Chris Rufo has dug up a fascinating white paper by a diversity consulting group, White Men as Full Diversity Partners, that was hired by Lockheed to harangue white men to crave Diversity.
Here’s a picture redolent of the Bad Old Lockheed, which had a U-2 spy plane flying too high to be shot down over the Soviet Union within 18 months of getting the go-ahead from the CIA. Here’s Clarence “Kelly” Johnson with his U-2 and his 2500 mph SR 71:
My mother’s best friend’s husband was the “irascible genius” structural engineer Henry Combs, who designed the awesome Double Delta shape of the SR 71 for Johnson, according to Johnson’s successor Ben Rich’s wonderful memoir Skunk Works.
Henry Combs’ Double Delta design
These days, in contrast, Lockheed spends gazillions of dollars and decades on the F-35, but, hey, there’s no Soviet Union anymore, so what’s the rush? Lots of time for diversity training.
This Diversity briefing is rather interesting because these diversicrats only indoctrinate white men:
In 1996, Bill Proudman and Michael Welp pioneered a white-male-only learning experience, inviting a group of senior leaders to an immersive experience on race, gender, white male culture, and courageous leadership. This groundbreaking learning experience raised many eyebrows: A white-male-only session on diversity? Isn’t that an oxymoron?
Over 20 years later, Bill and Michael’s original creation is now White Men as Full Diversity Partners. We offer a suite of diversity and inclusion services to clients all over the globe.
You might almost think from what follows that this white man thinks white men are awesome … but that’s a Bad Thing for reasons. This is perhaps the most subversive Diversity document I’ve seen.
by Bill Proudman, CEO, Founder Jul 30, 2019
Ben Rich and the Stealth Fighter
Is Bill Proudman even a real name? Did it use to be Bill Proudboy until Gavin McInnes had the same brainstorm?
OK, well, a quick online search reveals an accomplished British oceanographer named Joseph Proudman, so, indeed, it is a real name. But still …
For corporations and firms that are committed to a diverse workforce, recognizing and celebrating multiculturalism is a common theme. The US has long been thought of as a melting pot of cultures with people emigrating here from all over the globe. Many cultures have and continue to influence the American way. But a meaningful examination of culture in the US can be both complex and difficult.
But there’s one culture that’s so pervasive it’s often invisible, even to those who rarely if ever have to leave it: the white male culture. Like fish unaware of water, most white men respond, “What culture?” when the topic is raised. But just as Asian respect for elders can be traced to their reverence of their ancestors, white male culture (the dominant culture at the foundation of most US-based organizations) can be traced to the environmental influences of European white men struggling to leave the British Isles and survive in the Colonies. This historical can-do individualism pervades the American workforce to such an extent that its roots are imperceptible, and some of its fiercest defenders can be non-white men who see it as “the way things get done.” …
The “norm” goes largely unexamined in most systems. What often gets examined and reexamined are the exceptions to the norm. An examination of white male culture can be awkward and difficult because the culture is rarely called anything other than “American culture” or “the ways things are.”
A.K.A., how we built an airplane in 1962 that goes 2500 mph.
One of the characteristics of white male culture is a low tolerance for ambiguity. One of the by-products of this low tolerance is often to view issues from a place of either/or rather than and/ both.
For example, in my father’s 40+ years at Lockheed, he tended to focus upon non-ambiguous binaries like, say, “flying” vs. “crashing,” and had low tolerance for “and/both” concepts such as “both flying and crashing.”
Granted, Kelly Johnson focused more on the fun stuff like how to make the F-104 fly like a Mach 2 bat out of hell and was more open-minded about the crashing part, leaving it to boring guys like my dad to spend many years coming up with work-arounds to make Kelly’s missile-with-a-man-in-it less of a widowmaker for the West German air force.
When culture in the U.S. is examined from a place of either/or and the focus is white male culture, it is easy to interpret this examination as a diminishing of other cultures and its influence on shaping corporate culture or as a bashing of white men. The intent of this article is neither of the above. Instead, I invite a thoughtful examination of the parts of white male culture that largely go unexamined.
