The one-time liberal editor at the New York Times has had a wake-up call about DEI:
By Bari Weiss
. . . . 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.
Colorblindness 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.
. . . . Over the past two decades, I saw this inverting worldview swallow all of the crucial sense-making institutions of American life. It started with the universities.
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.
. . . . It isn’t only Jews who suffer from the suggestion that merit and excellence are dirty words. It is strivers of every race, ethnicity, and class.
That is why Asian American success, for example, is suspicious. The percentages are off. The scores are too high. From whom did you steal all that success?
Of course this new ideology doesn’t come right out and say all that. It doesn’t even like to be named. Some call it wokeness or anti-racism or progressivism or safetyism or critical social justice or identity-Marxism.
But whatever term you use, what’s clear is that it has gained power in a conceptual instrument called “diversity, equity and inclusion,” or DEI.
In theory, all three of these words represent noble causes. They are in fact all causes to which American Jews in particular have long been devoted, both individually and collectively.
But in reality, these words are now metaphors for an ideological movement bent on recategorizing every American not as an individual, but as an avatar of an identity group, his or her behavior prejudged accordingly, setting all of us up in a kind of zero-sum game.
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 more clear 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.
. . . . But “DEI” is not about the words it uses as camouflage.
DEI is about arrogating power.
And the movement that is gathering all this power does not like America or liberalism.
It does not believe that America is a good country—at least no better than China or Iran.
It calls itself progressive, but it does not believe in progress; it is explicitly anti-growth.
It claims to promote “equity,” but its answer to the challenge of teaching math or reading to disadvantaged children is to eliminate math and reading tests.
It demonizes hard work, merit, family, and the dignity of the individual.
An ideology that pathologizes these fundamental human virtues is one that seeks to undermine what makes America exceptional.
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. . . . . (read more on Tablet)