How ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’ is wrecking the American dream
Once a nation built on the foundation of meritocracy, where the most qualified people – regardless of race, creed or gender – rose to the top, America is now satisfied to fill positions based on quotas.
US identity politics has been coming under heavy scrutiny of late, following a highly publicized scandal involving three female presidents of leading US universities – Dr Claudine Gay of Harvard, Liz Magill of UPenn, and Dr Sally Kornbluth of MIT. The issue at hand was their refusal to say, amid the hostilities between Hamas and Israel, that calling for genocide on their campuses violated college rules and encouraged harassment.
Following their testimony before Congress, the presidents quickly fell under the laser focus of the internet and it was Harvard’s Claudine Gay, the first non-white person to serve as president of the private university, who attracted the most criticism. And not without cause. It was discovered that Gay had plagiarized dozens of passages in her dissertation work, a serious offense that put the spotlight on DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) hires and on whether Gay had been awarded her lofty position not due to her academic credentials but rather due to the color of her skin, and to her sex.
Only weeks after a lengthy debate on whether Gay was qualified to preside over America’s most prestigious university did she tender her resignation – although returning to her position as a member of the faculty while keeping her whopping $900,000 yearly salary.
This is certainly not an isolated case of DEI thrusting questionable candidates into top jobs, especially as many states now legally mandate the controversial policy. One need only consider the second most powerful position in the US government, the vice presidency, to see where America is heading in a handbasket. It’s not an inside secret that Kamala Harris was a diversity hire; Joe Biden admitted as much on the campaign trail. “If I’m elected president, my Cabinet, my administration will look like the country, and I commit that I will, in fact, appoint a, pick a woman to be vice president.” Later, Biden was even more specific: “Preferably it will be someone who was of color and/or a different gender,” he said.
Now let it sink in: Biden chose a woman of color who was polling at 1% during the Democratic race to challenge Donald Trump in 2020. Certainly, there were other potential candidates with better qualifications he could have chosen.
As it became known what a total disaster Harris has been in her position of power, just one step away from the Oval Office, she brushed aside the mounting criticism as merely the result of snipy reporting and systemic racism. She told her dwindling supporters that “the news coverage of her would be different if she were any of her 48 predecessors, whom she has described as all white and male,” the New York Times reported. Yet, considering how liberal the media in the US is, clearly the negative attitude towards Harris is even worse than she realizes.
Who else has been granted a golden elevator ride to the top based on DEI? Look no further than Rachel Levine, the deputy health secretary, who is a transgender woman. While Levine may be qualified to fulfill her duties – after all, she was named as one of USA Today’s women of the year in 2022 – how many other equally (or superior) candidates were overlooked simply because they didn’t check the critical boxes?
Or how about Pete Buttigieg, who is currently serving as the 19th US Secretary of Transportation. Formerly the mayor of South Bend, Indiana (population 103,453), Buttigieg, 42, who came out as gay in 2015, was lifted out of relative obscurity when he ran as a candidate for president in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries. In the dog-eat-dog world of US power politics, such an astonishing rise to the top is almost unheard of, and only so much can be attributed to Buttigieg’s intelligence and articulation to explain such a leap over dozens of other more qualified contenders. How much of Buttigieg’s overnight success was based largely on his sexual orientation will never be known, but suffice it to say that Democrats were actually fretting at one point that the former mayor “was not gay enough” for their liking.
Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration, overseen by Buttigieg’s Transportation Department that just unveiled its new ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ program to hire people with “severe intellectual disability” and “psychiatric disability” just days after an in-air disaster nearly occurred when a door blew off a Boeing 737 Max, causing more scrutiny about the rush to inclusivity.
“Targeted disabilities are those disabilities that the Federal government, as a matter of policy, has identified for special emphasis in recruitment and hiring,” the FAA’s website read. “They include hearing, vision, missing extremities, partial paralysis, complete paralysis, epilepsy, severe intellectual disability, psychiatric disability, and dwarfism.”
The FAA doesn’t specify what range of positions these diversity hires will fill, only implying in a reply to Fox News that, like any other employees, they “must meet rigorous qualifications that of course will vary by position.” Still, critics of the move are worried that emphasis on DEI policies could make flying less safe. These include Elon Musk, who tweeted “Do you want to fly in an airplane where they prioritized DEI hiring over your safety?”
The failure of the woke radicals to read the room, however, was never more conspicuous than when the advertisers at Anheuser-Busch chose the transgender social-media influencer Dylan Mulvaney to sing the praises of Bud Light, thus wiping out a huge segment of its working-class, beer-consuming contingency. Mulvaney was clearly not the right ‘man’ for the job.
Or consider the detrimental effect that DEI policies are having in the field of medicine, where medical students, instead of spending as much time as possible learning their demanding trade, are being forced to learn about previously unknown topics, like “implicit bias” and “White privilege.” This is yet another way that DEI is helping to downgrade the workplace.
“There is a finite amount of time in residency training to mold a competent surgeon from a fumble-fingered intern,” Dr Richard Bosshardt wrote in a recent article for the National Review. “To assume that we can continue to turn out excellent surgeons and simultaneously burden surgical education with the degree of time-consuming indoctrination in anti-racism and DEI demanded by the ACS tool kit is, at best, foolish and futile, and, at worst, dangerous to our patients.”
A person may be absolutely qualified for any job regardless of their race, gender or sexual orientation. However, what is happening in the US is that many people who are lacking in the necessary qualifications are getting an unjustified career boost because their lifestyle(s) check one or more of the required boxes. Or they are being unnecessarily compelled to learn the new mantra of wokeness instead of concentrating on the basics of their field. Either way, the US campus and workplace is slow to understand that instead of working to eliminate discrimination, DEI policies are now the primary cause of it. Reducing the pool of applicants for jobs is not only a gross insult to the ‘American way’ but also promises to strip the workplace of its professionalism. Americans need better.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.