Letter: DEI - Why the opposition?

Posted 3/23/23

To the editor:

DEI: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Why would anyone oppose such things?  

To begin, what do these words mean? According to Webster: 1) Diversity - the condition of …

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Letter: DEI - Why the opposition?


To the editor:

DEI: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Why would anyone oppose such things? 

To begin, what do these words mean? According to Webster: 1) Diversity - the condition of having or being composed of differing elements; variety; 2) Equity - dealing fairly and equally with all concerned; freedom from bias or favoritism; 3) Inclusion - the state of being included, to take in or comprise as a part of a whole or group. I suspect most people think this is all DEI entails and, given this understanding, are perplexed as to why anyone would be against DEI initiatives. If this were all DEI was about, nearly everybody would support it, and there wouldn't be a problem. However, this is not the case; this is NOT the version of DEI that people generally oppose.  

Concerns arise when people realize the innocuous version of DEI that they casually heard about ends up being "Toxic-DEI" in disguise. Among other things, Toxic-DEI tends to be authoritarian, intolerant, exclusionary, and Marxist-like. In this version, "Diversity" means different skin colors with uniformity of ideas. Look at what happens to a person of color, a homosexual, a woman, etc., who attains a position of influence and dares to express ideas against left-wing ideology. Is there any "celebrating of diversity" in such cases? Clarence Thomas? Ben Carson? No, of course not. If you do not bow down and worship the gods of left-wing ideology, then you do not count.

With Toxic-DEI, the goal of "Equity" isn't a fair and impartial system; instead, "Equity" aims to achieve a particular group outcome. To achieve this, treating individuals differently based solely on their group identity becomes perfectly acceptable. Think about that for a moment, treating people differently according to their group identity - hopefully, this troubles you.

Consultants are paid lots of money, often with taxpayer funds, to run inquisition-like audits in all areas of towns and organizations, looking for any sign of "inequities," perceived or otherwise. Next comes the "training," or shall we say "reeducation/struggle sessions." Here people are often shamed and coerced into atoning for sins they never committed and acknowledging things they disagree with. All based on their immutable characteristics. There is no tolerance for dissent.

Under Toxic-DEI, "Inclusion" is anything but; it is an Orwellian name given to a process that silences those opposed to the left-wing ideology forced upon them. Look for yourself, in our schools, at your work, etc.; I would be surprised if you find any message promoting anything other than left-wing points of view. Unfortunately, this is how inclusion works under Toxic-DEI; only those who conform and agree are included. It is inclusion by exclusion. Love is hate. Peace is war.

By and large, Toxic-DEI is destructive, intolerant, and does more harm than good. Please understand, opponents of Toxic-DEI overwhelmingly support traditional civil rights such as equal opportunity and meritocracy. They advocate for a color-blind system that does NOT discriminate based on one's race, religion, sex, etc. They believe society should build up and help individuals in need, regardless of group identity. They recognize the destructiveness and "bigotry of low expectations" inherent in our shallow, virtue-signaling culture that perpetually focuses on past grievances and encourages victimhood. 

So next time you hear someone opposing "DEI," you will understand they are doing so because it is probably just "Toxic-DEI" in disguise. 

Matthew Fletcher


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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.