Comics Creators

Diversity in Modern Society


I don’t know why nationalist types are so crazy about Russia, Russia is very diverse. More Muslims than France, lots of different minorities. It even has its own Buddhist republic, Kalmykia.

Serbs and Croats are not ethnically the same. They’re a bit similar because they speak similar Slavic languages. And Slovenian and Macedonian while both Slavic are quite different.

There are also non-Slavic groups in what used to be Yugoslavia, the Kosovars, Hungarians in Serbia, Turks in Macedonia.


But you have nothing to refute his claim either. Russia, the UK, France, Germany and Italy are over half the population of Europe and none of those countries are particularly diverse. Add in Spain, Netherlands, Ukraine, Poland and Romania and you’re not going to make your diversity position any stronger. Again, depending on the measure of diversity, but along the lines of skin color or sexual preference (which are the two big issues that have driven this topic so far) Europe is still leagues behind.


As I said, I was genuinely curious what he was basing his statement on, rather than just a feeling. It’s a bold statement; to me it needs questioning a bit more than just accepting it on face value.


What’s your basis for that statement?

Again, there’s lots of ways to assess that; here’s this year’s Spartacus list of the most LGBT+ friendly countries:

The SPARTACUS Gay Travel Index is created using 14 criteria in three categories. The first category is civil rights. Among other things, it assesses whether gays and lesbians are allowed to marry, whether there are anti-discrimination laws, or whether the same age of consent applies to heterosexual and homosexual couples. Discrimination is recorded in the second category. These include, for example, travel restrictions on HIV-positives and the ban on Pride parades and other demonstrations. The third category involves perils of the person through persecution, imprisonment or the death penalty. Evaluated sources include the human rights organization Human Rights Watch, the UN Free & Equal campaign, and year-round information on human rights violations against members of the LGBT community.

(The USA comes in at 39th)


You could say in race the US is more diverse, Europe is mostly white. However linguistically and ethnically I think Europe is more diverse. That is if you compare the US with Europe as a whole, compared to individual European countries the US is far more diverse.

Ethnicity is kind of a vague term though. Are Irish Americans and Italian Americans different ethnically? Are Frisians and Limburgish ethnically different from Hollandic Dutch? It’s pretty subjective.


It’s a ridiculously dumb list then.


So what are you basing your statement on? They’ve set out their methodology.

(And the USA doesn’t score desperately badly in absolute terms … it’s just 38 other countries are considered to be better; if you were to count it another way, the USA would be joint 7th … but there would still be 38 other countries ahead)


They put Ireland above the US on their list. As a sane thinking human being that’s a mind numingly stupid thing to do. I mean maybe if the US were just Mississippi they’d have a point, but the US has New York and California too and those states would shit all over Canada’s top spot. It’s just part of the tiresome anti-US hate jerk that all the rage these days.


I have been in the Dupont circle neighborhood in Washington DC which is gayer than any part of Amsterdam.


Meanwhile, in Colorado:

Across the US, 16 trans or non-binary identifying people were murdered in the first seven months of this year.

Even without taking into account the Orlando massacre, 2016 saw more LGBT+ people murdered in the US than ever before.

31% of non-LGBT+ adults in the US in 2017 said they would feel uncomfortable if their child was placed in a class with an LGBT+ teacher.

The use of the “gay panic” defence in US courts is only now beginning to be turned around

It’s not “tiresome anti-US hate jerk” Jim; you can’t expect to claim that the US is a world leader in LGBT+ friendliness and safety with data like that and have it pass unchallenged.

And yes, the US is a diverse culture, and yes, there are clearly places which are as pro-LGBT+ as anywhere on the planet … but when comparing like for like, country for country, on metrics like this, the US doesn’t do that well.


Oh yeah I wasn’t saying the US is more gay friendly or something, I just don’t know. I am sure LGBT people face problems of some kind in most places in the world, some places more than others.

There are a lot of crazies who might hurt homosexual people, but in law I think the US is pretty liberal when it comes to LGBT rights.


Ireland Mike. Ireland. Come on.


And yet if I get murdered in the US, a defendant is likely to get a lesser jail sentence if convicted in many states if they claim that knowing I was gay introduced a temporary state of mental impairment in them, causing them to act in an atypical way … California, as liberal as they come, only banned the “gay panic” defence in 2014. New York, Jim’s other cited strongly positive LGBT+ state, still permits it.


How many LGBT+ people in Ireland were killed last year because of their sexuality or gender identity? How many in the USA?

You’re welcome to your opinion Jim, but without any sort of data other than “Come on Mike” I am not at all convinced that the US’ ranking is not about right - they do lots of good things for LGBT+ friendliness/safety, but there are a lot more negatives than in other comparable countries too.

(PS: Lorcan, I acknowledge the issues in introducing Graham Linehan into the conversation!)


Nice to know Comicsgate has standards, I guess?


You just spent the afternoon arguing about diversity levels in Europe with no data at all to back it up!

Anyway, like I said - tiresome argument. Good night Mike.


I asked for the data behind the original statement precisely so we could discuss it meaningfully, rather than just someone’s gut feeling.

You stated a fact; you were challenged on it - with statistics and data from several sources - and all you can come up with to refute it is “Ah, come on, will you not look at them?”

I completely agree; tedious. And yet fascinating.


It shows the perception element in this debate when a lot of what I hear from the US media, mostly right wing but it gets into the left as well, is how Europe is being overrun by foreigners and will be unrecognisable and even majority Muslim by 2030.

This is where we see perception as well. Some only see colour as the element of diversity and that’s where they come from in looking at primarily white faces in Russia. The US is very diverse in that aspect but due to immigration patterns is very Christian with less religious diversity.

I’ll also hold my hand up for my little corner of the East in Malaysia and Singapore which is more diverse in both than most countries and has been for a very long time so it’s not a concept exclusive to the West.


I’m not going to stand up for the US here, and I think identifying areas that need improvement is ultimately more valuable than bragging rights, but I’m not totally sure what to make of a ranking that has a 12-way for third place. So if the US is #39 it is basically…tied for 5th or 6th?

Ultimately the US is too geographically large and culturally diverse (I mean regional culture, not race/religion/etc) to be lumped into a 1-for-1 comp with other countries on a lot of things, including the “most diverse” conversation above, and this.

We are also currently in a phase that is a backlash to same-sex marriage becoming legal, which may skew some of the current prevailing attitude. And obviously we’re a country with a populace that is very poorly represented by the government in a very literal way, wherein suppression is rampant and not every vote counts the same. Still, many laws in the books remain troubling and the process to even review them is slow.


That’s the other thing - wouldn’t there be instances where a white person and a black person from the same city are more culturally alike than two white people from different parts of the country?

Also, diversity in a place doesn’t count for anything without integration or cohesion. It’s not about how many different nationalities are represented in a space - it’s whether they can and do get along.