Tag Archive for: Diversity Equity Inclusion

Disney’s DEI Policies Land Them in Court: ‘The Hit Factory Is Now the Flop Factory’

According to Bob Iger, Disney CEO, what happened on January 6 “was fundamentally wrong and … rooted in hatred … and intolerance.” In his view, that was the day Iger felt Disney needed to take “a stand” on political matters, which has been mostly rooted in the company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. However, experts have highlighted the fact that these efforts have mostly backfired.

In prioritizing DEI, Disney has produced content largely centered on LGBT ideology. This agenda has caused their revenue to tank as they faced nationwide boycotts, decreased sales, and certain states pulling their investments from the Magic Kingdom. Nonetheless, Disney has insisted on prioritizing politics over profit. “The hit factory is now the flop factory,” wrote Breitbart’s John Nolte. “The trusted brand is now seen (accurately) as a threat to children’s innocence.”

Iger said he’s “very proud of the work” Disney has “done in terms of diversity and inclusion on screen.” However, Nolte pointed out that in the brand’s DEI efforts, they’ve failed to succeed in “telling a great story with appealing and relatable characters.” And not all of the pushback is based on gender politics.

America First Legal (AFL) filed a civil rights complaint against Disney on Wednesday “for violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by engaging in illegal race, sex, and national origin discrimination.” According to Disney’s “Reimagine Tomorrow” website, AFL argued that there is a strong suggestion “that race, color, religion, sex, or national origin are often the only motivating factor in Disney’s hiring, training, and promotion decisions.” As such, they noted “the company is intentionally discriminating against white American men, Christians, and Jews simply because of their race, sex, religion, and citizenship.”

AFL President Stephen Miller said, “It is sad and tragic that a company whose name was once synonymous with wholesome and charming childhood fantasies is now dedicated to spreading divisive bigotry. We urge Disney to cease and desist its unlawful and destructive conduct at once.”

Referring to Disney’s goal of hiring 50% of its directors from “underrepresented groups,” the complaint stated, “It is patently unlawful to consider racial, ethnic, and sex-based characteristics in hiring, training, compensation, and promotion.” It continued, “Decades of case law have held that policies that impose racial balancing or quotas in employment, training, or recruitment, such as those presented on Disney’s websites, are prohibited.”

As Nolte pointed out, “Disney went from one of the most universally beloved and trusted brands — a company that produced one-billion-dollar blockbuster after another — into a failing propaganda outlet no decent parent would allow their children near.”

Stephen Soukup, author of “The Dictatorship of Woke Capital,” commented to The Washington Stand, “Disney and its leadership — its executives and board — have gone out of their way to ensure that politics takes priority over conventional business interests.”

Concerning the decisions Disney has made in recent years and whether they will alter their path, Soukup said, “Despite acknowledging their disconnect between their ideology and their customer base in SEC documents, they still seem unable or unwilling to change course. The evidence shows that CEO Bob Iger has been driving much of this, while the company’s board of directors has rewarded him with a lavish pay increase, even in the face of his failures.”

Ultimately, Soukup pointed out, “any change in the company’s positions will have to come from shareholders.” Which, he concluded, “short of a shareholder rebellion — approval on non-management approved board candidates, for example — it’s difficult to see Disney’s leaders doing what needs to be done to get back to something approximating neutral, to putting business ahead of politics.”

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Biden, Democrats ‘Intent on Destroying Our Military’ through DEI, CRT: Congressman

President Joe Biden’s insistence that the military indoctrinate soldiers in left-wing orthodoxy by demanding a record-setting budget for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) proves he is “intent on destroying our military by dividing us further,” a congressman says.

The Biden administration’s Department of Defense has requested $114.7 million to teach “diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility” (DEIA) to the U.S. armed forces and deeply embed “DEIA values, objectives, and considerations in how we do business and execute our missions.” The budget request in the pending National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) shows the budget dedicated to teaching the race-based ideology in the U.S. military increasing from $68 million in 2022 to $86.5 million in the last fiscal year.

Democrats, who have often been accused of transforming the military from an elite fighting force into an experiment for social engineering, seem to want to transform the U.S. military into a safe space, according to the Biden administration’s official Fiscal Year 2024 budget request. “The Department is committed to building a safe environment to serve. This includes fully embracing a diversity of backgrounds, experience, and thought to build unity within the DoD,” says the document, released in March.

It notes the Biden administration “continues its efforts to eliminate” alleged “extremism, and discrimination” in the military. “Furthering DEI” will allow the administration to create a purported “climate of inclusion that supports diversity … free from problematic behaviors.”

DEI teaches “principles that are critical … They are not simply about building a workforce; they are the cornerstone of the human element of warfighting and national security.”

The document mentions the term “diversity” 18 times.

The Defense Department’s more recent Strategic Management Plan (SMP) for Fiscal Years 2022 – 2026 mentions “diversity” 27 times.

