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Banning Diversity...To Increase Diversity?
After a four hour incoherent and illogical debate, the Senate banned Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on university and college campuses.
During the Senate floor debate, we found out that during that hearing, 168 people testified against the bill, and only six testified in favor of it. Of those six, two were from out of state (including famed propagandist Carol Swain), and one was a Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) member.
Tim Dunn primarily funds TPPF and is the Texas version of the Heritage Foundation.
Clearly, Texans do not want a ban on DEI in colleges and higher education. Listen to Creighton try to justify pushing the bill forward anyway:
When Senator Zaffarini asked Creighton how the 168 people who testified against the bill would know they’ve been heard, Creighton responded, “Well, we listened to them, which is more than the federal government does.”
Taking the out-of-state testifiers out of the equation and keeping the TPPF member (assuming they’re a Texas resident), only four legitimate people favored SB17.
That’s a 42:1 ratio of people who hated this bill versus people who liked the bill.
A perfect display of Texas politics.
This is what Texas politics are, a bunch of white conservatives leading a government in a state that is otherwise diverse and liberal, pushing unpopular ideas and legislation so that Republicans can remain in control.
Republicans in the Texas legislature do not represent Texans. That’s why Creighton’s district looks like this:
Creighton’s district is only 51.6% white, which is probably why he thought he could slip this racist legislation in without a huge backlash. But, of course, it doesn’t help that only 41% of the electorate showed up in 2022 to vote.
So, what was SB17 all about?
According to Senator Creighton, Texas is an incredibly diverse state, and we all love how diverse Texas is. However, he wants to ban Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion offices because he believes they’ve been exclusive, ineffective, and politically charged.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a framework that seeks to promote the fair treatment and full participation of all people, particularly groups who have historically been underrepresented or subject to discrimination on the basis of identity or disability.
When Creighton refers to DEI as “exclusive,” he refers to white people being left out.
During the four-hour-long debate, Senator Eckhart even confronted Creighton on his belief that white people are being excluded. Creighton proclaimed that he didn’t mean white. He meant Conservative.
But, since 89% of Republicans are non-Hispanic white, he meant white. But he wouldn’t say white because he knew it would have sounded racist.
When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.
Diversity has brought equity and inclusion to our universities. Still, it is uncomfortable to lose control for cis-hetero white men like Brandon Creighton, who have long been in power.
That’s the sum of the argument over the concepts of banning DEI and CRT. However, banning these things so that white people can remain at the top is turning back the hands of time and oppressing already marginalized communities.
Creighton couldn’t explain the bill without using thinly veiled racism, as he did at this moment when he explained he wanted to ban DEI because minority university staff only increased by 2%, but that was a positive for them, and “other” people got left out.
Other people. Conservative people. White people. That’s what he meant.
According to the White Men's Leadership Study, a study of white men and DEI, nearly 70% report feeling “forgotten” by diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
Creighton even claimed that minorities even get special “perks and benefits” under DEI, which was why it should be banned.
Of course, when asked for specific examples of perks minorities got under DEI, he could provide none.
Creighton provided only one example during the entire debate of how DEI was unfair.
He spoke about how the University of Texas required a diversity statement from new applicants. One applicant was allegedly flagged by the DEI office for using the terms “meritocracy” and “color blindness” in their statement.
The Senator even went as far as calling diversity “defacto racism” right before he mixed up the only two Black guys in the Senate.
Republicans’ legislation banning Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in universities and college campuses is a white supremacist bill aimed at hurting marginalized communities in a state where white people are shrinking as a population.
This bill will likely make it through the legislative process and be signed by the governor. When that happens, we should expect to see the lawsuits flying in. This bill is not only immoral, it’s also unconstitutional. While it may become law for a short time, it will eventually be turned over by the higher courts.
Until then, don’t forget the actions these Republicans took to hurt the minorities of this state and vote as if it will get worse.