Three books are reviewed: The House Girl; The Dovekeepers; and Whistling Vivaldi. The summaries will whet your appetite to read the books about various aspects of diversity in the United States and across the globe.
According to system justification theory, “people may say, ‘Racism isn’t a problem in our society,’ not because they have a conscious, personal dislike for black people,” but because there is “a strong psychological need to maintain the current social order even when doing so is contrary to cogent evidence or espoused values of fairness.”
Translations of coded statements about race are highlighted.
“Someone asked me recently to state in a sentence or two what my life is like as a transsexual person who transitioned from male to female. My immediate response to my questioner was that he had to be kidding….”
Where you live strongly determines the cultural diversity around you. The Beyond Diversity Resource Center compiled census data for the 50 states and 20 most populous urbanized areas to complete a survey of diversity in the United States. Two maps of cultural diversity are included with this report.
“I found myself having dinner with a friend and talking about a book on racial cleansings in America, Buried in the Bitter Waters, by Elliot Jaspin, in which our two separate lives are merged in the last chapter. His great-grandfather had been the victim of a lynching, while my great-aunt’s death after a brutal attack and rape fueled a lynching. My friend is African-American, and I am white…. The two of us had become friends over something most people might think would drive us apart.”
The superintendent of the Lopatcong Township School District (NJ), tested the effect of educational interventions on faculty attitudes and knowledge about cultural diversity. The study showed that higher levels of diversity education yielded better results.
“Racial privilege is…the proverbial “elephant in the room” that loudly trumpets over our conversations, knocks over all the furniture that would otherwise provide a comfortable place for us to meet, and sends people of color running for safety. …its effects on our cross-race interaction can be devastating.”