Here’s a brief visualization exercise: I want you to picture the word “diversity.” What do you think of? What does it look like? What does it smell like? If you could reach out and touch it, what would it feel like? What does diversity taste like?
What if I told you there was only one right answer?
And that answer, friends, is VANILLA FLAVORED CHAPSTICK.
Jennifer Brandel, founder of WBEZ Chicago’s “Curious City,” recently shared some “awkward” conference swag she picked up from the annual Asian American Journalist’s Association conference that was held in Philadelphia: a “Diversity and Inclusion” stick of lip balm from NBCUniversal. The flavor? Naturally: the whitest, most vanilla flavor imaginable.
NBC UNIVERSAL. GIRL. Even pumpkin spice flavored lip balm would have been a less white thing to do.
NBC sure seems proud of this stuff, though. In the tweet below from an NBCUniversal employee, you can see the little beacon of vanilla-flavored inclusivity among the Diversity and Inclusion swag, right underneath a Comcast NBCUniversal tote bag and next to the water bottle.
We’ve reached out to NBC for comment on its supposedly mild, inoffensive, universally pleasing balm, and will update if we hear back.
For now, I propose the following D&I swag items for future conferences:
- Travel jar of extra non-spicy Diversity and Inclusion mayo
- Diversity and Inclusion 5 page pamphlet on unlocking the joys of missionary sex
- An exclusive Diversity and Inclusion compilation of folk covers of your favorite rap songs
- Diversity and Inclusion grain bowls/kale chips
- Diversity and Inclusion White Girl Rosé
- Backstage passes to Taylor Swift’s Diversity and Inclusion concert in Salt Lake City, Utah
- Limited release Diversity and Inclusion Friends DVD box set
- Exclusive Diversity and Inclusion crayon set: white and beige edition