DEI Out Of Control As Harvard Plans Multiple Segregated Commencement Ceremonies

News Image By Sarah Holliday/Washington Stand April 10, 2024
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In academic institutions, "We have a system now that's broken," said Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah, in a Fox News interview. "On these campuses, we have an evil being taught. ... It's a virus. It's called DEI."

The acronym stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Owens described DEI as a "Marxist-based ideology that believes there is an oppressor race and an oppressed race."

And he made sure to emphasize that the Left has deemed the oppressors as whites and Jews.

Last week, a Harvard law professor wrote a column for the school's paper, The Harvard Crimson, expressing his strong opposition to DEI.

Randall L. Kennedy, the Michael R. Klein professor at Harvard Law School, argued that "the practice of demanding [DEI] ought to be abandoned, both at Harvard and beyond." Kennedy added: "I am a scholar on the Left committed to struggles for social justice. The realities surrounding mandatory DEI statements, however, make me wince."

That appeal seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Despite the pleas of the professor, Harvard appears stuck in its identity politics ways.

For instance, the Ivy League university is set to move forward with segregated commencement ceremonies called "affinity celebrations." National Review reported: "Harvard plans to hold a 'Disability Celebration,' a 'Global Indigenous Celebration,' an 'Asian American, Pacific Islander, Desi-American (APIDA) Celebration,' a 'First Generation-Low Income Celebration,' a 'Jewish Celebration,' a 'Latinx Celebration,' a 'Lavender Celebration'--which refers to LGBT students--a 'Black Celebration,' a 'Veterans Celebration,' and an 'Arab Celebration.'"

Notably, Harvard only recently added its Jewish student population to this list shortly after being called out for the omission by Manhattan Institute's Christopher Rufo. Another observation people made is that Harvard's white students get no such separate celebratory ceremony.

"Harvard DEI is simply out of control," Divinity School student Shabbos Kestenbaum said. He explained that Harvard not only fails to recognize "the harmful ways in which Harvard DEI has contributed" to issues such as campus antisemitism, but "further marginalizes individuals into groups of race, ethnicity, and religion."

Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., chairwoman of the Education and Workforce Committee, agreed.

"Graduation ceremonies should unite students," Foxx said. "Instead, Harvard is dividing its student body even further by playing into identity politics and radical DEI ideologies."

Joseph Backholm, Family Research Council's senior fellow for biblical worldview and strategic engagement, commented to The Washington Stand: "These decisions are rooted in a moral analysis that is focused not on what someone does but on who they are."

Backholm explained that under DEI, "Racial discrimination isn't always wrong, it just depends on who is doing it and why. If it's done by the oppressed to the oppressors, then it's good. If it's being done by the oppressors to the oppressed, then it's bad."

He added: "It's the same moral reasoning that results in sympathy for mass murder and mass rape conducted by Hamas. Because they're identified by the Left as the 'oppressed,' their wicked behavior is sanitized as 'resistance.'"

What it comes down to, Backholm said, is this: "Identity politics not only asks us to prioritize trivial characteristics like sex and ethnicity over meaningful things like character and competency, but it destroys our ability to do basic moral reasoning."

Originally published at The Washington Stand

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