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Minority and Women Diversity Threatened… States Introduce Anti-Diversity Laws

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy (JFK) created a Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity, in response to the Civil Rights Movement. He issued Executive Order 10925, which used the term “affirmative action” to refer to measures designed to achieve non-discrimination. It was a “national effort to remedy subjugation of racial and ethnic minorities and of women.” Whereas, some efforts began in the 1950s and 1960s to include minorities, efforts did not truly take hold until it became clear that anti-discrimination statutes alone were not enough to break longstanding patterns of discrimination.

Legal and social exclusion for Blacks, Hispanics and Asians was an impetus; these groups had been segregated into low wage jobs. Many were forbidden by law from owning land. These groups and women were barred by laws in many states from having certain occupations.

Since the 1960s and 1970s, some companies, schools and other institutions made positive advancements and had embraced the idea of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), even before the term, DEI, had become common.

Even in the past five or so years, institutions became more racially and socially inclusive creating Diversity-Equity-Inclusion initiatives for both women and minorities. However, conservatives have ignited their anti-DEI propaganda.

In the blink of an eye, progressive statutes to include minorities and women in the workplace, and in schools and colleges, may be reversed.

States that have approved laws banning DEI: Alabama, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. Other states with a potential soon to ban DEI: Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Kansas, Montana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Wyoming. another seventeen states, including Georgia, have introduced anti-DEI bills.

Texas requires all state-funded colleges and universities to close their DEI offices. Advocates for the anti-DEI movement have called such policies and programs unconstitutional, stating that diversity and inclusion only divides Americans and fosters “white guilt.” These efforts are part of the larger conservative push against “wokeness.”

Some activists have stated that this is one of the first stages of the conservative-backed “Project 2025,” which is an effort to further the objectives of the next Republican president, to perform a swift takeover of the entire executive branch under a maximalist version of the unitary executive theory, which gives the president absolute power over the executive branch, upon inauguration.

Last updated on March 22, 2024

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