Apple’s first-ever Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion is in full damage-control mode after making some bold comments about the meaning of diversity at the One Young World Summit in Colombia.
At a panel discussion on fighting racial injustice earlier this month, Denise Young Smith, who was called “Silicon Valley’s most powerful black woman” by Quartz, was asked about where her diversity and inclusivity efforts would focus.
“I focus on everyone,” she said. “Diversity is the human experience. I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color, or the women, or the LGBT.”
She continued, “There can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blonde men in a room and they’re going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation.” The real issue, she noted, is “representation and mix.”
Smith is absolutely right. Diversity comes in many forms—not just race, gender, or sexual orientation. Diversity of experience, and by extension, diversity of thought, are just as important as any other form of diversity.
While she was applauded for her response by the audience, it didn’t take long for the 20-year veteran at Apple to issue an official apology for failing to keep in line with the “sanctioned” diversity narrative:
“I regret the choice of words I used to make this point. I understand why some people took offense. My comments were not representative of how I think about diversity or how Apple sees it. For that, I’m sorry…Understanding that diversity includes women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and all underrepresented minorities is at the heart of our work to create an environment that is inclusive of everyone.”
What could have been a groundbreaking step for the diversity movement was spoiled by Smith’s phony apology. Had she remained firm in her principles, and truly embraced Apple’s motto (“Think Different”), she could have laid the groundwork for a revolution in an otherwise narrow-minded field.
It seems that conservatives and other free-thinkers will have to wait for another dynamic speaker to shatter the left’s pre-conceived notions of diversity. Until then, progressives will continue to silence any and all opposition to their narrative.