The Democrats’ plan to foist DEI and other left-wing orthodoxies on the armed services is “doing nothing but divide us in the military, dividing our nation,” said Rep. Mark Alford (R-Mo.) on Tuesday’s “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins.”

“This administration and the Obama administration before them are intent on destroying our military by dividing us further,” Alford told Perkins. The refusal of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to consider House amendments stripping left-wing ideological funding from the NDAA is “part of this master plan to keep this DEI and the CRT [critical race theory] going in the military after we have offered successfully amendment after amendment to get rid of these programs.”

House Republicans’ version of the NDAA, which funds U.S. military priorities for the coming year, would “take out the critical race theory and DEI stuff” in order “to limit the abuses and the Woke” agenda the Biden administration wants to push on the military, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) told Perkins on Wednesday.

Both congressmen emphasized the fact that divisive left-wing ideology that reduces all transactions to “power” based on race, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity corrodes military unit cohesion and retards readiness. “There is a reason that they wear uniforms in the military, that is to make people uniform and to concentrate on skin color or what gender they use,” said Alford. “The Communist Chinese simply don’t care” about these concepts, as they prepare for a potential showdown with the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific in a potential clash over Taiwan.

Roy agreed that Biden’s single-minded focus on promoting DEI and “abortion tourism” represents a distraction” from the military’s purpose.

The budget request drew sharp backlash from Republican House members this week. “The Biden admin’s focus on progressivism over warfighting continues to exacerbate the military recruiting crisis and calls into question our level of military preparedness,” said Republicans on the House Oversight Committee. “Does Joe Biden want the military to be a lethal fighting force or a clown show?” asked Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) on X.

The Biden administration has long signaled its commitment to DEI and critical race theory, an ideology created by professed Marxists in the 1970s that has become the dominant organizing principle of U.S. institutions after the 2020 death of George Floyd. In June 2021, then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley told Congress he read CRT books, because “I want to understand white rage.”

But critics say the Biden administration’s focus on DEI/CRT, the use of preferred pronouns, the deadly U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the continued threat of intervening in wars of choice such as Ukraine have led to a military recruitment emergency. Milley’s branch of the armed services, the U.S. Army, fell 10,000 soldiers short of its 65,000 soldier recruitment goal in the past year.

“I would imagine we’ll settle on something lower than 65,000 for 2024,” admitted Christine Wormuth, Biden’s secretary of the Army.

“We need our military laser-focused on defending the nation, not on woke training seminars,” said Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.). “Congress can’t continue to rubber-stamp this superfluous spending.”

AUTHOR

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Progressive Public High School Offers Race-Segregated Classes

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policies have grown so diverse that they now include policies reminiscent of the Jim Crow era. A Chicago-area school district is attempting to boost academic achievement among black and Latino students by offering blacks-only and Latino-only classes. The segregated classes are called “affinity” classes, and they aim to reduce the so-called “academic achievement gap” by making black and Latino students feel more comfortable in class.

As Evanston, Ill. School Board Vice President Monique Parsons described the problem this month, “Our black students are, for lack of a better word … at the bottom, consistently still. And they are being outperformed consistently.” Evanston could have offered extra tutoring, parent engagement programs, or similar interventions. Instead, they offered special black-only classes taught by black teachers, on the theory that black students would learn better without white peers around.

Evanston is not the only community to offer race-segregated classrooms. Woke strongholds such as Minneapolis, Seattle, San Francisco, and Oakland have been offering race-specific high school electives focusing on subjects like African-American history since at least 2015. Evanston’s innovation was to expand the concept of race-segregated classrooms to math and English classes, such as Algebra 2 and AP Calculus.

Of course, federal non-discrimination laws forbid school districts from separating students on the basis of race, but the Evanston school district attempts to sidestep these laws by making the classes voluntary. Is that acceptable? To answer that question, consider what would have happened if Arkansas high schools in the 1950s had offered voluntary, whites-only classes to make white students feel more comfortable.

“In this example, the school system is failing to educate a portion of students. Rather than blame themselves for failing to prepare students to advance academically, this school system asks students to segregate themselves based on race,” Meg Kilgannon, Family Research Council’s senior fellow for Education Studies, told The Washington Stand. “The students must do it themselves so the school doesn’t violate civil rights laws that protect them from racial segregation.”

Fortunately, Evanston’s racial segregation scheme has not encountered universal participation. Approximately 200 of the high school’s 3,600 students (a little more than 5%) are attending race-segregated classes. About 25% of the student population is black, and about 20% is Latino, which comes out to about one in nine black students and one in seven Latino students attending the segregated classes. While not universal, these numbers still represent a sizable percentage of the school’s minority populations.

Regardless, the problem lies in the principle, not the implementation.

