The public library system in my locality has for the most part taken a balanced approach to handling the "inclusivity" movement (the quotation marks will be explained shortly). But I'm starting to notice them to be bending to the pressure from the frenzy (and unbalanced) perspective of the main stream media and they are scheduling staff for inclusivity and unconscious bias training. I do not want to be party to this disingenuous movement.
It's probably helpful for me to fill out the picture of the situation at my library in order to lay the groundwork for my question. Identity politics and its childishly simple categories of personal identity is derogatory to everyone. To conceive people according to its standardized framework and to then treat people based on that framework is demeaning to the people I serve as a library professional. I maintain that personal interactions be genuine and untarnished by politics (ironically libraries are also supposed to be politically neutral). I can say with confidence our library consistently serves the diverse population of our already highly diverse society. In short I believe that "inclusivity" training is itself demeaning and unethical.
On another note, if any change were needed there has been absolutely no description of what exactly would need fixing. Also, as a front line worker I personally have no access to the business processes or authority needed for making changes and therefore this shows the dis-ingenuity on the company's part. I am strongly opposed to being a pawn of upper management so that they can say they trained the company on popular social issues. Our library is in fact manned almost exclusively by White women and although there is absolutely nothing wrong with that so long as hiring is done by merit, if it were found to be corrupt, the only way to change that is through oversight of hiring practices, something which front line staff have, by fact, zero influence on. So this shows the hypocrisy of taking inclusivity training.
How might I approach opting out, avoiding, or somehow handling this situation professionally and smoothly?
So much came out of this question; the only practical way to respond to the (mostly) helpful comments is to insert them here.
Yes, I am making assumptions about how the training will proceed, however those assumptions are based on experience with similar trainings as well as knowledge about the culture of the library. A culture which clearly takes sides on political issues (as shown through countless community initiatives--which all single out certain groups at the expense of other groups, and even other so called "minority" groups) despite having a mandate not to take sides.
These "helpful" movements actually turn their back on the variety of positions held inside the so called "minority" groups and are thus mis-representing those very people (I disagree with the identity politics movement hence I put the tag terms identifying entire groups of people in quotation marks). This is proof for the fact that these "inclusivity" movements are infact themselves demeaning and discriminating.
I actually would welcome working with a more diverse group of people. What progressives call "minorities" I am actually partial too because I find those people often hold traditional values to heart which I also do. However, the means to establishing this is over-reach and disingenuous. If a staff member commits an act of discrimination then investigate and reprimand them. However, personal change of opinion and belief is to be left to the person and their personal life; it is not to be manufactured by an institution which itself is suspect.