The resignation of Harvard President Claudine Gay, after she was exposed as a failed university leader and chronic plagiarist, has turned the spotlight on an insidious “social justice” movement—DEI [diversity, equity and inclusion]—that sponsored Gay’s rise to power, and has infiltrated academia and much of the corporate and professional world.
Masked as a humanitarian cause, DEI is actually a leftwing political movement disguised as social progress that has its roots in the civil rights movement of the Sixties.
DEI proponents have co-opted the civil rights narrative, transforming what were once honest efforts to ensure equal opportunity to all streams of society, to an ideology that embraces a form of “reverse racism” and is hostile to Jews.
The movement espouses a Marxist-inspired doctrine that divides humanity into two camps; white people who are supposedly oppressors, and nonwhite people (and members of certain disadvantaged groups) who have been “oppressed.”
DEI proponents brands all Jews—be they American, European, white, black, Middle Eastern, African, Indian or Oriental—as members of the white oppressor camp who are “colonialists,” or people who perpetuate the colonial “sins” of their predecessors. In promoting these malicious canards, the movement lays bare its inherent anti-Semitism.
The “oppressed” victims in the DEI narrative include blacks, Latinos, Palestinians, people from African and Middle Eastern countries (except for Israel), people embracing decadent lifestyles and women.
DEI Promotes Racial Quotas
The movement preaches that minorities and the poor and oppressed must be favored at universities and in the job marketplace today, over “white people of privilege.” Whereas merit once dictated college admissions and hiring practices, under DEI, skin color and gender count much more.
Colleges today are expected by DEI bureaucrats to increase minority admissions by lowering admissions standards, creating racially discriminatory scholarships, and setting racial quotas.
Claudine Gay, the ex-president of Harvard, was a classic DEI “pick,” experts say. She lacked the intellectual standing and professional achievements once required of university presidents, but under DEI, none of that matters.
As a black, Haitian-born woman, she had been propelled up the ranks by the (all white) Harvard Board of Governors, until she attained the most coveted post—proof positive of the university’s commitment to DEI. The result, as events have testified, has been called a disaster for Harvard and for Gay.
DEI extremists seek to dismantle “racist” American society and reconstruct it according to a left-wing progressive framework, where non-white minority groups and women would be given positions of influence and power.
Promoted by the Biden administration and aligned with Black Lives Matter, the DEI movement has alarmingly infected American academia, the corporate world, government offices and the media.
As a sign of DEI’s pervasiveness in this country, women now occupy the presidency of almost all Ivy League universities, as well as high-ranking positions in a vast majority of corporations, federal agencies and government offices, including the US Armed Forces and the Pentagon.
In another sign of the times, at universities today, the applicant least likely to secure an important faculty position is a white American male, even if he is the most qualified candidate in terms of experience, intelligence, leadership skill and talent.
Holding a Lighted Match to Fuel-Soaked Landscape
Billionaire hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman who was one of the leading crusaders against Claudine Gay, wrote about his discovery that the “root cause” of Harvard’s anti-Israeli politics was the DEI orthodoxy that pervades Harvard’s campus and many other universities.
On a visit to Harvard, Ackman interviewed faculty and students to discover the source of the explosion of anti-Semitism following the Hamas massacres of Israelis on Oct. 7.
In a lengthy post about his findings, Ackman wrote that the surge of Jew-hatred that swept the campus—even before Israeli forces carried out a single strike in Gaza—was sparked by the “oppressor/oppressed” narrative that had indoctrinated student minds with hatred of Israel as the evil oppressor.
Reaction on campus to news of the Hamas invasion was like holding a lighted match to the combustible mix of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hate speech already dominating the Harvard landscape.
Ackman told CNBC on Nov. 6 that he hadn’t previously read Harvard’s DEI statement. Though he had assumed DEI was “for all marginalized groups,” once he read the statement, he realized that “the DEI program at Harvard is limited to specific groups and excludes and exploits others.”
He used his online post to break down the tenets of DEI’s radical dogma, explaining that under its distorted ideology, a person qualifies as either a racist (evil) or an anti-racist (good). There is no middle ground. These robotic definitions automatically create divisiveness, intolerance and tension.
“The E for ‘equity’ in DEI is about equality of outcome, not equality of opportunity,” the author continued. “It follows that any educational or economic system, admission policy or grading system that leads to “unequal outcomes” among people of different skin colors is deemed racist.”
A good anti-racist doesn’t stand on the sidelines; he/she marches, protests, denounces, threatens and acts disruptive, all in a bid to change “unequal outcomes,” regardless of the reason for the discrepancy.
The article underscored the irony in the fact that “DEI itself is racist because a system where one secures an advantage by virtue of one’s skin color, no matter what the reason, is a racist system.
“Racism is racism, even if it is against white people.”
DEI at Penn Gave Anti-Semites Vehicle to Spew Hatred
“University donors need to demand concrete reforms—especially rolling back the all-pervasive “diversity, equity, and inclusion” regime that gives cover to and encourages anti-Semites,” writes Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a former professor at UPenn who is Jewish.
