The Plum Turns Yellow

Cancelling White guys is not “progress” toward diversifying leadership

“Cancel Culture” by markus119 is marked with CC0 1.0
  • In the past several years, I found it curious that I was often asked in interviews for leadership positions, “Why can’t we find more qualified POC or female candidates for this position?” My response was always, “If you have just one, then I’d urge you to hire them over me and everybody else (and by the way, you should refrain from ranking candidates when the pool is diverse).”
  • Last year, I was being groomed for a board position at a respected non-profit institution serving international schools and universities, only to have the door close on the opportunity through a sincere apology email that stated I was not the right profile of candidate (read between the lines: I was a White male and that profile was no longer viable). My response to this was, “Good. You should diversify your board. I’m happy to serve the organization in any formal or informal way. No apologies needed.”
  • And just this year, in determining what I would teach in the fall semester with a leading provider of online courses, instead of being offered a race and society course (which I’ve taught in brick and mortar schools for ten years), I was instead offered a positive psychology option (for which I have less experience with, but for which I am no less passionate about). I was not upset, but again, see this as progress, as a race course should be taught by people-of-color, and no longer by While allies.



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Paul Richards

Paul Richards


Having some fun blogging, taking the writing seriously, but not myself.