Despite its pervasiveness, it’s important to examine the roots and characteristics of white male culture, not only for white men but also for those who work with them. This closer examination can help White Men to deepen awareness and understanding, leading to a heightened effectiveness when partnering across differences at work as well as more productive work relationships and stronger business results. This examination does require the acceptance of a few ground rules. First, this is not an attempt to better understand individual white men; no one person defines a culture, and no broad cultural description can define an individual. Second, the characteristics of a culture are neither good nor bad.
Unless you are one of those low-tolerance thinkers who conceive of “flying” as being in some fashion better than “crashing.”
Cultural norms are the unspoken ways to which people are generally expected to conform. Third, it is generally accepted that a person’s aptitude and ease in navigating organizational culture are contributing factors to advancement and satisfaction.
WHITE MEN AS BOTH INDIVIDUALS AND MEMBERS OF A SOCIAL IDENTITY GROUP
American white men don’t typically view themselves as members of the white male group, or any group, but as unique individuals. Culture is something other people have. The notion of being part of a white male social-identity group is a strange new proposition— one that is hard to swallow, given the fierce attachment to individual identity. Furthermore, many white men fear that a closer look is for the purpose of assigning criticism or blame.
It’s almost as if the guys who built the world’s greatest airplanes identified more as The Guys Who Built the World’s Greatest Airplanes rather than as white males. But, yeah, now that you mention it, they were almost all white males. Thanks.
Yet as long as white men don’t accept their membership in the group, they will often be unable to see how traits of white male culture affect white women, and men and women of color, as well as themselves. These traits have become virtually interchangeable with corporate America, making white women and men and women of color subject to the same definitions of success and self-worth that define life for white men whether or not they agree or choose to accept those definitions. As you examine the following characteristics of white male culture, feel free to accept or challenge them. Your consideration of the issue will help to frame your understanding and curiosity of the impact of the white male culture on organizations and people in the U.S. This understanding can be key in creating workplace cultures of inclusion.
ROOTS IN THE BRITISH ISLES
An understanding of current American white male culture starts in the British Isles. While not all white males are English, much of northern European culture, particularly in its influence on the US, can be traced here.
English history shows how today’s white men (and others through assimilation) have been battle tested through the centuries. Early existence in England consisted of a fighting nature and invasions. A cold, wet climate, poor soil, and disease made scarcity the daily reality. Constant wars with invaders fostered distrust of outsiders. These experiences led to feudalism, where hero-leaders were responsible for safeguarding their people.
Because there was little wealth to pass on, White Men inheritance went to the eldest son only. Younger sons were forced to go into the world to make something of themselves, creating the seeds for the tenure system, the development of business, and the brotherhood of the military. These conditions led the English to spread out to the rest of the world. There, innovation helped them survive. Still, constant fear of invasion had stamped the English worldview, and the result can still be seen today.
KEY WHITE MALE CULTURE CHARACTERISTICS
Studying the relationship between white male culture and the history of the British Isles can help American white men see which traits—traits that ensured their ancestors’ survival—live on in them today. These traits include:
- Survivor mentality that focuses on the future
- A tendency to rugged individualism
- A can-do attitude
- Operating from principles and conscience
- Focus on hard work, action, and task completion
- Striving toward success and materialism
- Measured moderation and silent strength
- Focus on status and rank over connection.
SURVIVORS WITH A FOCUS ON THE FUTURE
After all, who would want to be a survivor with a focus on the future? What kind of Darwinian loser would want to survive by focusing on the future? It’s almost as if Captain James Kirk were based on Captain James Cook.
This white paper then goes on and on about how white men are awful because … they keep surviving into the future due to their can-do attitude, focus on hard work, action, and task completion, and measured moderation and silent strength.
Which we all know is deplorable compared to Aspiring Rapperhood.