How DEI Initiatives Can Be Anti-Liberal

Illustrate with Examples

  • In 2017, Evergreen State College experienced a series of events centered around Professor Bret Weinstein that highlight the anti-liberal tendencies within certain DEI practices. Weinstein objected to the change in the college's traditional 'Day of Absence,' wherein white students were asked to leave campus to discuss racial issues. As a result of his stance, Weinstein was confronted by a group of students who demanded his resignation, claiming he was racist. The intense emotional experience and fear for personal safety felt by Weinstein during these confrontations exemplify the individual's internal psychological state in the face of ideologically driven opposition.
  • In 2020, a data analyst named David Shor tweeted a summary of a research paper indicating that non-violent protests were more politically effective than violent protests. Shor was subsequently accused of anti-blackness by some DEI advocates and faced a social media backlash leading to his firing. The story of Shor's journey from trying to share research findings to being labeled as a political pariah encapsulates the individual's personal journey through an intolerant ideological environment.
  • The case of Lindsay Shepherd, a graduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2017, exemplifies this issue. Shepherd played a clip of Jordan Peterson discussing gender-neutral pronouns in a communications class she was teaching. Despite not taking a stance herself, she was reprimanded for creating a 'toxic' and 'unsafe' environment. The recorded meeting between Shepherd and the faculty demonstrated her behavior being scrutinized, not for any form of harassment or misconduct, but for merely presenting a perspective that was deemed unacceptable by the DEI standards of the institution.
  • A software engineer, James Damore, was fired from Google in 2017 after writing an internal memo questioning the company's diversity hiring practices, which he argued were based on gender stereotypes. Damore's firing was based on the outward behaviors and beliefs he exhibited, which clashed with Google's DEI policies. The action taken against Damore served as a demonstration of the consequences for employees when they express views deemed to be out of alignment with company-sanctioned DEI ideologies.
  • On the collective-interior dimension, there was a cultural shift within the poetry community that emphasizes identity politics. For instance, a well-known poet, Vanessa Place, was removed from her position on the Association of Writers & Writing Programs' subcommittee due to accusations of racism relating to her art project that engaged with 'Gone With the Wind'. This reflects the broader cultural values within these institutions where dissenting approaches to DEI are sometimes not tolerated, which contradicts the collective interior commitment to open dialogue and diverse perspectives in the liberal arts.
  • At Smith College, an incident occurred where a student reported a racially motivated confrontation with a staff member. The college immediately took up the cause before a full investigation was completed. The resulting environment, which prioritized DEI protocol over due process, had repercussions on the communal relationships and cultural climate of the institution. This demonstrates collective values that, in the name of DEI, may supersede principles of fairness and open discourse.
  • In the United Kingdom, the Home Office was accused in 2020 of suppressing a report on grooming gangs, largely composed of Pakistani men, to avoid inflaming racial tensions. This decision, influenced by a DEI-oriented mindset, had system-wide implications as it hindered law enforcement and social services' ability to address child exploitation effectively. The prioritization of DEI over the empirical reality of criminal patterns underscores the tension between liberal values such as transparency, rule of law, and the external collective imperatives advanced by some DEI programs.
  • Harvard University's admission practices had led to an ongoing lawsuit alleging discrimination against Asian-American applicants. This case brings to light the systemic structural measures where DEI efforts to nurture diversity may unintentionally skew against certain demographics. The collective system's data-driven approach to creating a diverse student body highlights the external tension created when liberal practices of individual merit and equity are confronted with collective measures aimed at fostering inclusivity.

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