“Hey you, you look black, stand over there, and hey you, you look gay, stand over there.”
Hold a Conversation
In addition to the questions below, please see How to use the questions for reflection.
- Why does the speaker say she has a problem with the “whole diversity campaign in general?” What are her concerns?
- Why does she choose the term “signs?” What does she mean by that metaphor?
- Why does she suggest this approach to diversity is a marketing campaign? Who do you think she’s talking about?
- Have you ever experienced the situation she described? When? What was your reaction?
- Has the speaker missed any possible outcomes when she says that marketing campaigns don’t do anything? Can marketing tactics, even if flawed, produce desirable benefits? Like what?
- What is the “right kind of diversity?” Is there such a thing–why? why not?
- What would a “pure desire for diversity” look like?
Let us know how the conversation or self-reflection went. Email us or discuss the experience in our comment box.
Transcript for Marketing Tactics
I guess I just have a problem with the whole diversity campaign in general…I do…I think it’s a little strange when you’re selecting people and you’re like ‘Hey, we need you to hold this sign. And the sign is going to say “Mexican.” So, if you come to our school, we’re going to give you this sign and ask you to stand over there. And hey, you, you look black, stand over there. And hey, you, you look gay, stand over there.”’ And then you get all of these people together and there’s like a white majority that just stands around them in a semicircle while they just hold their signs. And it’s just complete segregation. And then…so let’s have activities where we all get together and then you tell us about your sign. And then it’s like ‘Oh, here, cover up your sign,’ and then you don’t really even get to see their face because their sign is so damn big and so in your face that it’s just like there’s just a sign that’s being held up by somebody behind it.
And then… I don’t feel like it does anything. And I think it just forces people to be like ‘Ahh! There’s diversity out there! Did you know that?’ It’s like, ‘Yes, I did. Thank you. But I don’t know this person, I don’t know anything about them other than the ethnicity of their background that might not really have anything to do with their person at all.’
That’s the kind of thing that I really do feel like, it’s looking for ‘the right kind of diversity.’ We’re looking for faces to fill these spots on our campaign ads. And if you’re saying things like “the right kind of diversity,” I don’t think you have a pure desire to just diversify campus, but you’re looking for marketing tactics.