“I say this as a former associate dean and professor at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, where I worked for 53 years,” Dr. Goldfarb said. “For decades, I saw the hateful shenanigans that are endemic to every prestigious university—the constant student protests against Israeli “occupation;” the fake graves representing dead Palestinians suddenly appearing on campus overnight, and more.
“After DEI took hold at Penn, anti-Semitic fervor on campus intensified,” Goldfarb wrote. “This worldview—that the world is divided between oppressors and the oppressed—has given anti-Semites a pseudo-intellectual and seemingly moral framework through which to spew their hatred,” he wrote.
“Removing DEI’s influence is essential to fighting this evil,” argues Goldfarb, adding that university donors shouldn’t settle for lip service and empty promises. “They should demand the dissolution of the diversity, equity, and inclusion bureaucracies that cultivate and deepen all kinds of racial hatred—including Jew hatred.”
“It may be that many U.S. colleges are now so morally corrupt as to be irredeemable. Jews send their children to such places at real peril, wrote Eliot Abrams at the Council of Foreign Relations, for they will be taught that their society—and by extension the way their parents and grandparents have lived their lives, and of course the State of Israel as well—deserve nothing but condemnation.”
The Inclusion Delusion
While DEI teaches students that ‘white-oppressors’ are guilty for marginalizing and disenfranchising people of color, there is interestingly no mention of societal discrimination against Jews.
That glaring omission is not an oversight, writes author Stephen Wenick in the Times of Israel Blog. DEI overlooks the enduring, age-old hatred faced by Jews of all colors, as their experience contradicts the DEI narrative that victimhood is exclusive to people of color.”
Despite their marginalization, Jews have historically risen from the ashes and attained prosperity and influence way out of proportion to the smallness of their numbers. Their success collapses the myth that only ‘white-privilege” (as opposed to the fruits of hard work and intelligence) can explain the higher levels of accomplishment achieved by white people.
In addition, the high success rate attained by non-white Jews of Middle Eastern extraction, which includes about 45 percent of Israeli Jews, debunks DEI’s “people-of-color-are-victims.” That is likely why DEI excludes Jews from its list of disadvantaged groups and from the entire movement.
Biden Administration Pushed DEI Across the Nation
Since President Joe Biden took office, his administration has promoted DEI ideology across every sector of society, using lavish government funding to incentivize colleges and businesses to reshape policies and practices according to DEI imperatives, an op-ed in The Hill attests.
For example, “one-fifth of the advertisements for college faculty jobs require applicants to write pledges of allegiance to DEI principles. Employment often depends on DEI-relevant presentations at an interview,” the article says.
In another example of DEI encroachment, researchers are required to explain in advance how their research supports “diversity and equity” goals. Continued employment for professors and graduate students, are increasingly tied to embracing DEI mandates.
“Prestigious professional organizations such as the American Psychological Association and the American Bar Association have adopted DEI initiatives, which embrace hiring and admissions policies that utilize racial quotas,” the author writes.
On some university campuses, DEI bureaucrats now outnumber faculty members of other departments, the Hill article attests. “By categorizing virtually any criticism as “prejudiced,” DEI bureaucracies can suppress free speech. They have also empowered some college presidents to slander their critics as bigots and then have them fired.”
“DEI ideology has come to replace the classical liberal values of merit, fairness and equality across academic, government and professional sectors,” the author argued. People at institutions where DEI dictates the rules are expected not to notice the collapse of standards as a result of “merit” being abandoned in favor of racial quotas.
If they do notice, they put themselves at risk of being labeled racist, with unpleasant consequences for their future employment or career advancement.
Devious Word Games to Hide True Agenda
“Campus anti-Semitism has become systemic due to ‘diversity, equity and inclusion’ writes Harvard alumnus and renowned lawyer Alan Dershowitz,” in The Hill.
The multibillion-dollar DEI bureaucracy has become a key promoter of anti-Jewish attitudes on campuses, Dershowitz writes, calling attention to the double-talk embedded in the very term “DEI” that hides its true agenda.
“The first component of DEI is diversity, but this diversity is limited to skin color, gender and other aspects of identity politics,” the author points out. “It explicitly excludes diversity of opinions and ideas, and lowers the number of Jewish students and Jewish faculty.”
The second element is “equity,” whose newly minted definition is precisely the opposite of equality, the author went on. “Equality is reflected in Martin Luther King’s famous speech envisioning a day when his children will be judged “not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Equity in the DEI scheme demands just the opposite: racial quotas (in reverse).
“Oppressed” or disadvantaged minorities should win college admission and jobs precisely because of the color of their skin, their gender or other identity markers, DEI proponents claim. That is the only way to eliminate discrepancies among different ethnic populations in the realms of employment and career advancement.
As far as the third prong of DEI—inclusion—it is no secret that DEI bureaucracies call for inclusion of all minorities except Jews and Asians (who are prosperous and successful). And when inclusion becomes a justification for exclusion, the entire concept is intrinsically flawed.
“There have always been anti-Semites among university faculty, administrators and students, but DEI has turned sporadic individual Jew hatred into systemic anti-Semitism,” the author concluded.
