I recently attended the Twin Falls City Council to hear about our new Diversity and Inclusion Charter. I happened to overhear two attendees disparaging the city manager and the diversity and inclusion project efforts — illustrative of exactly why Twin Falls needs such an effort in the first place.
Diversity matters. At its simplest, diversity means understanding that each individual is unique — inclusive of many different dimensions such as age, race or religion. It means as Dr. Seuss once wrote, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is You’er than You.”
But honoring diversity is more than recognition, and it goes beyond acceptance. We fail as a society if we cannot move on to collectively embrace and then celebrate our individual and community diversity. We should all ask ourselves: Where am I on the diversity scale? Where are we as families, schools, churches, communities and leaders on the diversity scale? Where are we as a state, as a nation?
I can assure you discrimination flaunts its ugly colors right here in Twin Falls on a daily basis. It occurs on our streets, in our neighborhoods, in our businesses and schools, in our agencies and municipalities and yes, sadly, even in our churches. I believe it is our human right to have diversity honored and upheld. As Abraham Lincoln stated, "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."
I call on our leaders and each of us as fellow members of society to stop scoffing at the rights of others; to do more than recognize that diversity exists; and to move beyond lip service to not only recognize and accept diversity in our community, but to embrace and celebrate our individual and collective diversity.