The Emptiness of the Term “Inclusion”

I cannot remember a moment in my lifetime where the federal government has abandoned the term “inclusion” like the current one.

Listen to some of the ideas that are coming out of the federal government narrative:
• Only allow Christians to immigrate into the county.
• Ban refugees based on religious guilt by association.
• Build a fence as a national border.
• Force citizens that don’t look like us, act like us or talk like us to enter into a surveillance registry.
• Bomb terrorists and count innocent civilian deaths as just collateral damage.
• Create a federal agency to monitor religious institutions.

We are hearing terms around federal government water coolers like internment camps, forced segregation and racial profiling like we have been transferred “Back to the Racist Future.”

This trend did not start this year. Since the advent of the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, the federal government’s top human resources agency, the Office of Personnel Management has held up as world class standards of engagement, federal agencies that are predominately white and male. They pretend that engagement has nothing to do with inclusion.

The federal government talks about inclusion in a way that takes differences off the table. It converses about inclusion as if unequal treatment does not exist. It claims to want inclusion and at the same time pretends that exclusion is a thing of the past. It wants inclusion to serve its self-interests before serving the interest of others. It claims to be color blind but maintains a pipeline to the Senior Executive Service of executives that do not reflect the diversity of the taxpayers they claim to serve.

The federal government is suffering from moral attention deficit disorder. The only way to combat this malady is to rebuild the federal government where inclusion is a consistent crucial conversation. These discussions can take the form of trainings, blog posts, web articles, executive pep talks, performance reviews, team meetings, onboarding, exit interviews, development programs, coaching and mentoring consultations. Inclusion has to permeate every part of the federal government culture and climate in order to serve as our moral wake up call to incorporate it into our core values.

We need deeper emotional connections among our world community to persuade ourselves we are not different from each other. We are different like each other.

Inclusion: it is simply the right thing to do despite what the terrorists have taught us.

As far as refugees are concerned, the fear of them wiping everyone out actually did come true. We will be sitting around a table celebrating that event on Thanksgiving.

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