New frontiers in “diversity”

The Star Tribune never tires of creative ways to tout the alleged benefits of the immigrant waves transforming Minnesota. When one looks for an assessment of the costs, or an assessment of whether the costs might outweigh the benefits, one must look elsewhere.

This weekend the Star Tribune touts the coming of “diversity” to the business of craft beer. It reads to me like unintended satire. First we have the obligatory passing of the white man. We have the obligatory obsession with race.

We make way for the ladies (“[m]ost of the recent gains in equality in the craft beer world have been along gender lines”), the Hmong (see the market in three-day funerals), a Uraguayan (and yet “[t]he beer they make in Latin America is the same as the beer they make all over the world”) and….well, that’s about it. There isn’t much of a story here. This is a joke without a punch line.

The Star Tribune presents the beer business as a sort of civil rights issue. The implication is that “equality” remains a distant goal in the business. However, it pulls up short of the comprehensive challenge raised by the business. The Beer Connoisseur decries “the lack of diversity across the board – in brewing, distributing, marketing, writing about and selling craft beer – when it comes to race/ethnicity, able-bodied/disabled, age, and other (including unperceived) identifiers.” Now we’re talking.

Back to the local scene, we note that the Star Tribune silently passes over the absence of Minnesota Somalis in the business. Why so shy?

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