Letter: Why was DEI proposal even shared?

Posted 1/24/24

To the editor:

It’s time for us to consider whether the town’s DEI Committees are making our community diverse, equitable and inclusive.  

The history of aspersions cast …

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Letter: Why was DEI proposal even shared?


To the editor:

It’s time for us to consider whether the town’s DEI Committees are making our community diverse, equitable and inclusive. 

The history of aspersions cast against our neighbors by these groups is well-documented, and now speech-codes and mandates are being attempted.

The town’s DEI Committee brought two proposed policies with speech implications to the last Town Council meeting. Thankfully many spoke out against the proposed rule mandating “Respectful Speech,” seeing it as an unneeded attempt to infringe on free-speech rights. Such a policy would place the DEI Committee in the role of arbiters of acceptable speech. Considering that the Massachusetts Supreme Court recently held that even uncivil speech is protected, why was this proposal even shared?

The second proposal, the “No Tolerance Condemnation” policy, would mandate the town issue statements condemning any “hate” incident. This would force speech on town officials, and by extension every resident. Comments by DEI members present, betrayed a desire to use town leadership as a bullhorn and stamp-of-approval for the committee’s chosen narratives. This is terrifying, given the narratives advanced in recent years.

Example: Attempts were made to shame town residents with unsubstantiated insinuations of involvement in hate-crimes, using two separate incidents, each of which contained the hallmarks of hoaxes (we have seen many in this nation since 2016). The targets were innocent residents who hold unfavored political views. These unfortunate shaming events, one around an incident involving “pamphlets”, another a spray-painted symbol, serve the same purpose: they cause division in town, and imply the need for re-education in town. This behavior does not increase diversity, equity, or inclusion.

I recently heard a first-person account of one of our neighbors who had been “spied” upon by a DEI Committee member at her publicly held story-time at our library. After being blocked when she tried to reserve a room for her event, she was confronted with the news that she’d become an agenda item on the DEI Committee’s next meeting. The issue? The event featured books by a Christian publisher.

I’ve openly opposed another ongoing shaming device orchestrated by DEI zealots- the “Land Acknowledgement”. Read at the beginning of every Town Council meeting, immediately after the Pledge of Allegiance, it asserts that we live on stolen land and owe a personal and societal debt to The Pokanoket. Despite the falsity of the insinuation of shared guilt, the intended pang-of-shame arrives as planned- it’s just human nature. Thus, DEI’s goal is realized.

Gleaned from actions of the town’s DEI committees, I offer this list of wrong-think:

1. Believing that you have freedom of religion and can use public resources in the same way as other residents for your group’s activities.

2. Failing to feel shame for acts of The British in the prerevolutionary colonies.

3. Failing to attribute malice to your neighbors, when offensive but unattributed graffiti marks or leaflets are found.

4. Feeling entitled to express concern over harm to innocents during war, regardless of who’s involved.

5. Failure to support adult-entertainers’ attempts to conduct story-hours for children, in full adult-entertainment costume.

I’ll end by asking why nothing is being done by DEI about the well-documented divisive and harmful white-shaming of our innocent kids in our schools?.

Outsourcing one’s sense of right and wrong to others is never a good idea. So why do we continue to do it?   

Janine Wolf


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