By Micaela Burrow, The Daily Caller News Foundation
The former diversity head at the Department of Defense’s school system reaffirmed her commitment to “anti-racism” after being “reassigned” following congressional backlash over past online statements, including ones calling white people exhausting and “Karen.”
In May, the Pentagon told Congress Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) chief Kelisa Wing had been “reassigned” to another position within the Department of Defense Educational Activity (DODEA) that does not include DEI duties as part of a routine restructuring, although Wing specializes in social justice and has co-authored several children’s books on the subject.
Wing, accused of racism for past statements criticizing white people on the basis of their race, attributed opposition to her to institutional resistance against becoming anti-racist in a blog post published June 19.
“,” she wrote.
“I thought that long-lasting change had come, yet, what happened was an extreme backlash that often comes with any progress,” she wrote. “I, and many who have dedicated themselves to eradicating racism, are still trying to heal from the trauma of being asked by multiple organizations, associates, and educational institutions during the summer of 2020 to ‘help’ them figure out how to reconcile with racism, only to have our labor weaponized against us and accused of being racists simply for trying to teach others how to be anti-racist.”
Wing, a U.S. Army veteran, served as DODEA’s DEI chief since December 2021, according to a press release. She generated uproar when social media statements from July 2020 surfaced appearing to make derogatory statements against white people.
“I’m so exhausted at these white folx in these PD sessions this lady actually had the CAUdacity to ask if black people can be racist too,” she tweeted. She had to “give Karen the BUSINESS” at a DEI session, she added.
In the June editorial, she called the books she helped develop, with titles such as “What Is Anti-Racism?” and “What Does It Mean To Defund The Police?” a critical weapon to “dismantle systemic racism through a lack of knowledge.”
Schools attempted to ban some of the titles in July 2022, she wrote. “
“This oppressive tactic all comes down to those in power wanting to uphold the system of supremacy by any means necessary,” she continued.
Democrats have denounced conservatives’ efforts to remove books encouraging self-harm or containing sexually explicit content from school libraries or restrict access for younger readers. However, Wing’s books do not appear on PEN America’s list of restricted and banned books in U.S. schools, which covers the fall semester of 2022.
“George Floyd’s life, and his death, meant something—it gave us the courage to speak up, speak out, and go out into the streets in the middle of a global pandemic and have the audacity to believe that all people deserved to be treated as humans—these attacks are par for the course—tough times don’t last long, but tough people certainly do.”
Wing previously rejected criticism of the statements, saying she exercised free speech rights as a private citizen.
“I would never categorize an entire group of people to disparage them,” Wing told Military Times in February.
Pentagon officials echoed her defense but said they did not agree with the statements.
DODEA did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.