The Volokh Conspiracy

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Volokh Conspiracy


A nice passage from Rogers & Hammerstein, which I heard on John McWhorter's excellent Lexicon Valley podcast.


"Diversity" is often a political label for things I disagree with (such as race-based preferences in university admissions); but, as with many such broad concepts, there's often a good deal of truth to it (at least in some of its versions) even if it's also misused.

One thing that I try to stress to my students is the reality of diversity: You can't be a good lawyer (or be good at sales, business, or many other things) without realizing that people—clients, judges, jurors, witnesses, opposing counsel, and others—may be very different from you, and may react differently than you might at first expect. They may differ in their culture (which is often linked to race or ethnicity), their sex, their religion, their politics, their educations, and in many other things.

You might wish for a more homogeneous environment, but your wishes don't really matter: It's not what you'll likely face. And even if you think a particular group is homogeneous, you're probably missing just how diverse they are in their views and attitudes.

In any event, I thought of this yesterday: I was listening to Prof. John McWhorter's superb Lexicon Valley podcast (or perhaps the superb Prof. John McWhorter's Lexicon Valley podcast, since so much of what he has done has been excellent), and he played a passage from one of Rodgers & Hammerstein's lesser known songs, All Kinds of People:

It takes all kinds of people to make up a world,
All kinds of people and things.
They crawl on the earth, they swim in the sea,
And they fly through the sky on wings.
All kinds of people and things,
And, brother, I'll tell you my hunch:
Whether you like them or whether you don't,
You're stuck with the whole damn bunch.