DEI – when will Mississippi’s leaders lead?

By Douglas Carswell
March 18, 2024

The University of Florida just fired all their DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) staff.  The University closed the office of the Chief Diversity Officer, and terminated DEI-focused contracts. 
Florida is not alone in taking decisive action against the ‘woke’ mind virus that has been running rampant on US college campuses for years.  In Alabama, a bill (SB 129) to ban DEI programs in all state institutions, including colleges, was recently voted through the state legislature.  The University of Arkansas has decided to eliminate its diversity, equity and inclusion division. 
Here in Mississippi, meanwhile, crickets…...  No executive orders.  No legislation.   Why? 
Senator Angela Hill presented a bill to eliminate DEI programs in any state-funded institution (SB2402).  So, too, did Representative Becky Currie in the House (HB127).  Yet both bills died in committee.

Saying that the bills “died in committee” makes it sound like they were victims of some freak accident.  Neither bill, of course, was struck by lightning or afflicted by some random misfortune.  The bills failed to come out of committee because those that chaired the relevant committees to which each bill had been referred decided not to allow the bills to proceed. 

In the Senate, the two committees in question were Accountability, Efficiency & Transparency, and Universities, chaired by Sen David Parker and Sen Nicole Boyd respectively.  I doubt that Parker or Boyd would have killed the anti DEI bill without approval from Senate leader, Delbert Hosemann. 

In the House, the committee out of which the bill failed to emerge is chaired by Rep Donnie Scoggin. 

“But is an anti DEI bill actually necessary?”, I hear you ask.  “Is there really that much DEI here in Mississippi in the first place?”   
If any member of the legislature spent more than a couple of minutes browsing the University of Mississippi’s website, they would see that it is an institution run by people 100 percent committed to DEI.  Do those lawmakers that killed the anti DEI bill approve? 
DEI dogma not only influences the way Ole Miss is run.  DEI seeks to shape what young people are taught there.  Ole Miss’s “Equity in Action” plans, for example, increasingly touch upon almost every aspect of university life.  

Concealed behind innocuous jargon in the university’s “Pathways to Equity” strategic plan, Ole Miss has an active DEI program that impacts everything from teaching practices, course content and student evaluation.  The way I read it, Ole Miss even seems to endorse the hiring of some faculty on the basis of race, rather than merit. 
Without any action from the state Senate or the IHL, this is all being done on your tax dollar.  We know this thanks to Shad White, our State Auditor. 
Shad White is one of the few leaders to actually show leadership on this issue, and he has tried to calculate how much all this is costing Mississippi taxpayers.
White’s recent report showed that Mississippi universities spent over $23 million on DEI from July 2019 to June 2023.  Nearly $11 million of state taxpayer funds went to DEI programs, most of which was spent on salaries for DEI employees.  Without any action from our state leaders, DEI spending soared almost 50 percent since 2019.  

In case anyone needs reminding why DEI needs to be rooted out of our public universities, here’s a quick reminder.
The United States is founded on the revolutionary idea that all Americans are created equal.  America might have produced some laws and leaders that failed to live up to that high standard.  But as a principle, it has never been bettered.
DEI overturns America’s founding principle, promoting instead the idea that each of us is defined by our immutable characteristics.  This is not just profoundly un-American.  DEI ideology takes us back to a pre-modern, pre-Enlightenment idea that we are defined by what we are born.  It is a profoundly anti-Western ideology.  

It is not a coincidence that the ‘woke’ mobs that appeared on Ivy League college campuses after the Hamas terror attacks last October seemed to side with America’s enemies.  DEI proponents are hostile to America and the West.
DEI demoralizes Americans.  It teaches the young to believe that their country is always in the wrong.  It demands that history be rewritten to press the past into a narrative of exploitation. 
How regrettable that conservative leaders in this conservative state should do so little about it while leaders in states all around us take action.


magnifiercross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram