Letter: Forced diversity is not the answer

In response to "Fargo commission remains all male despite several women candidates" published June 16: I was born the son of white parents in 1967. I am alive in 2018. These are facts. By definition, I am a "middle-aged white guy." I had no part ...

In response to “Fargo commission remains all male despite several women candidates” published June 16:

I was born the son of white parents in 1967. I am alive in 2018. These are facts. By definition, I am a “middle-aged white guy.” I had no part in the establishment of the first fact. The second is purely good fortune. I make no apologies for either; nor do I celebrate them as accomplishments. They are simply pure facts.

Professionally, I work on behalf of causes which improve lives in our communities. I volunteer on behalf of, and support financially, causes which promote the well-being of those less fortunate. These statements, of course, are personal opinions. But while working to improve our communities and the lives of those who live in them, whether professionally or as a volunteer, I am still a “middle-aged white guy.”

I have no argument with defeated Fargo City Commission candidates Linda Boyd and Arlette Preston when they advocate for the benefits of diversity on the city council. However, Boyd implies that the current makeup of the duly elected council is a problem in and of itself when she says, “I think five middle-aged white guys is not a representation of our community.”

Well, Ms. Boyd, that’s who the electorate chose. Maybe, just maybe, the voters are taking talent and ideas into consideration rather than the demographics of the candidates.

The hard-fought, well-deserved progress achieved in business and politics by women and persons of color over the past several decades will not be enhanced, nor advanced by advocating for the same biases against “middle-aged white guys.” Ironically, this tactic is what necessitated the movement in the first place. None of us are either more or less qualified or effective in an elected or professional position based purely on the demographic we represent. The more we come to understand this, the more likely “organic” diversity will continue to be achieved rather than the “engineered” variety of which Ms. Boyd appears to advocate.

Schweigert lives in West Fargo.