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Some of you may have heard the phrase “A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinion of sheep”. I am sure this is true both literally and figuratively. Another way to put this is: Confident people don’t concern themselves with criticism that comes from small-minded people. A lot has been said about the subject of political correctness, and while I believe in many of the things “woke” ideology stands for, I think the movement, in general, has made us weaker. I blogged a couple of weeks ago about how I think politicians get the Hispanic community wrong. I said that if you ask a hundred Latinos what concerns them most, the issue of racism wouldn’t rank very high. I don’t think most Latinos think about racism much, but we all know there is a vocal crowd who thinks we should care about it more. I believe there is merit to this, but the misguided focus tends to be more about politically correct language and whether we are being portrayed in the media with the correct skin tones – rather than the things that truly make a difference.
Nowhere is the issue of political correctness more prevalent than in America’s college campuses. All you have to do is scan the website of practically any American college to see political correctness in full force – correct pronouns, staged photos of a diverse student body, and language void of anything that could be construed as biased or offensive. I don’t have a problem with any of this except that frequently the most egregious offenders of racial inequality are institutions that cleverly conceal their harmful behavior behind the veil of inclusive language. This is at the core of the problem. All of this focus on political correctness misdirects the attention from where it should be: outcomes. I don’t care what somebody calls me as long as I get what I need from them. I am not excusing rude, condescending, or racist behavior, but I see the people who engage in that sort of behavior as small-minded sheep, and quite frankly, I think of myself as a lion – so screw them. They’re the ones with the problem.
When I think of the issues I care about most as an advocate for the Latino community, it includes homeownership, access to capital, and high-level representation in government and the c-suites of America’s largest corporations. These issues have a profound effect on the prosperity and quality of life for Latinos in this country, and there are very real institutional barriers that have kept us from advancing further in these areas. I think the focus on political correctness gives people an easy way out. It allows them to present themselves as supporters of diverse communities without changing a thing or investing a dime – and that, my friends, is how political correctness makes us weaker.
We would all be better off with tougher skin and directing our collective focus on the end game. There is so much more for us to gain if we get this right.
Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to speak at the T3 Conference in Florida…I surprised the audience when I explained how the issue of diversity has been framed incorrectly, and has for the most part alienated the business community.
Elon Musk dropped by the Real Time with Bill Maher show recently for an interview with the host. Maher, who considers himself a liberal is an obvious fan of the CEO of Tesla and Space X. The centerpiece of their conversation was their discussion regarding what Musk called the “woke mind virus” or what I prefer to call “cancel culture”.
People sometimes get me wrong. They think that because I talk a lot about giving back and living modestly, I must not care about money. On the contrary, I care a lot about money because I understand how our system works.