“We would all agree that it would be wrong if white people were looking to create spaces where everyone was white, but somehow the calculation is supposed to be different if black or brown people want to create spaces where no one is white,” Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement Joseph Backholm told TWS.

In August 2023, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) informed educators in a “Dear Colleague” letter, “OCR generally will open an investigation under Title VI [a civil rights non-discrimination law] where there are allegations that the use of a curriculum or program separates students or otherwise treats them differently based on their race” (emphasis added). That is precisely what Evanston’s program does, even if it is voluntary.

“This is a great example of how wokeness changes our moral evaluations,” Backholm explained. “In wokelandia, a person labeled an oppressor can do exactly the same thing as one of the oppressed, but it is wrong for one and right for the other. It’s very bad moral reasoning.”

Evanston has distinguished itself in recent years for its zeal to address past discrimination through present discrimination. The city became the first in America to approve reparations payments for black Americans in 2021. In 2019, the city council passed a resolution declaring Evanston “an anti-racist city” and “acknowledg[ing] that the trauma inflicted on people of color by persistent white supremacist ideology results in psychological harm affecting educational, economic, and social outcomes; and conjures painful memories of our City’s past …”

Such self-abasement might be understandable if the city had been the site of some notorious lynching or a KKK hotbed. Instead, Evanston was founded by Methodists — the backbone of the abolition movement — and incorporated in 1863 — the year of the Emancipation Proclamation. The city’s zeal to apologize for racism seems to outpace its actual record of racial discrimination.

Countering racism infuses Evanston’s current policy of racially-segregated classes, too. “Equity guides many of the district’s decisions,” reported The Wall Street Journal, “embodied in a stated board goal: ‘Recognizing that racism is the most devastating factor contributing to the diminished achievement of students, ETHS will strive to eliminate the predictability of academic achievement based upon race.’”

Kilgannon said this “deeply troubling” goal “summarizes quite precisely the problem with ‘equity’ as a worldview-guiding policy.” She explained, “Student achievement has many factors. ‘Centering’ racism as the most devastating factor will not produce better academic outcomes and is likely to produce an even more toxic environment for children of every race.”

Indeed, students who choose to participate in the racially-segregated classes may have already bought into that woke indoctrination. By segregating themselves, they will miss out on the opportunity to learn and grow from interacting with people who are different from them. They will encounter expectations that don’t prepare them for the real world. They will accept the false premise that their skin color arbitrarily limits their potential academic success. Meanwhile, the students — white, black, and Latino — who stay behind in the mixed classes also miss out on interactions with their peers.

“In athletics, all play together. They don’t have a white team, a black team, and a Latino team,” argued Jay Sabatino, a former high school teacher, principal, and superintendent in Illinois public schools, who retired after 30 years in education. “They have one Evanston team. All contribute, and all make mistakes. If a student in class or on the basketball court feels unsafe because he made a mistake, the teacher should address that. A safe environment (physically and emotionally) is the result of an excellent school.”

“What I fear is happening is that these students are being given the impression that their skin color is the most important thing about them,” Backholm agreed, “and that they need protection from people who don’t look like them. If that’s the case, these segregated classrooms will end up giving them a much greater handicap in life than whatever math deficiencies they may have.”

“As long as the program is voluntary, I can accept it more than if it is ‘the way we do things,’” Sabatino told TWS. But he expressed concerns about the process, based upon the WSJ’s reporting that the school district was dodging media inquiries and had not published data on the program’s success over the past four years. “Transparency in these decisions (at a district or school level) should be paramount. That Evanston would not respond to questions should throw up a red flag to the community.” Additionally, “Any district that does not look at the data critically and report out on them is not operating optimally. This isn’t an administrator’s school; it’s the community’s.”

“This example is one of the many reasons we encourage Christians to run for school board, and why we support in prayer Christians serving in schools as teachers and staff,” said Kilgannon. “Only a system devoid of God can produce this kind of situation. Christians are needed now more than ever in education of every kind.”

America’s educational establishment — such as national teachers’ unions and education training programs — are pushing schools to embed godless, toxic ideologies based on Marxism into curriculums, instruction, and every aspect of school life. They instruct students to classify everyone as either oppressor or oppressed, based not upon their individual behavior but upon their belonging to groups. Many of these groups, which determine someone’s moral standing according to woke ideology, are based upon unchangeable physical characteristics, such as a person’s skin color or ethnicity.

Creating special classes for certain “oppressed” groups (blacks and Latinos) to escape from the supposed “oppressors” (whites), as Evanston school district has done, is just another method for subtly advancing this radical indoctrination agenda. But will it actually help students learn better in AP calculus class? The case to make for it is not very persuasive.

Instead of imbibing untested racial ideology, there are time-tested methods for academic improvement which Evanston could try. Based on his 30 years of experience, Sabatino said, “I’ll always endorse this: Hard work and perseverance lead to success.”

AUTHOR

Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.