It's Asian-Pacific American Month at the National Cathedral School for Girls in Washington, D.C. I don't know what that means exactly, but the banner proclaiming this diversity celebration is pretty big, so I'm thinking it must be very important. Not that every celebration of diversity isn't important. An elementary school in Somerset, Md., recently celebrated "Share Our Diversity Night," which reminds us why our Founding Minters thought to label American currency with that inspirational motto, "E unus pluribum" -- Out of one, many.
Maybe that's not exactly what it says, but my ears are still ringing from the medley of diverse songs (Trinidad and Newfoundland's greatest hits) shared on Somerset's Diversity Night. This luscious little town, by the way, is a veritable Olympic village of million-dollar homes flying United Nations flags. Correction: In the interest of reportorial accuracy, it must be said that only one Somerset home flies the robin's-egg blue banner recalling the locale of Dominique de Villepin's grand snits in the Security Council; a human rights commission headed by Libya; and a disarmament conference led by Iraq. The flag on that house, however, makes quite a diverse impression particularly if you don't know that a pair of all-American golden retrievers lives there.
Accuracy and diversity have been in the news a lot lately following revelations that top editors at The New York Times ignored increasingly emphatic warnings about the veracity of national reporter Jayson Blair: accuracy, because Blair was incapable of it (said to be a bad thing); diversity, because in today's climate of multi-culture-consciousness, Blair, a black man, exemplified it (said to be a good thing). As the old Gray Lady seeks to "out, out" this new spot by airing all the dirty linen that's fit to print -- 7,000-plus words on Sunday about Blair's fabrications -- the more interesting questions emerging from the scandal may pertain less to accuracy and more to diversity.
Why? Because there lurks the very, very, strong suspicion that Blair -- whose articles required 50-plus after-publication corrections before a final-straw bit of plagiarism -- was selected for plum beats to serve the cause of diversity. In the color-blinded eyes of The New York Times' top dogs, publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., executive editor Howell Raines and managing editor Gerald Boyd, diversity appears to have come before accuracy.