State governments should take swift action to end DEI on college campuses and stop its rapid expansion into K-12 schools and business practices.
The cultural invasion referred to as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has no place on American college campuses, says an extensive statement and report recently released by the National Association of Scholars (NAS).
DEI and its “ideological cousins” critical race theory (CRT), anti-racism, and the like have had a stranglehold on higher education for decades, says NAS President Peter Wood in the statement. The NAS is a national nonprofit organization that works for higher education reform.
“It is a novel idea spawned by an authoritarian religious cult offering a form of secular salvation,” Wood writes.
State lawmakers are in a position to demand change, Wood says. Legislatures should order independent audits to document the extent of cultural indoctrination taking place.
Wood calls on legislators to “weed out these institutional impositions and replace the individuals who put them in place,” as a step toward “regime change” in higher education.
DEI and critical race theory create social division and cause conflict, Wood writes.
“DEI is an incitement to racial resentment, primarily of blacks against whites, and at another level of whites against blacks,” Wood writes.
The recruitment of the young is intentional, Wood argues. Adherence to the radical ideologies expands by attracting young people who are not yet aware of how misleading and harmful the lessons in CRT or DEI are, Wood states.
While ignoring the actual achievements of the Western world, DEI propagates an inaccurate view of history, Wood writes. DEI replaces authentic American history with a view that promotes hostility toward Western nations and their founding ideologies.
Bombarded by these false versions of history, students lack an understanding of true historical developments, which reveals a basic lack of integrity in the nation’s education system, Wood says. Academic standards are lowered to accommodate DEI, and this sets up college graduates for failure in the labor market. That puts the United States at a competitive disadvantage in the world economy, Wood notes.
While the academic achievement of American students has been declining, their indoctrination into the social justice ideology has been growing. As they move into adulthood, the ideology expands far beyond the classroom, where it does further damage, Woods says.
“DEI is an essential piece of indoctrination in the social justice ideology that is now taking hold in the American economy as the ‘ESG’ movement (Environmental, Social, and Governance investing),” Wood writes. “DEI prioritizes race in all contexts and subordinates all other principled considerations. Graduates carry this into the corporate world, where it has now been elaborated as ESG.”
Lawmakers should take DEI seriously and stop its rapid development into an educational monopoly, says Larry Sand, president of the California Teachers Empowerment Network, who served as a schoolteacher for four decades.
“DEI is a pseudo-religious racket centering on oppressors and victims,” Sand told Budget and Tax News. “Its theories are based on Cultural Marxism, and its purpose is not to educate but rather indoctrinate. Ultimately, DEI proponents want to turn out social justice automatons, not free-thinking individuals.”
“We need legislation that protects academic freedom,” Sand said. “We don’t need radical mandates that are intended to divide and conquer.”
Wood proposes reversing course and pushing DEI and its “ideological cousins” out of higher education altogether.
“Higher education in its current form has a dire future,” Wood told Budget and Tax News.
“This can be discerned from several perspectives. Let’s start with enrollment. About 75 percent of college students are enrolled in public colleges and universities, and higher education makes up a very significant piece of every state’s budget. Thus the financial viability of these institutions matters a lot.”
Rebecca Friedrichs, founder of For Kids and Country and a former teacher, says both higher education and K-12 are in awful condition because of interest groups that have taken over.
“We need regime change in K-12 and higher education for sure!” Friedrichs said. “We need government out, unions out, socialism and communism out, and all special interest groups out.”
“In order for our republic to survive, we must return to our former excellence in education, including morality, truth, parents, outstanding educators, and rigorous studies,” Friedrichs said.
The increasing imposition of ideological blinders has caused college education to decrease, Wood says, citing several factors:
- “College degrees awarded to students who prove to have meager job-related skills or general knowledge. Some are barely literate, but even the best graduates seem to come equipped with hostile attitudes toward business and toward their country. Employers increasingly look at college graduates with skepticism founded on unhappy experience. College graduates get hired despite their degrees, not because of them.
- “Colleges are increasingly recognized as hostile to male students. The result is that more than sixty percent of undergraduate students are female, and a sizable number of male high school graduates who are perfectly capable of pursuing higher education are opting to pursue alternatives in which they can escape the anti-male gender bias that pervades colleges and universities.
- “Colleges and universities are recognized by students as antagonistic to free expression and to ideas that do not conform to the ruling campus ideologies. This factor affects all students, but conservative-leaning students in particular.”
To change course, Wood urges legislators to consider several initiatives. First, find out how DEI is integrated into schools. Even if the ideology is not taught openly, it may be embedded in numerous aspects of education, Wood says.
Lawmakers should ban all mandatory DEI training and evaluation for college faculty and staff at government-supported schools, Wood says. Employees should not be forced to attend training on personal subjects that are irrelevant to the job and possibly stressful to the individual.
“Evaluation tools embedding DEI ideology are a form of coerced conformity to doctrinal falsehoods,” Wood writes.
All education materials should be made transparent to all, Wood recommends. Parents should not be surprised to find out their significant financial investment is being used to indoctrinate their children into an ideology inconsistent with their values.
The state government will also have to establish an enforcement arm, and those tasked with oversight and enforcement must be vigilant. At most colleges, the administration has a DEI bureaucracy, and these are often very large and certainly are influential. The people in these positions have been hired to implement and enforce strict adherence to the ideology. The state will have to put in place a separate oversight entity hired to counterbalance this group.
Employers can help by not using a college degree as a screening tool, Wood says. College degrees may not be necessary for many jobs, or at least not to the degree they are demanded. Many jobs currently requiring a college degree can be done by high school graduates, Wood notes. Employers should ignore the possession of a college degree if it does not add to the prospective worker’s ability to do the job.
Trade and vocational schools are also options to train students for jobs that may be in demand and well-compensated. These schools typically do not embed DEI into their training programs.
Finally, Wood suggests making failure to comply with the laws painful, including by withdrawing funding from colleges unwilling or unable to stop the indoctrination. State legislators can “draw a hard line” against DEI by pulling funding without causing young people to miss any truly valuable education, Wood says.
“The solution is to scale back, not to deny post-secondary education to high school graduates but to encourage the right kinds of post-secondary education,” Wood writes. “The college degree offers the illusion of prestige and the realities of wasted time, trivial courses, and ideological indoctrination.”
The entire system of DEI is a dogmatic myth not based in truth, Sand says.
“As Wood mentions, DEI is ‘a novel idea spawned by an authoritarian religious cult offering a form of secular salvation,’ and anything to do with religious mandates, especially something as faddish as DEI, has absolutely no place in our colleges,” Sand said. “DEI must be halted ASAP.”
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