Diversity Performance, Social Surveillance and Rescinding Human Rights
Modern manifestations of diversity resistance appear very much rooted in historical forms which rely upon creating hostile environments for marginalized groups in ways that demand their vigilance and threaten their health. Despite growing diversity rhetoric, many organizations simply perform diversity by promoting racially diverse images in advertising and in creating diversity functions and titles in the workplace, while continuing to perpetuate historical messages and negative stereotypes. The rise of cell phone video and social media has also documented the return to old fashioned prejudice as demonstrated in the surveillance of underrepresented racial minorities (URMs), even when they are simply doing their jobs, by White citizens who question URMs legitimacy in certain roles and spaces. Diversity resistance also shows up in the persistent threat to the modest human rights gains afforded to LGBT citizens and workers as national leaders work to rescind rights almost immediately after they are awarded. Living in an environment which relies upon mixed messages around diversity and inclusion and which emboldens covert and overt forms of patriarchy, homophobia/heterosexism and White supremacy have significant impacts on the mental and physical well-being of those whose mere existence is resisted.