You don’t need a political science degree from the Sorbonne to know there are forces attempting regime change in America. Diversity, equity, and inclusion; critical race theory; environmental, social, and governance—these are the strategies that nonelected entities are using to alter how we live.
Now to the rescue comes a functioning branch of representative democracy. State governments, particularly state legislatures, are going into overdrive to introduce a raft of bills to defeat DEI, CRT, and ESG.
Florida and Texas led the way. Now, Missouri and Arizona have introduced bills that defend the constitutional order the purveyors of the alphabet soup are trying to deconstruct. Even Congress is getting in on the act: Two anti-CRT bills have just been introduced in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Besides, states have constitutional authority over education. In fact, federal bills that try to tell the 50 states what to do in education will meet legal difficulties.
State legislators are, too, closer to their constituents, able to represent their views better, and less encumbered by the type of permanent bureaucratic “swamp” that has so distorted the legislative power of Congress. The effects of their legislative efforts are also more immediate to the public.
That’s why it is so important to celebrate the U.S.’s 50 laboratories of democracy, which experiment constantly and allow different policy formulations to work out kinks at the state level.
The efforts in Florida, Arizona, Texas, and Missouri join a bundle of bills that have passed in other states in the past two years or are still pending. These bills either reject the discrimination of CRT or establish parents’ bills of rights or guarantee academic transparency. The Heritage Foundation has a handy state tracker that shows where the state of play is in every one of the 50 states.
To understand the significance of these legislative efforts, it’s important to revisit the threat to our national unity and the preservation of American civic order that the leftist agenda poses.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion includes perhaps the most apple pie terms in the triangle of abbreviations. Diversity, defined in the traditional sense, is a plus if it is obtained naturally as a result of colorblind equality of opportunity. But in today’s parlance, it means coercive racial quotas, which are illegal and unseemly.
Equity, meanwhile, has perversely come to mean government taking account of race, not need, when handing out benefits—the opposite of the American ideal of equality. Inclusion now means exclusion, as it pushes out of the group anyone espousing ideas that the orthodoxy disparages.
Critical race theory is a body of thought that seeks to revolutionize society by deconstructing the American system, which it sees as the plinth of “systemic racism,” and replacing it with something that looks a lot like central planning and other Marxist shibboleths.
Environmental, social, and corporate governance principles might be the least understood. It is a way for the woke CEOs of large fund managers to force the corporations into which they invest money to acquiesce to a liberal agenda, be it the boycott of investment in fossil fuel industries or the financial disclosure of racial quotas. (Climatism, after all, is a form of anti-capitalism.)
Vanguard, State Street, and especially BlackRock are fund managers pushing ESG. They are mammoths, managing almost as much money as the entire U.S. GDP. West Virginia and Tennessee, among others, have taken the fight to ESG by announcing that fund managers boycotting fossil fuels will not be allowed to manage their state pension funds.
A highly trained cadre, meanwhile, pushes DEI at our major universities, companies, sports leagues, etc.
Most of the administrators of our cultural institutions, as well as entertainers, teachers and college professors, and journalists, now push the CRT revolution. Nikole Hannah-Jones, the creator of the 1619 Project, made clear the intent when she recently told a crowd in Virginia about her book that “you read this book and suddenly you start to question your reality and you realize all of this was created. And then you try to subvert it. I want y’all to do that.”
You can find the Florida bills cracking down on DEI and CRT here, here, here, and here. The Texas bills banning CRT are here and here. Arizona’s is here. Missouri’s H.R. 680, which prohibits “state colleges and universities from enforcing a ‘discriminatory ideology’, defined in the act as an ideology that promotes the differential treatment of any individual or group of individuals based on immutable characteristics of race, color, religion, sex, gender, ethnicity, national origin, or ancestry,” can be found here.
This is how America is fighting back.
This piece originally appeared in the Washington Examiner