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Inclusivity, Inclusive and Inclusion: The Paradoxical Framework of Simultaneous Reality and Fantasy


Inclusivity, inclusion, and inclusive are terms which are used as a part of the same phraseology as the word, “diversity,” and are exploited to both denote and connote a new kind of opening up of something once exclusive, perhaps a new, integrative form in American culture from the 20th Century attempts at assimilation.


The root of each of these words is the word, “include,” which means, to take in or comprise as a part of a whole or group. [1] Of course, everyone who understands American English understands this word in its broadest sense. But the terms, inclusivity, inclusion, and inclusive have specific meanings related to previously segregated spaces and places of Whiteness, according to Merriam Webster and Oxford Dictionaries, without actually acknowledging Whiteness itself as the exclusionary rationale:


Inclusive: including everyone, especially allowing and accommodating people who have historically been excluded (as because of their race, gender, sexuality, or ability). [2]


Inclusivity: the practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those having physical or mental disabilities or belonging to other minority groups. [3]


Inclusion: The action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure. [4]


In my view, if these terms represent anything inclusive, it is the “inclusion” of simply more feel-good neutral wording in a culture trying desperately to give the illusion of neutrality, normalcy and naturality, with no significant impact on policies, laws, or regulations, and only providing tepid relevance in the vernacular of racialized American thought. Even with evidentiary proof of the day-to-day impotence of these terms, no one even questions the veracity or legitimacy of being inclusive or of inclusivity and inclusion, relative to the meaning of diversity in America.


The case for the use of these terms today is tragically ironic, considering the present state of the country in terms of its negligible