Letter: Diversity supporters’ good intentions vs. unintended consequences

Posted 2/19/21

In Bill Bullard’s letter in the Feb. 11 Phoenix (“Diversity opponents speaking in code”), he confuses the issue by noting that “diversity,” “equity” and …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?

Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.

Letter: Diversity supporters’ good intentions vs. unintended consequences


In Bill Bullard’s letter in the Feb. 11 Phoenix (“Diversity opponents speaking in code”), he confuses the issue by noting that “diversity,” “equity” and “inclusion” are terms with “coded meanings.”

The terms as used by the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEIC) proponents are not at all coded. but are very clear, as I pointed out in my letter in the Feb. 4 Phoenix. I will make several key points on each of those coded terms.

Diversity. This concept is used by the DEIC proponents, based on identity politics which places individuals in groups based on skin color, sexual preferences, economic grievance and marginalized categories.

Diversity sounds good, but there is little room in this concept for diversity of thought, alternative principles or heterodox ideas. Diversity in this sense divides rather than seeks a common humanity.

Equity. To be very clear, “equity” as used here is NOT equality of opportunity. “Equity” is very much a Marxist concept with the Marxist slogan: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

“Equity” as used in DEIC terminology is achievement of the same outcomes or the same results for all groups. Equity runs counter to fundamental American ideals of equal treatment and opportunity for all.

Inclusion. The proponents of the DEIC make much of inclusion, but this term does not include thoughts of individuals who do not agree with the DEIC positions.

A clear example of this is the 60-person Diversity Committee, of which Mr. Bullard is a member, established in a self-selecting, non-transparent manner this past summer.

This committee met a number of times without public notice to discuss diversity programs they wanted integrated into the Bristol Warren school curriculum. A much more useful use of time and energy would be to develop programs to improve academic outcomes for our students in Math, Science, History and English achievement, all needed for success in life.

It is important to understand the meaning of the terms used by the DEIC supporters to fully understand how antithetical the DEIC is to traditional liberal principles on which the American way of life is based. It may be that some of these well-meaning people truly don’t understand what they are advocating for and the divisive unintended consequences that are surely to result.

Finally, in reference to my labeling diversity as a spice of life, Mr. Bullard seems to have a very low bar for what is “demeaning.” He incorrectly claims that spices are something with little to no nutritional value, when in fact many spices have significant health benefits in addition to adding flavor and enjoyment to many foods. 

Michael Byrnes

2021 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.