Most date the campus launch of the notorious “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” (DEI) ideology to 2010, with a hyper-escalation in 2020, although its roots go back to the late 60s when socialists created it on college campuses. Until now, the trajectory has always been up.
However, in the last year, DEI has been exposed to business as a huge profit loser by Dylan Mulvaney, Target and most recently the demise of Sports Illustrated after they started putting men pretending to be women on their covers.
On college campuses, the congressional testimony of the three Ivy League presidents showed DEI for what it is: progressive sanctioned racism that denigrates the autonomy of the individual in favor of collective identities linked to the immutable characteristics of race and gender.
Texas’ anti-DEI law, Senate Bill 17, continues to make national news because it is the strongest legislation of its kind in the nation. Texas parents feel safer sending their children to taxpayer funded campuses because the DEI offices have ostensibly been closed. But almost none of the hundreds of people who ran those offices in colleges and universities across the state have been fired, so we can assume they are still spewing phony DEI nonsense from their new perches as Vice President of Belonging, or some other such Sesame Street name.
Dr. Hal Atkins recently noted in the Wall Street Journal that “DEI is down but not out.” The goal of DEI is to convince white Americans that they are all racist, whether they know it or not, and they want black and brown Americans to believe that they are all victims. It’s a $6 billion industry that is not going to go away quietly.
DEI is purposefully never clearly defined by the left, but new polling shows that Americans know it when they see it — and they don’t like it.
When asked if they would like their company to hire and promote individuals based on race, gender or sexually based categories, 66% of all Americans said no, including 54% of Democrats, 71% of Independents and 76% of Republicans.
Of course, DEI zealots have a poll too that shows just the opposite. A poll was referenced in the New York Times late last month that insisted a majority (56%) of those surveyed by Pew in February 2023, said that “focusing on increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace is mainly a good thing. Only 16% thought it was mainly a bad thing.”
What the New York Times didn’t report is that the same poll shows that people clearly don’t know what DEI is. Diversity, equity and inclusion sound good, but digging deeper into the data is the point in the same poll. 68% of Americans don’t want hiring or university admissions to be determined by race or gender or any kind of sexual identity group. They want fair and open merit-based selection processes in all things. This is a benchmark principle for a bipartisan majority of Americans.
So what will DEI advocates do now that Claudine Gay has been exposed as a plagiarizing hack (who probably wasn’t qualified to be president of Harvard) and Dylan Mulvaney (who is definitely not qualified to be a woman) is driven back to counting her Twitter (X) followers? How will the DEI industry fight back?
A recent front page of the New York Times makes it clear that even after DEI advocates have been exposed as frauds, their strategy will remain the same – demonize and insist that all opposition to DEI is not substantive, just political. The Times attacks Texas Republican leadership for the DEI law, demonizing rather than addressing whether DEI programs are discriminatory and divisive.
I have frequently noted that I have yet to hear a DEI advocate provide examples proving that DEI has been effective in increasing minority recruitment, either in business or in academic institutions, or improving student performance or outcomes on college campuses. No one is providing evidence of success (and tons of evidence is showing it is harmful), but the pro-DEI crowd ignores that question too.
Americans oppose DEI because it promulgates a race-based ideology that pits students – and all Americans — against each other based on their ancestors. It creates guilt in those who have done no wrong and exonerates others from responsibility for their lives.
But DEI is also something much worse: a war against civilization. Viewing the world through the DEI ideology requires pronouncing virtually everything that humans have accomplished since time began as the result of white supremacy, racism or colonialism. It rejects the principles of individual freedom and autonomy, science, research, advancement, inquiry and discovery. Their worldview is a dark place where everything humans value is proclaimed to be bad and everything human decency condemns as bad is said to be good.
That’s how thousands of DEI indoctrinated students could continue to flood into the streets to support terrorists who are attempting to wipe Jews off the face of the earth. This barbaric madness and other actions like it will continue until DEI is ended.
Sherry Sylvester is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the former Senior Advisor to Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.