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Diversity Versus Meritocracy

Diversity(28), in one context, is obvious in that there are many different groups of people. In America, diversity is strongly associated with racial diversity and is the focus in political arenas. Differences in people due to ethnicity, gender, social roles, sexual orientation, education and other domains make it hard for people to empathize with each other. The question arises in society about advancement in positions as it relates to diversity. The practice of advancement based on demonstrated ability or meritocracy has been the norm since mankind began. Replacement of individuals in positions was traditionally awarded on the basis of competitive exams. In fact, advancements in most facets of life have been through talent and merit, which is now on a collision course with diversity competing with the views of conservatives.


Conservatives: The concept of meritocracy(29) has been the stalwart of American ingenuity in that the most gifted, knowledgeable and talented gained their success by applying themselves. Throughout life, those most succeeded as the result of individual desires to achieve their goals and/or had natural skills and talent.


  • Meritocracy has enabled men and women of all races and colors to advance and reap the rewards of their efforts. There is a false belief that achievement or advancement are the result of white supremacy. The challenge that diversity programs are needed by some to achieve success can be condescending or diminishing of the success by marginalized people who didn’t need and help in the first place.

  • The accomplishments of talented people have resulted in technological advances with the public reaping the benefits. This includes the accomplishments of those of different ethnic backgrounds; widely documented for anyone taking the time to look. Black Americans, for example, have excelled in medicine, business, education, entertainment, sports, military, public service and in all facets of life.


  • Conservatives believe that monetary rewards and public recognition stem from hard work and dedication, a message to young people that they too can become accomplished. Education from the elementary years through adulthood, coupled with good family values and career choices are the steps to success. It is meritocracy that has prompted immigration from all parts of the world to take advantage of America’s individual freedom and opportunity to excel, referred to as the American Dream.


Progressives: The progressive factions believe that the country was founded by white, European racists and that America was built on slavery(19) and that systematic racism prevails today. The focus of the left is to divide the country by initially denouncing one’s relationship with God, destroying the family and then breaking the bonds with the country, thus destroying patriotism and invoking socialistic and communistic thought.


  • To progressives, America is deeply flawed and is in need of a change in direction. It needs to instill diversity programs as a means to correct for past errors and has embarked on racism as the principal means to divide and change the country. This includes the appointment of far-left socialists and authoritarians in positions of power and influence.


  • The issue of slavery is treated as our nations’ original sin and that elements of its practices still exist. Although slavery has been a worldwide dilemma, progressives don’t recognize that America was one of the first countries to end it. Progressives use past slavery as a demand for reparations, which serves as another technique dividing the country and forming racial and political conflict.


  • Progressives may also challenge the concept of meritocracy in that if only the smartest individuals are advanced to upper class success that it will be at the expense of the poor. It is the progressive movement that has abandoned the poor through disruption of family units, inferior educational programs and meanable job programs. These failures have inhibited the development of many poor families to obtain a level of success to achieve the “American Dream”.


Commentary: Success among nations is achieved by excelling in all facets of life. Is that the reason why America became the leader of the free world?

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