The Digital Journalist
Tales from Central America: Diversity? My Assity
August 2004

by James Colburn

When male photographers of a certain pale tone get together these days it seems like the conversation usually gets around to "diversity" and its awful effects on said pale gentlemen. If these gentlemen tend towards the ranks of the "more mature," then such talk gets a little bit more intense, and in some ways their concerns may be justified. It is harder for a white guy to get a gig when the playing field of applicants has been expanded to include Women, Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, etc., etc., etc., and the easiest thing for white guys to do is to blame Women, Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, etc., etc., etc.

First thing is, Get Used To It. Stop complaining. It ain't gonna go back to the way it used to be. The pool of potential rivals for the jobs you want has grown and the only thing you can do is to try to be that much better at what you do. Consider yourself your own Value Added Retailer (that's where your local PC dealer installs four shareware games, a database demo and some anti-virus software and marks up a Pentium machine by 15 percent.)

Second thing? Stop Blaming Your New Rivals. If you're a white guy you really should consider turning your hatred against older white guys. Some much older white guys. Perhaps some very much older white guys. Maybe even some really dead white guys. Because, after all, they were the ones who kept the jobs for themselves. They were the ones who made sure that Women, Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, etc., couldn't get a foot in the door in the '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s and, golly gee wiz, maybe even later. It was the Murphys, the Johnsons, the Paderowskys and the Schultzs who screwed you over, buddy-boy, not the Wandas, Jamals, Joses or the Running Waters. If the old white guys had been willing to take their licks and compete fairly in the marketplace then, perhaps, you'd be used to the competition and you'd stop your incessant whining about "diversity" and "political correctness."

Oh yeah. "Political Correctness." Didn't that used to be known as "Being Polite?" If some radio pundit these days wants to complain about not being able to call someone a Kike, a Chink or a Dago, they say that society has become "politically correct." It isn't politically correct to avoid insulting someone; it's just being polite. If my mother had ever heard me use words like that in conversation she'd have given me a quick clout around the head and washed my mouth out with soap. And there'd have been no supper.

The job market is fairer now than it's ever been and getting fairer still every day, and if that pisses you off, too bad. You can always try making a living selling "My Kid Beat Up Your Honor Student" bumper stickers at a roadside stand somewhere along Route 477.

© James Colburn
Contributing Writer