Liberals have long loudly and proudly advocated for diversity. It should probably please us then that during the awards season just gone that the issue was high on the agenda once again.
At the Grammys, Adele saw off Beyoncé for some the major awards, including Best Album, with a large number of people citing the controversial and racial issues raised by the latter as one of the reasons she did not triumph.
Speaking to CNN.com, Kevin Powell, who is the author of a forthcoming biography of rapper Tupac Shakur, said: “Beyoncé's Lemonade made a lot of people uncomfortable, because it is so political, so spiritual, so unapologetically black, and so brutally honest about love, self-love, trust, betrayal."
Billboard’s Andrew Unterberger, writing at the Hollywood Reporter, said: “A non-Adele year and Beyoncé likely struts to the podium, but all the timeliness in the world couldn't give Lemonade the edge over an uncontroversial commercial behemoth like 25.”
Over at the Oscars, Moonlight, a film depicting the story of two African-American men, did (eventually) win the award for best picture. Its victory comes just a year after the Academy Awards were rightly criticised for having no actors of colour nominated for two years in a row, despite plenty of performances equally as commendable as those of their white counterparts.
It is good that we talk about diversity, of all kinds, in relation to major cultural events like the Grammys and the Oscars. In fact, it is essential.
In 2017 it frankly should go without saying that women, people of colour, members of the LGBT community and so on should all be recognised and rewarded for their achievements. Organisations and sectors that fail to do so should be called out on this, and correctives found.
What I fear though is that those of us who care about diversity have become too bogged down in obsessive intersectionality, reducing people to little more than labels and demography, as was done when discussing the winners and losers of these recent awards.
My concern is that by doing this we not only throw people into crude blocs, removing their individuality, but also risk making the issue of diversity almost unapproachable for people not aware of or interested in it already.
Recent political developments have shown that even if liberal instincts are well meant, they must be articulated in the right way if they are to carry any weight. If not we will keep losing. We need to be careful that when dealing with diversity it cannot simply be dismissed as political correctness.
Ultimately, those that get bogged down in acronyms and intersectionality may actually be hindering, not helping, the cause of equality.
Charlotte Henry is a journalist and broadcaster covering technology, media, and politics and a member of Bright Blue. The views expressed in this article are those of the author, not necessarily those of Bright Blue.