If you host a party and no one comes, is it still a party? So-called diversity, equity, and inclusion advocacy groups have to be asking themselves that these days.
DEI activists are still planning conferences nationwide to promote, as one organization describes it, “community, collaboration, learning, and inspiration” on DEI. But more and more employers, including colleges, are scuttling their DEI offices and eliminating staff. This means attendance could be lighter than usual for these “social justice” soirees.
This is a good trend. DEI is indelibly linked to discriminatory concepts such as critical race theory. DEI has its roots buried in “social justice philosophy,” a euphemism for racial preferences. Now, after the Supreme Court ruled in June against the use of racial preferences in college admissions, more business leaders and college administrators are standing up for equality under the law and civil rights and discarding DEI’s cultish racial obsession.
The high court’s decision opened by rejecting preferences in college admissions but did not end there. Chief Justice John Roberts said it’s time to end discrimination everywhere, and that means both on and off campus. As a result, a writer for Bloomberg reported on Sept. 10 that “mentions of diversity, equity and inclusion on earnings calls and at conferences among Russell 3,000 Index companies fell by 54% from a year ago in the third quarter to the lowest since 2018.”
Corporations are anticipating that DEI training programs, such as Coca-Cola’s, which urges employees to be “less white,” or Lockheed Martin’s “white male privilege” training program, will face some much-deserved scrutiny. Business executives are proactively disbanding DEI trainings. The Wall Street Journal reported that businesses are even trimming DEI staff.
College officials are also scrutinizing, and in some cases distancing themselves from, DEI activities. At Boston University, school officials have launched an investigation into the department led by Ibram X. Kendi, who conducts DEI lectures and trainings around the country. School officials are looking into the center’s “culture and its grant management practices” after a noticeable lack of production of any kind.
Earlier this year, some college officials also distanced themselves from DEI. In April, the University of Georgia’s Board of Regents approved a set of principles based on academic freedom and free speech and rejected the compulsory oaths required by DEI apparatchiks. A crucial provision in the new statement said, “Faculty have the right to be unburdened by ideological tests, affirmations, and oaths. The key basis for hiring, promotion, and tenure should be achievement and a commitment to student success.”
This statement rejected the DEI loyalty oaths that are common to postsecondary job postings. College administrators often require applicants to write a pledge in favor of DEI or explain how they would advocate DEI if hired. Writing for Tablet, the National Association of Scholars’s John Sailer found hundreds of university job postings that require DEI statements, including jobs at the University of California, Berkeley, Ohio State University, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and more.
But this trend appears to be falling by the wayside. Earlier this year, Arizona State University staff announced it was abandoning the school’s loyalty oath requirement for job applicants after research exposed the requirement.
However, an ASU professor recently reported that officials were still evaluating existing employees based on their commitment to DEI as part of annual reviews. So “statements of principle” from leadership against DEI are a good start, but they may not be enough to prevent DEI’s racist influence on campus.
That’s why state legislators should take strong positions in favor of equality under the law and prohibit school administrators from using taxpayer resources to support DEI offices at colleges and universities. They should follow the examples set by officials in Texas and Florida, who adopted proposals this year that defund campus DEI programs and reject the Orwellian DEI loyalty oaths. University of North Texas officials quickly closed the school’s DEI office in August.
The Left, however, doesn’t seem to have received the message. Later this year and into early 2024, groups such as Global Inclusion, the Conference Board, and Aleria Research will be hosting events to promote DEI. Tickets to these confabs can cost upward of $2,000 for nonmembers.
Even if the programs find registrants who can afford the cost of admission, the overdue rejection of DEI’s racist programs in the corporate and academic sectors begs the question: Where will conference attendees go once the show is over and no one is buying their racist message?
This piece originally appeared in Restoring America by the Washington Examiner