Recognizing and celebrating diversity are critically important

January 7, 2011 

This is my last column for The Olympian, and I have enjoyed writing columns that have sparked interest and debate.

I have received many comments and kudos of a positive nature and have corresponded with bloggers from as far away as Turkey. Imagine that. This is all because The Olympian has allowed people like myself in the community a platform.

I believe both The Olympian’s editorial board and Diversity Panel are great opportunities for those in our community who wish to get across their view and provide a different mirror to the community at large.

That is how I viewed the opportunity and I am better for it. Now for my parting shots.

I tend to believe that if we take the best from all of us, it creates a better product. That is my belief as it relates to diversity.

This belief also allows us to recognize an inferior product or belief that is not reasonable, rational or that does a disservice to the social collective. This is where many of the observations I have had over the year continue to live. This is where I believe that recognizing and calling out issues or scenarios that are not conducive to making it better than we found it live as well – side-by-side with those wedge issues, beliefs and biases that many of us face daily.

Today, it seems like the more extreme a statement or stance or belief is, the more press it receives. It seems like just when I think there has been growth as it relates to valuing people, ideas or ideologies that are for the greater good and I am ready to turn the corner, just like a line from the movie “The Godfather,” “They pull me back in.”

Witness Tucker Carlson the Fox analyst who said professional quarterback Michael Vick should have been executed for his dog-fighting crimes.

Compassion and a belief in second chances are ideals that these United States were founded upon. That is, if you follow or fit into a certain makeup.

Today, there seems to be a palpable resentment to the ideals of giving people a second chance or antagonism to those of us who believe that second chances are what makes our country the greatest on Earth.

There seems to be a marginalization or devaluing of a cross-section of our society — be it gay, black, immigrant or other group. That’s why recognizing diversity and writing about diversity issues are so important.

Someone, anyone, has to have the decency to say or print that recommending death to a human being over dog-fighting charges really reveals how valuable the life of a black man is in our “post-racial” society.

Really?

Yes, we have come far with the election of a black man to the highest office in the nation, the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the opportunity to be whatever it is you want to be in these United States of America.

This is what I tell my son: You were blessed to be born in the greatest country on Earth, and you are only limited by your potential. I tell him with hard work he can be any and everything he could ever think of being or becoming.

It is a message I believe in and I promote to those with whom I come in contact.

Yet, I recognize that many do not either want, believe, or value this sentiment. In this instance, sunlight to these beliefs is the best disinfectant. I will continue to do my part by applying sunlight to these areas even while away.

Here’s hoping that many of you will do the same.

Lucius Daye, a service-connected disabled veteran, recently was appointed to Lacey Fire District 3 board of commissioners. A member of The Olympian’s Diversity Panel, he can be reached at lucasdaye@comcast.net.

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