is, of course, emotional extortion designed to engineer behavior while enriching people who have invented an industry around the notion that people can be numbed into niceness and be more easily managed. It is helpful to recall that drones are also stingless bees.
There was a time when such lessons, otherwise known as manners, were taught in every American home. Said homes were not privileged in most cases but they were occupied by a mother and father who, though they perhaps did not adore each other every waking moment, were at least committed to the mutual task of rearing thoughtful, well-behaved children.
Sensitivity training, alas, is one of the many legacies of our sundering of the family, which has led necessarily to greater dependence on third parties to instruct and order. We are unlikely to hear much about that in the next government diversity seminar and, soon enough, there will be none left to recognize that there is something wrong with this picture.