Activists Send DEI to the Liberal Graveyard of Lost Causes

Activists Send DEI to the Liberal Graveyard of Lost Causes
Activists Send DEI to the Liberal Graveyard of Lost Causes

One deadly myth harmful to the conservative cause is that once the full weight of the establishment pushes a liberal initiative forward, it is futile to resist it.

Such fatalism is false. Plenty of well-advanced leftist initiatives have suffered crushing defeats. It is enough to recall the doomed Equal Rights Amendment, Roe v. Wade or Common Core. All found their way to the liberal graveyard of lost causes awaiting reincarnation under other acronyms.

The Fate of DEI

The latest program to suffer the indignity of premature death is DEI. Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs require that race, ethnicity, sex and LGBTQ+ orientation be used as primary criteria to run and staff corporations, universities and institutions.

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These programs were all the rage as little as a year ago. Every corporation, university or institution had to have its DEI officer or department that would virtue-signal compliance with mandates. Graduates specialized in DEI studies were guaranteed cushy jobs at woke firms.

Those days are now over. DEI and its nasty cousin, ESG (environmental, social and governance mandates), are on their way out. Massive pushback from conservative activists has all but sealed their fate.

Massive Backlash Has Results

The DEI debacle happened because people challenged the fatalist myth that resistance to such programs is futile.

DEI is dying because activists and public interest groups are campaigning hard against it. They have seen how DEI programs, with their obsessions with race, sexual orientation and other preferences, work to the detriment of good business practices. Critics argue that DEI initiatives weaponized the workplace, creating an atmosphere of distrust and mediocrity.

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Instead of working to reduce discrimination, the DEI programs create friction and resentment that produce reverse discrimination. Instead of including everyone, they end up explicitly excluding groups of people, thus making matters worse.

Toward Workplace and Admissions Neutrality

Activists have waged war on DEI for some time. However, a Supreme Court ruling last June helped enormously. The decision held that race-based college admissions at Harvard and the University of North Carolina violated the Constitution’s equal protection under the law guarantee.

Taking their cue from the decision, organizations like the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) are working to guarantee equal protection and neutrality in the workplace everywhere.

In the battle against DEI tyranny, WILL and other public interest groups have filed over 100 lawsuits that contest the diversity mandates centered on race, ethnicity, sex and LGBTQ+ orientation.

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Groups like Color Us United and American First Legal have even set up webpages, social media notices or toll-free numbers to help those who feel they have suffered under DEI injustice obtain free legal services.

A Chilling Effect Upon DEI

The efforts have borne fruit. The most successful lawsuits have been against the federal government, which has used its programs and monetary might to impose DEI mandates. Several court decisions have dismantled government programs or restricted funds worth tens of billions of dollars.

Private companies have much more flexibility in their hiring and operating practices. However, violations exist, and the activist groups target woke firms that promote reverse discrimination.

The threat of legal action has put a damper upon DEI activism everywhere. Even the wokest of companies are shutting down their DEI programs as a precaution against possible litigation. This threat has had a much-needed chilling effect since most companies want to avoid controversy, costly lawsuits or shareholder challenges.

DEI Is Unpopular

Polls show that while Americans might accept some special programs favoring underrepresented groups, they oppose mandated programs, quotas and college admission allocations. Americans favor fairness but not the tyranny of forcing acquired pronoun usage in the workplace.

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Such polls also find that majorities, which included all racial groups, believe that a person’s qualifications should be the primary consideration for hiring and promotion decisions—even if it results in a less diverse workforce.

Nevertheless, the Biden Administration has sponsored legislation and signed orders contrary to the nation’s pro-merit sentiments. On his first day in office, for example, President Joe Biden signed an order declaring that “affirmatively advancing equity, civil rights, racial justice, and equal opportunity is the responsibility of the whole of our government.” His pro-DEI record favors mandates, quotas and arbitrary exclusion of non-favored groups.

Anti-DEI Is Popular

While DEI is unpopular with the American public, anti-DEI activist groups are popular and booming.

The ten most popular legal groups contesting DEI reverse discrimination and workplace non-neutrality are growing. The Washington Post reports that from 2017 to 2022, donations to the top ten groups have surged from nearly $35 million to more than $135 million.

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The groups mainly take action on the state level. Public interest litigation has proven much more effective than ordinary lobbying efforts. Their litigation has stopped diversity training sessions, abolished racial quotas for boards and eliminated race-based fellowships.

The shift is changing the landscape as merit and ability have a chance to trump the artificial diversity criteria in the workplace. Sound business practices have an opportunity to flourish once again.

All these things are happening because there were those who challenged the myth that it is futile to resist well-established liberal programs. It can be done, and the decline of DEI is proof.

Photo Credit:  © Andres Conema –