GOP Targets DEI Initiatives In Genius New Way

The Kentucky state Senate last week approved a measure to limit the impact of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at public universities, the Associated Press reported.

The bill, SB-6, is similar to legislation passed in other Republican states aimed at DEI initiatives that require adherence to any specific ideology or political viewpoint as a condition of hiring, promotions, enrollment, or graduation.

The measure overwhelmingly passed the Senate in a 26 to 7 vote. It will now move to the House where, like the Senate, the Republicans hold a supermajority.

Opponents of the bill claimed that limiting DEI would undo the advances minorities have made in college enrollment and would stifle debate on campus on topics like racism and discrimination.

In reality, the measure would prevent public universities from giving preferential treatment in enrollment based on a student’s ideological views and would prohibit schools from requiring prospective students or staff to adhere to specific ideological beliefs when seeking employment, promotions, or admissions.

The bill’s sponsor, Senator Mike Wilson said the measure is aimed at countering the trend in higher education to deny faculty who refuse to espouse “liberal ideologies” from receiving employment or tenure, which he argued was a “violation of the First Amendment.”

According to Senator Wilson, ideological diversity “should be welcomed” in higher education.

Democrat state Senator Reginal Thomas opposed the measure, arguing that the bill could jeopardize the expanding number of minorities attending university in Kentucky.

However, Senator Wilson maintained that nothing in the legislation would prohibit universities from supporting diversity as long as the school’s efforts were not discriminatory.

Other senators who opposed the measure claimed without evidence that the bill would restrict teaching students about such topics as segregation or women’s suffrage.

Republican state Senator Phillip Wheeler, however, said nothing about the legislation would prevent students from delving into the history of racism or women’s rights. Instead, it would provide a balance so people were no longer viewing the world as “the oppressors and the oppressees.”