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Conservatives Finally Turning Tide Against DEI

Posted on Thursday, April 11, 2024
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by Andrew Shirley
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19 Comments
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AMAC EXCLUSIVE

DEI; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion written on blocks

From corporate boardrooms to college campuses, there are growing signs that conservatives are turning the tide in the battle against so-called “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” policies.

In the most recent setback for the DEI movement, the University of Texas at Austin announced on April 2 that it was laying off dozens of employees in compliance with a new state law which effectively bans DEI programs at state-funded institutions. In addition to outlawing DEI offices, the Texas law prohibits schools from requiring students and faculty to submit “DEI statements.”

A month prior, the University of Florida also announced that it was dissolving its DEI offices in accordance with a similar law in the Sunshine State. “To comply with the Florida Board of Governors’ regulation 9.016 on prohibited expenditures, the University of Florida has closed the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer, eliminated DEI positions and administrative appointments, and halted DEI-focused contracts with outside vendors,” a statement from the university read.

College DEI offices and programs have come under intense scrutiny in recent years for stoking racial tensions and in effect functioning as purveyors of left-wing ideologies like Critical Race Theory and radical gender theory. It is DEI offices that first gave rise to phenomena like racially segregated graduation ceremonies.

Moreover, colleges spend enormous sums of money each year on DEI positions. As the New York Post reports, the University of Michigan is expected to pay “more than $30 million to 241 DEI staffers this academic year alone.” Texas A&M’s DEI budget is $11 million. The University of California, Berkeley, spends $36 million a year.

But in addition to new laws in red states, college DEI programs received another major blow last year when the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in university admissions policies in the Students for Fair Admissions case. While not directly banning DEI, the decision put schools on notice that such programs – which, like racial quotas in admissions, also favor certain groups at the expense of others – might not stand up to legal scrutiny.

DEI also appears to be in retreat in the corporate world. As Reuters reported on April 5, “Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in corporate America are facing an onslaught of criticism” – in particular following the Students case. Stories like that of Nicole Levitt, who publicly exposed how her company forced her to sign a contract stating that “all white people are racist,” have helped galvanize liberals and conservatives alike against corporate DEI programs.

The Wall Street Journal reported last year that the number of searches for “chief diversity officer” positions was down 75 percent over the prior 12 months, following a sharp uptick in searches following the George Floyd riots in 2020. According to The Washington Post, the number of DEI jobs overall fell five percent last year and has shrunk another eight percent so far in 2024.

A growing number of conservative legal groups are also taking the fight against DEI into the courtroom.

One of the most prominent is America First Legal (AFL) founded by former Trump senior advisor Stephen Miller in 2021. While AFL is not solely focused on DEI (the group has filed more than 100 legal actions over the past three years) Miller’s outfit has nonetheless delivered some notable victories for the anti-DEI movement.

In 2022, for instance, AFL sued the Biden administration over a DEI farm loan forgiveness program that offered help to black farmers and denied it to white farmers. Rather than face what would’ve been a sure defeat in court, Biden and congressional Democrat quietly abandoned the program.

Last November, AFL also filed a federal civil rights complaint against several airlines over their DEI hiring practices. “When you’re hurtling in the skies at 500mph, do you want the best pilot or the DEI hire?” an X post from the group asks. The issue of airline DEI hiring practices has come under the spotlight recently following a reported rise in “close calls” between planes at U.S. airports.

This past February, AFL also filed a suit against CBS on behalf of a writer who claims he was denied a job because of his race. The writer in question, a white male, was told by the showrunner that he would not be hired because he was white, and they instead hired a black writer with far less experience.

Nonetheless, despite these positive developments, DEI is still a powerful force in American culture, most prominently in our governing institutions. Under the provisions of a 2021 Biden executive order, every single federal agency is required to “advance equity” in all of its work. A follow-up 2023 executive order requires departments to establish “equity teams,” as well as a new White House steering committee to “coordinate government-wide efforts to advance equity.”

DEI also still has a strong hold on corporate America and academia, even if its influence may be waning. While the battle against DEI undoubtedly appears to be trending in the right direction, final victory is still a long way off.

Andrew Shirley is a veteran speechwriter and AMAC Newsline columnist. His commentary can be found on X at @AA_Shirley.

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Theresa Coughlin
Theresa Coughlin
1 month ago

DEI needs to end because it should really be called discrimination, exclusion and indoctrination. It also sounds more like the pro-DEI crowd is creating hostile working or learning environments.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

Well, it’s about time conservatives grew a backbone! I’m very thankful, though I wish Boeing (my former employer) would get rid of their DEI crap. It’s been going on for at least 20 years in various forms. It is caustic and is causing death!

Melinda
Melinda
1 month ago

Eventually, DEI will be gone. Even though people are forced to sign statements in favor of DEI to keep their jobs, the behind-the-scenes backlash will take a toll. Its good to know the tide is receding in some places.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 month ago

Need to do More nationwide

Rich
Rich
1 month ago

Didn’t
Earn
It

Bruce
Bruce
1 month ago

You cannot legislate proper attitudes. This stuff is poison.

Bob L.
Bob L.
1 month ago

You know, if it weren’t for all of the “woke” inspired agenda, excessive staff salaries, and out of control sports program expenses, people could afford to pay for their kids conventional EDUCATION.

Doug
Doug
1 month ago

Someone needs to make T-Shirts with “DEI MUST DIE” on them.

uncleferd
uncleferd
1 month ago

The DEI policies seem to provide little more than unearned benefits, faux congratulations and compensation for a “bought-and-paid-for vote” in the Democrat column.

NIcholas Elder.
NIcholas Elder.
1 month ago

DEI has been a debacle for the private business sector. It is nothing more than racial prejudice sanctions. Those in the government sector have no concept of business operations and profit. We (my business partner and I) sold our $6 million sales/bsuness. The buyer moved it to Korea,our 20+employees lost their jobs.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
1 month ago

I bet the NBA supports DEI… yet why isn’t teams, coaches, and owners 50/50 white/black? Universities support DEI… and despite trans women playing in women’s sports, where is the trans man playing middle linebacker on the football team? The MSMNsupports DEI… yet why are newsrooms (on a good day) 80% registered Democrats? We haven’t come a long way, baby, at all… we’ve stepped backwards into the lunacy run by loonies.

Thinking
Thinking
1 month ago

They are not about to give up DEI till the white race is eliminated. Only the white woke business leaders, politicians etc don’t see that it includes them. But it does. So go along with it and be surprised that one day they come for you. Only there is no one left to speak for you. Just like in WW II. If one doesn’t learn from the past one is bound to repeat it.

Larry Gibson
Larry Gibson
1 month ago

Unfortunately, DEI and Affirmative Action practices have taken control of the military as well. It is a common practice to promote an individual solely from the position of race or gender rather than capability and to move someone to a new position or post by these same political, divisive standards. As a result, we now have a weak military,

Sorry about that
Sorry about that
1 month ago

Guys if you didn’t want to work with a black guy this much you should have just told him
He would have punched you but the honesty would been there you know?

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