On Bradbury, Minorities, and Diversity

My teenage daughter was reading Fahrenheit 451 and came to me to discuss it. She’d been struggling with the idea in the book that the grievances of interest groups led to totalitarianism and book burning. She’d always assumed minorities foster diversity and enrich society. I said that her assumption was correct and explained that Bradbury was creating an absurd distortion to make a point, but we discussed the problem of identifying with the victim status of a group. We each belong to many groups. I’m white but not rich. Sometimes I’m healthy; sometimes I’m sick. I’m prone to depression. Even privilege can be a handicap if it makes you intellectually rigid or lazy, or gets you targeted for assault. We agreed that it’s good to champion diversity but that it can be a losing game to seek advantage by identifying oneself as a victim.

About robertpkruger

Writer, editor, and software developer. Former president of ElectricStory.com.
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