But too often our conversations about diversity are shallow and focused only on that narrow set of characteristics that is politically valuable. These conversations are most pernicious when they obsess over race, giving illegitimate power to what is a social fiction, which is why I would feel shame or guilt if I ever found out I was hired to any position, or handed any form of charity, solely due to the color of my skin. I want to believe that my accomplishments are my own and that what I have to add comes from my ideas and experiences, not an arbitrary characteristic that has value as a chip in a system of social status. Moreover, the knowledge that I was granted a special favor due to the accident of my birth would mean the opportunity was denied to someone else.

While liberal diversity culture can go as far as advocating for outright racial quotas, there is very little discussion of promoting differing modes of thought or true multiculturalism. In fact, in the progressive spaces where I have worked, it increasingly appears that the desired outcome is for employees to look different but think exactly the same; the end state is a monoculture that defeats the whole point of meaningful diversity. Where, for instance, are the liberal publications preaching the value of diversity that are also recruiting more pro-life writers? Polling shows Hispanics, America’s most populous minority group, tend to be more conservative on abortion issues than the rest of the population, a position that has nothing to do with race and everything to do with religious values.

Perhaps, it should be no surprise that moral panics about race have seized the liberal upper-middle class in recent weeks. This group of people has so little in the way of substantive disagreements, that arguments for promotion via race are simply an extension of office politics by other means. Yet, to merely write this all off as the ideological extremism of an idle class misses just how damaging it is—to the country and to the value of true diversity—to have the concept hijacked and tainted in this way.