Supreme Court Strikes Down Racial Quotes, Impacting Campus DEI
In a landmark case at the end of its June 2023 term, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down race-conscious admissions in its decision, favoring Students For Fair Admissions (SFFA), who sued Harvard for violating their civil rights. The students argued that Harvard had used racial quotas in rejecting them.
The ruling reinforced federal laws on the books that prohibit the use of race, gender, national origin or any other ‘immutable characteristic’” to influence college admission or hiring practices.
The decision effectively ended the use of affirmative action in college admissions and struck a blow at DEI, which depends on racial quotas to admit more minority students.
Since the Supreme Court’s pivotal decision, many states have moved to defund and ban DEI-related programs and hiring practices in higher education. In a development welcomed by many, anti-DEI sentiment is slowly beginning to gain traction across the country, especially in Republican-led states.
“Republican lawmakers have introduced 40 anti-DEI bills targeting higher education institutions since late 2022,” reports Insight Into Diversity. “The laws take aim at institutional practices, including mandatory DEI training for employees, required diversity pledges in hiring, DEI office programming, and curriculum and concepts related to “systemic racism,” “oppression,” and “privilege.”
Momentum against DEI bureaucracies began in Texas and Florida. In May, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law, the “Stop Woke Act,” that defunded DEI initiatives on campuses, claiming they exclude some students.
DeSantis said DEI efforts were an attempt to “impose an ideological agenda” on students and faculty and promote “exclusion” and “discrimination.
Conservative politicians nationwide have begun to introduce similar measures in their own states. In addition to Florida, legislation banning DEI initiatives has been signed into law in Texas, North Dakota, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
While some of these bills failed to pass, other policies have successfully limited DEI efforts, and according to reports, faculty are reporting a positive effect on teaching and racial harmony.
They’re Coming For You Next
Dr. Tabia Lee was dismissed in 2022 from her position at De Anza College in California, where she served as faculty director for the school’s DEI office. According to the former professor, she was fired because she took the word “inclusion” literally.
“I was trying to establish a color-blind policy that would provide some aid and comfort to the Jewish students on campus who were experiencing continuous harassment and bigotry, simply because they were Jewish,” she wrote in a NY Post op-ed.
Dr. Lee had been hired to head the DEI department in 2021. “As a black woman, I was the perfect person for the job — on paper,” she wrote. “Yet I made the mistake of trying to create an authentically inclusive learning environment for everyone, including Jewish students.”
“Turns out, a toxic form of DEI demanded I do the opposite.”
Before she got to campus, Jewish students had endured “a litany of hateful and hostile acts,” the op-ed states. In one example, the school had hosted a Chanukah party “that featured no Chanukah imagery but plenty of pro-Palestinian protesters.”
In another case, “the student body had passed resolutions on “divesting” from Israel—the first college of its kind to do so—and criticizing Israel’s “attacks against humanity.”
Dr. Lee says that multiple Jewish students shared their feelings with her that the campus had become an anti-Semitic environment, and that she tried to innovate ideas to “right this wrong.”
“First, I hosted Jewish speakers on campus, with the goal of promoting diversity and inclusion by sharing different perspectives. Critics called me a “dirty Zionist,” and the school refused to promote the events.”
The former DEI director said she then pushed the administration to issue a strong condemnation of antisemitism but her request was refused.
“Some campus leaders and colleagues repeatedly told me I shouldn’t raise issues about Jewish inclusion or antisemitism,” Lee recalled. “I was told in no uncertain terms that Jews are “white oppressors” and our job as faculty and staff members was to “decenter whiteness.”
She said she was astounded, “but shouldn’t have been.”
“At its worst,” writes Dr. Lee, DEI is built on the belief that the world is divided into two groups of people: the oppressors and the oppressed. Jews are categorically placed in the oppressor category, while Israel is branded a “genocidal, settler, colonialist state.”
“In this worldview, criticizing Israel and the Jewish people is not only acceptable but praiseworthy. If you don’t go after them — or worse, if you defend them — you’re actively abetting racist oppression.”
‘Unleashing Fires You Can’t Control’
Dr. Lee writes that she has “never encountered a more hostile environment toward the members of any racial, ethnic or religious group.”
She was ultimately fired by De Anza College, and suspects her defense of Jewish students played a part. “I’ve subsequently found that my experience isn’t unique. Countless faculty and students on campuses nationwide have told me the DEI ideology encourages anti-Semitism,” the former DEI director wrote.
“The outpouring of anti-Semitic hatred after Hamas’ atrocities against Israeli civilians is the direct result of DEI’s insistence that Jews are oppressors,” she contends. “Now the colleges and universities beholden to DEI are hurting Jewish students with their silence, their moral equivocation about terrorism against Israel or their outright praise of the terrorists.”
What started with rhetorical attacks on college campuses has morphed into calling for violent physical attacks, the former professor noted. “When you stoke that kind of division and anger, you unleash fires you can’t control.”
“Administrators and lawmakers need to get toxic DEI out of higher education,” Dr. Lee urged. “If they don’t, there will be no true diversity and inclusion on campus, and even more shocking hatred toward Jews.”