From her outstanding site Bari Weiss articulates the fundamental flaw with DEI. It is shameful that it took the explosion in anti Semitism on our campuses to see the problem but I have long objected to the infection of this mind virus. From her essay End DEI:
What I saw was a worldview that replaced basic ideas of good and evil with a new rubric: the powerless (good) and the powerful (bad). It replaced lots of things. Color blindness with race obsession. Ideas with identity. Debate with denunciation. Persuasion with public shaming. The rule of law with the fury of the mob.
People were to be given authority in this new order not in recognition of their gifts, hard work, accomplishments, or contributions to society, but in inverse proportion to the disadvantages their group had suffered, as defined by radical ideologues. According to them, as James Kirchick concisely put it: “Muslim > gay, black > female, and everybody > the Jews.”
I was an undergraduate back then, but you didn’t need a PhD to see where this could go. And so I watched, in horror, sounding alarms as loudly as I could.
I was told by most Jewish leaders that, yes, it wasn’t great, but not to be so hysterical. Campuses were always hotbeds of radicalism, they said. This ideology, they promised, would surely dissipate as young people made their way in the world.
It did not.
Over the past two decades I saw this inverted worldview swallow all of the crucial sense-making institutions of American life. It started with the universities. Then it moved on to cultural institutions—including some I knew well, like The New York Times—as well as every major museum, philanthropy, and media company. Then on to our medical schools and our law schools. It’s taken root at nearly every major corporation. It’s inside our high schools and even our elementary schools. The takeover is so comprehensive that it’s now almost hard to notice it—because it is everywhere.
We have been seeing for several years now the damage this ideology has done: DEI, and its cadres of enforcers, undermine the central missions of the institutions that adopt it. But nothing has made the dangers of DEI clearer than what’s happening these days on our college campuses—the places where our future leaders are nurtured.
It is there that professors are compelled to pledge fidelity to DEI in order to get hired, promoted, or tenured. (For more on this, please read John Sailer’s Free Press piece: How DEI Is Supplanting Truth as the Mission of American Universities.) And it is there that the hideousness of this worldview has been on full display over the past few weeks: we see students and professors immersed not in facts, knowledge, and history, but in a dehumanizing ideology that has led them to celebrate or justify terrorism.
It is time to end DEI for good. No more standing by as people are encouraged to segregate themselves. No more forced declarations that you will prioritize identity over excellence. No more compelled speech. No more going along with little lies for the sake of being polite.
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