The Diversity Shield

In Stalin's Russia some Orthodox monks were imprisoned and ordered to wear prisoners' numbers. They refused. "A child of God does not allow himself to be reduced to a number. Each one is a jewel apart." They were punished, but they would not bend to an untruth. (Richard Wurmbrand, The Overcomers, p. 233)

Today, of course, we fervently believe that those monks were wrong; Stalin was right. To give our lives meaning, we must be weighed, sorted, and classified. "Uncategorized" persons are a mystery and send the programming into a perpetual loop.

Hence individual students no longer attend universities; "black students" attend, and "white students", and "Asian students". (So determinative are these labels that the students could well forego nametags.) Academics rush to boast how many of each filtered category they recruit. To regard each one an individual jewel, and so therefore totally diverse in themselves, would be considered regressive, narrow minded, and even racially insensitive.

We cannot deal with government or business without compacting ourselves into narrow definitions: white, black, Hispanic, Pacific Islander -- as if we all needed proper sorting before our needs can be attended to.

Moreover, once assigned a group identity, we forfeit the right to private dissent. (Witness the reaction to a "black" Supreme Court justice whose opinions were expected to mirror those of his collective: Justice Clarence Thomas -- who has since been brutally culled from the herd because he believes -- erroneously -- that he has the right and the capacity to exist as an individual).

We find safety in numbers. We are told we must cling together. In nature to be cut from the herd is to die; and so likewise in our society. No one wants to be caught alone on the schoolyard when the bullies come. So strong is this acceptance of communal identities that it overwhelms even the voice of conscience (an expression of individuality, if ever there was one).

Were the Scottsboro boys guilty? To ask the question is to misunderstand what was at stake. A community was being asked to surrender a core belief which cemented it together: that blacks were inferior and crime-prone. ver 1000 prospective white jurors avowed that race would not matter to them -- yet in the end that (maintaining what made their group distinct) was really all that mattered. (Dan T. Carter, Scottsboro, a Tragedy of the American South, p. 374)

Were the Duke lacrosse players guilty (indeed, did the crime for which they were falsely accused ever happen)? Months into the case, despite overwhelming evidence of their innocence, 28 percent in Durham still insisted the players must be guilty; and a black student leader earlier stated he thought they should be prosecuted "whether it happened or not." (Taylor and Johnson, Until Proven Innocent, pp. 305, 170) There was a "community" position, which subsumed all considerations of fact or evidence.

The gates of the identity fort must always be kept tightly shut against outsiders. Observe that the preachers in attendance at the Zimmerman trial were not there to minister to the needs of a man effectively on trial for his life; they were there to represent -- defend -- their "community".

Corporate selfhood trumps all. And any who stray must be coerced back into line. The president of the Norfolk chapter of the NAACP disagreed with the consensus. The man believed that the Zimmerman case was being wrongly reported; and he transgressed when he expressed a unique -- his own -- opinion about it. And the response? NAACP President asked to Step Down. "I think that the national office should come into this," Riddick said. "It would be an effort to silence this fellow. . ."

Malcolm Muggeridge wrote:

The Christian religion... for two thousand years persuaded Western man that he existed as one of a human family whose Father was in Heaven. As in a family, each individual was separately and particularly loved.

It followed then that each individual soul was infinitely precious in its separate individuality ... The most sacred, the most inviolable thing on earth was a human soul, any and each one ... Thus, to incorporate a man into a herd, and to put him under the necessity of following the herd's destiny, was to destroy the purpose of his being. (Malcolm Muggeridge, Things Past, p. 112)

Of course moderns can grasp how misguided these conceptions were.

A truly progressive society is one organized for our happiness. It will accept herd keepers. Each in our place, we will not need names, but only numbered pre-sorts: by race, gender, or by the land mass from which our ancestors migrated; or by any other abstraction which seems convenient for the purpose.

As for those monks, they replied to their captors, "Perish, Satan."

How foolish. And how woefully delusional was their insistence on the right to deviate from an agreed-upon consensus -- which surely must have resulted only in pain, suffering, and insecurity for the greater part of mankind.

That is our revealed truth today, and we're sticking with it.