Since diversity was proclaimed valuable, many have emphasized the need to celebrate difference. Clearly, it is plain wrong to privilege one group of people over others based on such categories as race, gender or sexual orientation. Everybody should have equal rights and responsibilities in the global culture; everybody should be included. The realization that being different is fine was an important step forward in the development of society. After all, we are all different, in so many different ways.
However, taken to extremes diversity can become problematic. Taking things to extremes is in general not a good idea. Unfortunately, much is what we call “Western” culture is influenced by binary oppositions. Which means, we tend to believe that something is always "either/or", with not much in-between. Either a man or a woman, either a winner or a loser, either smart or stupid, either same of different. Well, it does not work that way.
Talking about diversity and uniqueness we can forget about crucial things that people have in common. And not only those who “want in” as in the passage by hooks’ student, but also those who are already in, those who enjoy the privilege. We are the same simply because we all want to be loved and to belong, we all are afraid to be hurt, we all are born with the potential for creativity and the need to do the right thing. I am sure there are some other things that we have in common, but these are probably the most important ones.
So, let us toss the sameness/diversity binary. It does not help us to understand each other. People are different and they are the same. There is just no contradiction here. Remember this next time you have an argument with somebody; when someone annoys you; when you are angry with the whole world.