In an article penned several years ago, “Why State Bans and Flipping School Boards Won’t Stop Critical Race Theory,” I predicted that powerful teachers’ unions and emboldened teachers would ignore the laws while school boards with their limited authority would not effect change. I predicted that the use of legislation to shut down Critical Race Theory would follow a path similar to that of Common Core with defiance of the law and rebranding. Time has proven me right.

Now legislation to abolish Diversity, Equity and Inclusion from universities is being proposed or passed. As with Critical Race Theory and Common Core, bans will not stop the radical ideology that purportedly makes people more tolerant of individual differences.

According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, more than half the states have introduced legislation, with 73 bills introduced and eight passed into law – Florida (2), Utah, Texas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Tennessee and North Carolina. The response to the new laws in Texas and Florida is indicative of what we will see in other states.

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The Texas bill bans universities from hiring employees for DEI programs or with any reference to “race, color, or ethnicity.” Although failure to comply with the law can result in loss of funding, there are no restrictions on academic research, classroom instruction, student organizations on campus, or guest speakers.

Since failure to comply with the state ban could mean loss of funding, on the surface some Texas public universities are shutting down DEI offices and eliminating DEI requirements for admission and hiring. Some are renaming or rebranding programs while others are constructing job searches in a fashion to attract DEI advocates.

The Florida bill bans funding for DEI activities, Critical Race Theory, or political activism, with penalties for violations enforced through administrative rules. In a fashion similar to Texas, some Florida universities are complying with the law such as the University of Florida, which has fired all of its DEI staff, while most are defying it. Several colleges either have kept their deans or given them slightly different titles.

Ignoring state bans is more than mere adherence to an ideology. Globally, DEI is big business, growing from an estimated $9.3 billion in 2022 to an estimated $15.4 billion by 2026. The U.S. market in 2022 was estimated at $4.3 billion or 45.5% of the global market, far surpassing China with its second-largest world economy.

DEI is big business on American college campuses with a significant number of personnel hired to promote DEI efforts, documented in a study by the Heritage Foundation. For several decades, the number of administrators has outpaced the number of personnel engaged in teaching or conducting research, contributing to a drastically higher cost of education and tuition and resulting in enormous student debt. With President Biden’s executive order that cancels student loans of nearly $138 billion, the cost of DEI programs will fall even harder on taxpayers.

DEI training for K-12 administrators is also big business for universities. Pennsylvania school districts are paying thousands in membership dues to the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education to teach administrators how to identify micro-aggressions and stand up for others when one is spotted. Superintendents are taught to assess their compliance and that of others with anti-racist practices. This will, of course, earn social score credits.

Texas lawmakers specifically excluded academic research from DEI restrictions in their bill. Could federal funding for Texas have influenced this decision? Grants are highly lucrative for Texas universities and the Texas economy – $6.9 billion in 2022 – with the largest grants coming from federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Neuroscientist Andrea C. Gore said that most federal agencies have incorporated DEI into grant applications with some grants requiring explicit information about how applicants would include DEI in their research projects. One of the largest recipients in the fiscal year 2023 congressional spending bill – a 12% increase above the fiscal year 2022 level – was the National Science Foundation, which says it is prioritizing “increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in engineering.”

The long list of DEI “experts” will continue speaking to universities for fat-cat fees. Ibram X. Kendi, author of “How to Be an Antiracist” and founder of the Center for Antiracist Research, makes a minimum of $20,000 for each speech, while Robin DiAngelo, author of “White Fragility,” makes between $14,000 and $30,000 for each of hers. Since the Texas bill does not restrict speakers, radical left speakers such as these can brainwash Texas students at taxpayer expense.

With the attack on DEI in higher education and the possible loss of thousands of jobs, nearly 150 campus leaders, mostly at community colleges, are huddling to devise schemes to salvage their money trees. The New York Times revealed a new approach to the divisive, inflammatory and identity-based programs with innocuous-sounding initiatives of “culture surveys” and “performance training.”

Harvard and its peers in higher education have repackaged the original DEI focus into multigenerational diversity. Now academia will promote a new identify group – “multigenerational workforce” – of aging Americans for whom employers will be coerced to offer preferential treatment of flexible work hours and support for caregiving employees.

Harvard Medical School zealots report new politically correct concepts – “neuroinclusion” and “neurodiversity” – to describe those with developmental and learning disabilities such as Down Syndrome, autism and ADHD. The speech police have deemed these politically incorrect and insensitive words that are to be deleted from our lexicon. Employers will be coerced into providing a “neurodiversity-friendly” day care with fidget toys, additional breaks for movement and special work clothes.

Regardless of the small victories in abolishing DEI, the fact is that the Marxist ideology is deeply entrenched in American institutions, and its ideological core of dividing our society by group labels remains unchanged. If state bans are to be effective, there must be a significant loss of state funds for universities that continue DEI under any pseudonym. Any professors who use class pulpits to hawk left-wing biases should be promptly fired – even those tenured. Student organizations promoting the divisive ideology should be shut down. No taxpayer money should be allowed for DEI speakers. Grants that require adhering to federal support of DEI should be subject to state bans. Even more effective is the loss of students to other institutions or educational opportunities that are not focused on Marxist brainwashing.

We can’t depend on government to rid our nation of radical left influences because big government is the problem. This must be a counterrevolution by the American people.

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