Livestream recorded 2016-10-10 -
More and more often, members of minority groups insist on greater representation in the media, politics and the corporate board room. The rising self-confidence is something to celebrate. But might the call for diversity leave us more diveded in the end?
The advocates of diversity challenge the privileges of white, middle-class men, finally giving a voice to groups that have been silenced for so long. Unwittingly, this has turned public debate into a minefield. When speaking about sensitive topics, an insult may be more quickly felt than actually meant. .
This, in turn, has led to a backlash, with some behaving in a deliberately politically incorrect way, inflaming tensions. These critics are annoyed by what they believe to be a false claim of victimhood. They do not see the demand for respect as a way to empower oppressed groups but as a plea to feel pity and shut up the others. Are they right? Is there really something like a victim culture?
Once, the disadvantaged argued that whether you were gay, a woman or black should not be a barrier when it comes to participating in society and politics. Today, it is argued that precisely because of these differences people should be able to participate. Do they claim an equal say or a special status? Do we run the risk of setting up dividing lines between ourselves, making it harder for us to transcend our differences? What does all this mean for the way we think about politics and citizenship?
* Maarten Boudry, philosopher, author
* Claire Fox, director of the Institute of Ideas, and author of I find that offensive!
* Baukje Prins, professor of Citizenship and Diversity, the Hague University of Applied Sciences
* Andrea Speijer-Beek, philosopher and founding editor of Vrijheid zonder maar.
Moderated by Rob Lyons, journalist, Institute of Ideas
Produced by Marco Visscher, journalist
Media partners: De Groene Amsterdammer and Tegengeluid