You're back! Excellent, good to have you here, welcome to our third instalment of Media Isle of Man's Future Series: Diversity. Probably best known for winning the third series of Britain's Got Talent for their impressive dance skills, Diver... wait. Sorry. I'm talking about the wrong Diversity. 

Besides an exceptional dance group, what is diversity? As always intrepid reader, you deliver the spot-on questions. Diversity is the act of including people of different genders and sexual orientations and those from a wide variety of social and ethnic backgrounds. Without it, the world would be a very boring place. We'd be like the human equivalent of Homer Simpson's wardrobe containing an infinite amount of the same outfit. 

It's thanks to diversity that we as a people learn about how we each experience life differently. It teaches us how to respect those differences and learn how to body-pop. No, sorry, that last one was the dance group again.

Diversity is the way we see the best of humankind. But it can also bring out the worst. Diversity, like our previous campaigns 'Womann' and 'Green Life' has the ability to ruffle the feathers of those used to living life in a particular way who feel threatened or victimised by change. 

Some people who have lived in the majority can find a push for inclusivity jarring, suddenly feeling like something is being taken away from them when the narrow spotlight expands to finally include those who have been on the peripheries for so long. It’s not uncommon to see fear-based anger flare, leading to raging online battles about who has the most/worst injustices against them. 

We see those battles cultivating in phrases like 'All Lives Matter', as though it's impossible to acknowledge and be compassionate to different people's problems without pointing out all the injustices in the world felt by everyone. Instead of listening, understanding, and empathising, some knee-jerk react with a 'yeah but WHAT ABOUT ME?!' mindset. This response crops up particularly aggressively in the face of the Black Lives Matter movement. A specific example of it is when a member of the white working class responds negatively to the notion that they, as a struggling white person, has privilege over a black person, who may be better off financially/in a better job/bigger house etc. 

When we become solely focussed on our own shortcomings, we replace empathy with defensiveness and can be unwilling to listen to how, in this example, the colour of someone's skin or the sound of someone's name can immediately put them on the backfoot in society before they've even spoken or been seen. 

Mindsets, to unintentionally use a pun, get very black and white. People are divided into their own camps and nuance and individuality are lost. And humans aren’t anything if not nuanced. Anger is misdirected towards people facing issues of their own, who we most likely have more things in common with than we realise. 

When we take a moment to tell ourselves 'This isn't about me' and actually speak to other people about their experiences we realise, as humans, there's always common ground to be found. 

To continue using this specific example, highlighting the inequities and inequalities against people of colour doesn't devalue the issues being faced by the white working class, it just shows that there's a lot of work needing to be done in multiple areas. And to make good change happen for different groups, it needs to be the people pulling in the same direction rather than different groups of people squabbling with each other. The more we embrace diversity, listen, and help one another, the quicker regenerative action can be demanded from those in power and from society.

From listening to different types of people, we may learn of some prejudices within ourselves we didn't realise were subconsciously ingrained that may need working on. I personally have. I know, I was also shocked to find out I’m not perfect. 

Growing up I would frequently say 'that's gay' towards anything negative. It's only since meeting people who are gay and have become some of my closest friends, I realised that though I might have thought nothing of using that sentence, to them, it might not feel nice. 

Realising these things often feels uncomfortable, which again can make people push back. But I think that reaction often comes from a place of guilt. Most of us don't like the idea that we may have inadvertently hurt someone else's feelings. But the discomfort is good. Just like in Harry Potter when danger-plagued Potter breaks his arm during a Quidditch game and is fed Skele-Gro. The discomfort is palpable in the pages, but the growth (in his case of bones) is worth it. So, consider this supplement your dose of Skele-Gro. Overlooking the fact that J.K. Rowling is anti-trans.

Of course, the buzz phrase of 'it's just political correctness going mad' frequently rears its pestering head around these discussions. A reaction that, again, if we’re being gracious, could be coming from a place of fear when a shift in societal norms is rumbling. 

However, the phrase commonly comes from a 'just joker'. 'Just jokers' are the ones who use 'humour' as an excuse to get away with being sometimes mildly, other times overtly, racist, sexist, homophobic etc. 99% of the time the 'just jokers' are not at the receiving end of one of these so-called jokes but would most likely be the loudest to kick off if they were.

On the Diversity section of Isle of Man Today, we hope to take you on a journey so diverse it'll give you (non-life-hindering) whiplash each time you click to a new article. We're looking at everything from the brilliantly vital work being done by charities Isle Listen, Sailing for the Disabled and Sight Matters. We're diving into the history of Pride and its relationship with the Isle of Man, and decoding different diversity terms that might be new to you. PwC Isle of Man, Stonehage Fleming, and KPMG in the Crown Dependencies talk to us about diversity in the workplace. Locate Isle of Man shares stories with us about people who have relocated to the island, and we have another top films list for you from diverse filmmakers, curated by our friends at

We hope you see some of yourself in these articles and, if you don't, we hope you learn a little about some different people's experiences. 

No matter how diverse people can be, common ground is never too far from the surface if we choose to look for it. And that common ground is a lovely thing to find. When we can not only respect, but celebrate, our differences and put ourselves in other's shoes rather than seeing those differences as a threat, we'll be dancing through life. Just like Diversity. (Winner of the 2007 series of Britain's Got Talent).