North Carolina Becomes the Latest Victim of a Far-Right Scam

Handing a major win to a manufactured conservative campaign to dismantle safeguards for equality, the governing board of North Carolina’s 17 public university systems on Thursday banned its diversity, equity, and inclusion policy.

The move follows a last-minute plea from lawmakers, students, and business leaders who gathered at the state legislature on Wednesday to urge against the ban and extol the virtues of DEI programs.

“Our world has become so different, and it’s changing so rapidly, and North Carolina is evolving alongside these global changes,” state Representative Maria Cervania said during the last-minute meeting on Wednesday. “Our businesses know this. They’ve told us they want a workforce that can keep up with our new, globalized world. DEI is actually the best program that’s helping equip our students for that.”

The Board of Governors for the UNC system unanimously approved the university DEI policy in 2019, according to local news outlet WRAL. Following the anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests of 2020, conservatives have sharpened their knives to dismantle hallmarks of racial progress. Those attacks resulted in a manufactured crisis over critical race theory, arguing it’s bad to teach college students factual—but ugly—U.S. history. Soon after, the same people targeted DEI by arguing it’s “reverse discrimination,” a concept that does not exist.

UNC’s board—which initially approved its DEI policy unanimously—plans to replace DEI with a new policy that prohibits universities from “endorsing pro-diversity views—or any other social or political messaging,” WRAL reported Wednesday, an all-or-nothing claim that, if precedent is any indicator, will more than likely only be enforced in one direction.

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Kim browne

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