Diversity, Equity, Coercion
Why the discrepancy between the Diversity Officer’s warm words to the campus
community and her belligerence to the Jewish representatives?
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are the catch words of the day on university campuses across the country. Our local university is no exception.
Recently our university president presented this year’s “Diversity Awards,” an annual event honoring campus community members who have contributed to the university’s diversity goals. During the award ceremony, I was struck by the words of the university’s Chief Diversity Officer, who crowed, “This day always feels like an opportunity to celebrate all of you and recognize the love-driven work we’ve done…… That our institution will be marked by care and belonging and equity fills me with hope.”
Anyone who had attended an earlier meeting between the Chief Diversity Officer and representatives of the local Jewish Community might have been surprised by the warmth of her words. At that meeting, the kind and non-judgmental persona on display at the Awards Ceremony was nowhere to be seen. Instead, our Diversity leader was hostile, aggressive and demeaning to the Jewish representatives.
Several months earlier the Diversity Officer had co-sponsored a panel presentation led by an Arab Studies professor with a well-established reputation as an anti-Israel firebrand and antisemite. At the professor’s university, her treatment of Jewish students had led to a lawsuit by those students and a consent agreement in which the university committed to addressing antisemitism. It should have come as no surprise to our own Diversity Officer, that the professor’s panel presentation was peppered with anti-Jewish accusations. Among those were her false claims that Jews only care about their own kind and that a major national Jewish organization had spied on “every progressive organization in the country.”
The Jewish community members had hoped to sponsor antisemitism training on campus. But the harshness of the Diversity Dean’s behavior at her meeting with Jewish community members did not augur well for that possibility.
The spokesperson for the Jewish representatives opened the meeting with an icebreaker, “All of us here today have good intentions.” The Diversity Dean would have none of that. She glowered, “There are no good intentions here.” Another Diversity Bureaucrat jumped into the fray. Addressing the Jewish representatives, she demanded,” Until you acknowledge your privilege, there won’t be any antisemitism training on this campus.”
Why the discrepancy between the Diversity Officer’s warm words to the campus community and her belligerence to the Jewish community? What was going on here?
What is DEI?
The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion enterprise poses as an academic discipline. That characterization is buttressed by dedicated teaching and administrative positions at universities, as well as other professional trappings such as presumably scholarly journals and conferences.
But the Diversity Officer’s lapse into harshness with the Jewish community provided a glimpse into the true nature of DEI. Rather than a legitimate academic discipline, it more resembles a religion and a political advocacy movement.
The similarities between DEI and religion are stark. Both center themselves at the heart of an epic battle between good and evil. While religionists fight sin, Diversity warriors fight white racism. Religion exhorts its followers to root out sin. Diversity warriors admonish that white racism characterizes every societal institution—in education, government, the economy and the culture itself—-and that the core task of those institutions should be to root out racism.
Diversity warriors insist that racism motivates our every action. According to them, even when we think we are not racist, our racism is present. Even the best of us have “unconscious bias”—-a tautological accusation impervious to challenge. Priests and pastors jump in to alert us to our sin and help us extirpate it. Diversity warriors do the same for our white racism. Because that role is religious—-recognized or not—-it is sacrosanct. Any opposition is morally suspect.
Religions often spawn political movements—–Evangelical Republicans, Christian Democrats, and Islamic governments are all examples.
The kind and caring public persona of our Chief Diversity Officer (that did not extend to the Jewish community) supports the lie that the goal of the Diversity Movement is humanitarian. But like many religious and political movements its true goal is power for its leaders. Today’s Diversity Bureaucrats have the power to control school curricula, hiring and promotion practices, lucrative training budgets and more. They even get to force others to participate through Diversity Pledges that have become popular in our institutions—-mandatory and quasi-religious oaths in which the supplicant pledges allegiance to DEI doctrine.
The Bottom Line
DEI does not benefit society. Its public persona as a humanitarian movement is phony. It hides its true intention, which is to accrue power for those who aspire to change society for their narrow benefit. It promotes the false idea that the most important thing about each of us is membership in our particular identity group. It divides people by skin color and other superficial characteristics. It simplistically classifies people into oppressor and victim, identities that are counterproductive for everyone. It promotes hostility among societal groups.
Contrary to the claim by our Diversity Officer, rather than being motivated by love, DEI is motivated by resentment.
In the end, all such movements fail.