(Daily Caller News Foundation) — As many people know by now, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and the critical race theory (CRT) with which it is closely associated, divides individuals into “white” “oppressors” and “oppressed” “people of color.” As we’ve seen on college campuses and in other parts of our society, this ideology feeds racial divisions, puts group grievances above individual merit, and results in discrimination based on race and ethnicity.
In DEI’s crude hierarchy of victims, Jews — arguably one of the most oppressed groups in human history — are labeled “oppressors” and marked for attack. Since the rise of DEI began a few years ago, antisemitic incidents in the US have risen to record levels, particularly against “visibly” Jewish individuals. DEI is offensive, contrary to America’s commitment to freedom and tolerance, and a distinct threat to the American Jewish community.
Americans have had enough of the bigotry and intolerance of DEI. On the federal and state levels, Republican elected officials are leading the effort to roll back DEI in meaningful ways.
In Wisconsin, Republican state assembly Speaker Robin Vos held a hard line during budget negotiations in order to cut funding for DEI programs in the University of Wisconsin system. Despite strong opposition from Democratic Governor Tony Evers and the UW board of regents, Vos demanded and got a budget deal that included significant reforms in the university system: freezing all DEI hiring and reassigning many current DEI officials to other positions; adopting a race-blind admission policy that rewards merit; and eliminating diversity statements on student applications. In “trifecta” states that have GOP majorities in both houses of the legislature and a Republican governor, we have often seen similar changes, but this is the first time a closely divided swing state has seen these kinds of reforms put into place. Speaker Vos got it done.
Congressman Dan Crenshaw (D-TX) has introduced an important bill that will bring relief from DEI at universities and colleges that receive federal funding — which is to say, more than 99 percent of them. While preserving freedom of thought and expression and academic freedom, the bill would prohibit higher education institutions from compelling an applicant, student, or employee to endorse an ideology that promotes the differential treatment of an individual or group of individuals based on race, color, or ethnicity. The bill prohibits schools from requiring applicants, students, and employees to promise their support for efforts involving diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice, intersectionality, etc., or requiring them to go on record about their experience or views regarding race, national origin, or ethnicity. And the bill prohibits preferential consideration to an individual based on a statement in support for an ideology that promotes the differential treatment of an individual or group of individuals based on race, color, or ethnicity. Rep. Crenshaw’s bill would go a long way toward knocking out DEI on campus on a lawful, constitutional basis.
Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee successfully insisted that the National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes programs within the Department of Defense, cut the Pentagon’s DEI bureaucracy, require the Secretary of Defense to assess and validate the need for every position in the DEI bureaucracy, and prohibit funding for advisory committees dealing with race, gender identity, sexual orientation, or social justice. Despite his administration’s unprecedented efforts to promote DEI within the federal government, President Joe Biden signed the NDAA into law in late December.
As Americans and as Jews, we are grateful to the Republican elected officials across this country who are standing firm against the neo-Marxist DEI policies that have increased racial strife, shut down free expression on college campuses, and endangered American Jews. In all the states where people are fighting back against DEI, it has been Republicans leading the charge. It’s time for decent Democrats to join the effort and ensure that this divisive, un-American, antisemitic ideology will not be promoted in our schools and other critical institutions.
Former Senator Norm Coleman and Matthew Brooks are the national chairman and chief executive officer of the Republican Jewish Coalition, respectively.