Make merit great again

Biden’s DEI agenda has infected every area of American life. Time to fight back.

John Mac Ghlionn

Topics Identity Politics USA

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In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr famously dreamt that his children would one day live in a country where they wouldn’t ‘be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character’. If the great reverend were still alive today, one wonders what he would make of the DEI-driven madness that has now consumed America.

For the uninitiated, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programmes seek to address racial inequalities by placing the ‘privileged’ at a disadvantage compared with their ‘underprivileged’ peers. In employment and education, a black or Hispanic female candidate might be favoured over a white, male peer – based on nothing more than race and gender. DEI is discrimination in all but name.

Yet it’s a form of discrimination that’s been heartily embraced by the Biden administration. Last month, secretary of state Antony Blinken designated Zakiya Carr Johnson as the State Department’s new chief diversity and inclusion officer. To paint a picture of who Johnson is, she previously suggested in 2020 that Americans ‘live and work within systems’ that are ‘deeply rooted in patriarchy and colonialism and racism and otherism’. ‘In order to make any change’, she declared, ‘we’ve literally got to be about the work of dismantling that traditional structure at every juncture’. In practice, what this actually means is dismantling the system of merit – you know, the idea that the most qualified person, regardless of their gender or skin colour, should get the job.

Sadly, this DEI rot goes well beyond the State Department. As the College Fix reports, the Department of Energy has allocated nearly $25million in grants to universities to produce a ‘sustainable and diverse’ workforce in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). These grants, according to the report, aim to aggressively recruit candidates from minority backgrounds. Meanwhile, many STEM programmes in the US intentionally exclude white males from applying. So much for ‘inclusion’.

No one is safe from the DEI agenda. Not even farmers who just so happen to be white. Last month, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) became embroiled in a legal battle over its decision to provide greater financial support to ‘socially disadvantaged’ farmers. For the USDA, women, Native Americans, Asians and other minority groups should be prioritised for disaster relief and Covid-19 recovery funds.

A pair of legal foundations have asked the Supreme Court to halt this funding, arguing that allocating relief funds based solely on sex and gender is discriminatory and disproportionately harms white, male farmers. This is not unfounded. The vast majority of American farmers are indeed white males, and many are already in a desperate way. Punishing them because they happen to be white and male is extremely cruel.

Asian Americans also suffer in the world of DEI. In recent times, many companies have focussed on hiring and promoting black and Hispanic individuals, overlooking Asian Americans in the process. Meanwhile, in universities, affirmative action, a close relative of DEI, was used to discriminate against Asian Americans for decades. This is because Asian Americans outperform their white, black and Hispanic peers by literally hundreds of points on the SAT, the most common test for college admissions. As a result, affirmative-action policies hit young Asian students the hardest. Thankfully, the Supreme Court outlawed this discriminatory practice last year.

DEI also harms Jewish people. Look no further than comments made by Derron Borders, a DEI director at Cornell University, following the 7 October pogrom. ‘When you hear about Israel this morning and the resistance being launched by Palestinians’, he said, ‘remember against all odds Palestinians are fighting for life, dignity and freedom… against [settler-colonialism], imperialism, capitalism, white supremacy, which the United States is the model’. Here we see the language of DEI being used to justify the deadliest attack on Jews since the Holocaust. Lawrence Summers, a former president of Harvard University, previously warned that DEI inclusion specifically omits Jews from the conversation. This perhaps explains why college campuses, the birthplace of the DEI-driven madness, are now overrun with anti-Semitism.

Like a virus that escaped from a woke lab, DEI has infected virtually every aspect of US society. It has even wormed its way into important pieces of legislation. Take the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act. Although it was ostensibly designed to strengthen US semiconductor investment, research and manufacturing, funding is subject to applicants fulfilling a set of very specific DEI criteria. Manufacturers will, among other things, have to ‘develop an equity strategy’ and draw from ‘diverse suppliers’.

Thankfully, the silent majority of Americans believe that this madness must stop. Almost 70 per cent have expressed opposition to employers being influenced by race, gender or any sexual identity group during the hiring process. Meanwhile, roughly a third of US states have implemented measures aimed at restricting DEI programmes. The American people clearly do not want a society in which tokenism, the enemy of fairness, reigns supreme.

We must fight back against the DEI-induced madness consuming America, and make merit great again.

John Mac Ghlionn is a researcher and essayist. Follow him on Twitter: @ghlionn

Pictures by: Getty.

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Topics Identity Politics USA


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