Updated: Jan 10
Golf Clubs. It's where most business deals or political compromises are likely to be reached.
But why not at chess clubs, yoga gyms, pool tables or dart boards?
Unlike most other sports, golf is excessive, exclusive and extravagant. It occupies huge swaths of land, not to mention the costly equipment used to play it and huge resources to maintain it. Using golf courses as hermetic jars for business and politics is born out of the Reaganesque capitalism. The selfish kind that gave us trumpism and shoulder pads. The kind that brought American democracy down to its knees and all living things on Earth to the precipice of demise.
Not by sheer coincidence the idea of inclusion stands in the very opposition of what golf club mentality represents. Most major golf clubs are promoting favoritism and arbitrary selection admittedly motivated by exceptionalism and racism. Creating such a hermetic setting to conduct business or settle political games is just an excuse to cancel out inclusion and to keep the world in control of only those who are in the club.
Diversity is our societal aspiration; "that thing everybody talks about". Sometimes it is forced as if we’re trying too hard. Sometimes it can be viewed as just another corporate buzz word invented by pesky liberals.
But true diversity has to start with something. To bake a delicious cake of diversity the yeast of inclusion is needed. There’s been a serious shortage of that one over the years. Whatever diversity we think we may have achieved is just an illusion because it can't be achieved without inclusion.
To maintain that mirage all it takes is photo-shopping at least one non white face into the picture.
Groups of smiling people of different ethnic backgrounds featured in brochures and stock photos are meant to attract the open minded and repel the bigoted but at the same time the bigoted might breathe the sigh of relief seeing those “different looking” individuals as having been conditioned to act, talk, dress and think just like they do.
If physical appearance finally becomes superficial to us, the true diversity would then lie in preserving the idea of critical and creative individual thinking raising beyond stereotypes.
The definition of true diversity remains in stark contrast with the reality of individuals trapped within today's office cubicles, all working on the same thing, all wearing khaki pants, all having the same old water fountain conversations. Sure, they all might even look different but it might not matter because the corporate culture homogenized their minds. Interestingly patterned wallpaper always ends up covered with a coat of dull beige paint with popcorn ceiling on top. It’s easier that way. It eliminates chaos, confusion and relativism. It improves work flow and boosts overall productivity. Maintaining this homogenization hidden under the illusion of diversity without inclusion means that the “others” are meant to level up and conform to the one and only correct box. Thinking outside that box is still encouraged but why does there have to even be a box to be thinking outside of?
The idea of inclusion implies that some type of a barrier, a velvet rope separating the “included” from the “excluded” should also exist. Ironically without the barriers of separation, inclusion wouldn’t feel as good or it wouldn't even be anything at all since its very idea doesn't occur in a world when no one is left out in the cold begging to be let in. When everybody is in the same ball room on equal terms, the true diversity comes naturally.