Columnist Says Anti-DEI Backlash is Coming, and Recent Events Show He May Be Right

Evan Poellinger | September 20, 2023
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Radical leftist policies in higher education, inflicted under the guise of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI),” appear to be facing increasing opposition, Daily Signal Columnist Jarrett Stepman says.

In a column published on September 13, Stepman references a report in the New York Times discussing how DEI has become a hiring standard at colleges and universities, notably through diversity statements, as “nearly half the large universities in America require that job applicants write such statements.”

Generally, diversity statements assess the way in which potential hires adhere to DEI talking points. One such example is the diversity viewpoint standards outlined by the University of California Berkeley, in which the highest-scoring candidates are required to have “clear knowledge of, experience with, and interest in dimensions of diversity that result from different identities, such as ethnic, socioeconomic, racial, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and cultural differences.”

Similar DEI-focused hiring standards have also been revealed by the National Opportunity Project to have been implemented in the public school system in various districts across the country.

Stepman contends that a backlash against these DEI policies is currently taking shape. Stepman writes that the U.S. Supreme Court’s striking down of affirmative action is beginning to prompt abandonment of ideological policies, making specific reference to the University System of Georgia. Within the university’s employee recruitment policy statement, the recruiting process is stipulated to “be free of ideological tests, affirmations, and oaths,” while, “the basis and determining factor for hiring, promotion, and tenure should be that the individual possesses the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with the role.”

It seems that recent events may be proving Stepman’s theory correct.

Kenny Xu, who advocated on behalf of the parties involved in the lawsuit against Harvard that ultimately brought down affirmative action, has recently announced his run for Congress, with opposition to DEI at the forefront of his platform. Elsewhere, parents and even some teachers have taken action against DEI-influenced policies, demanding transparency from schools which have attempted to keep child gender transitions secret from parents.

If Stepman’s assessment and recent news are any indication, the anti-DEI backlash is beginning to gain momentum.