SNL’s current predicament is a perfect example of why our national conversation about diversity spins in place and never actually goes anywhere. For years now, from our television screens to our corporate boardrooms, we’ve been watching a tug of war take place: racial-justice advocates demanding more and more diversity and exasperated hiring managers exclaiming, We can’t find any diversity! We’re looking hard, we promise!
One reason these two factions keep talking past each other is that they’re talking about two completely different things. When racial-justice advocates call for more diversity, what they’re saying is that the hiring pipelines into America’s majority-white industries need to be expanded to include a truly multicultural array of voices and talents from all ethnic corners of America; they want equal opportunity for minorities who don’t necessarily conform to the social norms of the white majority.
When exasperated hiring managers use the word diversity, what they really mean is that they’re looking for assimilated diversity—people like Rudolph and Zamata. More Bill Cosbys. More Will Smiths. Faces and voices that are black but nonetheless reflect a cultural bearing that white people understand and feel comfortable with.”
“I don’t feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.”
“No matter how the rest of their relationship proceeds—even if they stay married until one of them dies—they’re never going to be as happy as they were in that moment again. If they attain happiness, it’ll be a different kind of happiness. You fall in love. You learn more about each other. And then comes the first fight. And then another and another. Pretty soon, you don’t feel as flush with newness as you once did. And that’s when the true test of whether you’re going to stick the relationship out comes.”