Di­ver­sity for th­ese di­vided states?

Sunday Star-Times - - OPINION -

might unite their peo­ple?

Do they find it in their flag? And if they do, is that the right place to be look­ing?

E pluribus unum, reads their motto. Out of many, one. A union formed by sep­a­rate states. United they have stood, recog­nis­ing that di­ver­sity can make you rich. Di­vided, they have fought a civil war, en­acted Jim Crow laws, em­braced the Fox net­work.

At our daugh­ter’s pri­mary school assem­bly they would sing a sweet song,

3000 af­flu­ent young white Auck­lan­ders ac­knowl­edg­ing and cel­e­brat­ing dif­fer­ence.

‘‘It’s a song about me,’’ they would sing. ‘‘It’s a song about my in­di­vid­u­al­ity. About the clothes I wear. About the colour of my hair. And it’s about who I want to be near.’’ And so on.

As they sang about their in­di­vid­u­al­ity, they would all be wav­ing their arms and hands in the same di­rec­tion at the same time, and I could never un­der­stand why no one else was grin­ning but any way, the sen­ti­ment was ad­mirable.

‘‘Some­times we do agree, and some­times we don’t. Some­times I want to do the same as you. I might also change my mind’’ they would sing, their limbs and blonde pony­tails all still mov­ing as one.

How dif­fer­ent are we all from one an­other? Do you use the year of your birth as the com­bi­na­tion for your se­cu­rity alarm? There are 9999 com­bi­na­tions you can use to make your com­bi­na­tion un­know­able but bur­glars must surely know to start by look­ing for some­thing be­tween 1940 and 1999, be­cause, well, peo­ple lack imag­i­na­tion.

Let us give thanks there are peo­ple who can come up with some­thing more than just the same 50 num­bers ev­ery­one else picks.

When fresh-thinkers and peo­ple with new per­spec­tives go to work, this is when in­ven­tion and change for the bet­ter come about. This is is how a coun­try grows; flour­ishes; be­comes . . . great.

How dis­mal that peo­ple should be so wary, so hos­tile to peo­ple who are Not Like Us. How self-de­feat­ing.

An op­ti­mistic in­ter­pre­ta­tion of this week’s re­sult could be that a younger, more di­verse, more rep­re­sen­ta­tive group of can­di­dates was elected and prom­ises the na­tion a brighter fu­ture.

A truer one might be that there are some mil­lions of Amer­i­cans whose only rea­son for not be­hav­ing as badly as their pres­i­dent is that they don’t be­lieve they could get away with it.

When fresh­thinkers and peo­ple with new per­spec­tives go to work, This is is how a coun­try grows; flour­ishes; be­comes . . . great.

AP

Donald Trump: ‘‘an up­right crum­pled heap... a petu­lant man­child’’.

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