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Reader response: Does diversity matter?

On Tuesday, I published a story that took a closer look at the lack of diversity within Gov. Kevin Stitt's cabinet, which is mostly white and mostly male. 

The story had all the ingredients – politics, race, gender, the governor – for a lot of reader feedback.

Here is some of what I heard from readers:

Dave, who sent me an email, said he was more interested in qualifications.

Ben , “qualification” is what is important and not whether the members of the cabinet are “white, black, Hispanic, or Asian”. In fact, your article is somewhat “racist” !

My story was mostly focused on the lack of gender diversity, but it did reference the lack of nonwhite members. 

Like several others, Kellie, who commented on Facebook, saw the focus on race as an attempt to draw attention for the article. 

I wish you all would quit stirring up unnecessary issues ... Please think of positive, this world could sure use some.

Emily sent me an email saying it was important to point out the lack of diversity in government leadership. 

Some people will say it doesn't matter what a person's gender or race is, and in a way that is true. But it's always easy for white men to say that. If Stitt's cabinet were all female that would be noticeable, and amazing.  

Tom sent me an email saying there are other aspects of diversity that should be looked at. 

Timely article about the Stitt cabinet. I would only add that his cabinet is almost undoubtedly not only mostly male, mostly White, and probably all straight. LGBT Oklahomans both deserve to be represented and have skills to contribute. I would encourage you to go back and ask about this aspect of diversity as well.

Chris Powell, who ran for governor last year on the Libertarian ticket, took to Twitter to ask about partisan diversity. 

What do you think? Send me your thoughts - bfelder@oklahoman.com 

Ben Felder

Ben Felder is an investigative reporter for The Oklahoman. A native of Kansas City, Ben has lived in Oklahoma City since 2010 and covered politics, education and local government for the Oklahoma Gazette before joining The Oklahoman in 2016.... Read more ›