My Turn: Renee C. Scheidt: UNC board of governors makes right decision

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 9, 2024

By Renee C. Scheidt

In a day when it is not uncommon to see inmates running the asylum, it is refreshing to find some sanity among our North Carolina leaders. Such is the case with the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. They recently voted to repeal $2.3 million from DEI programs (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) put in place in 2019. Instead, it will be replaced with a new system called “Equality Within the University of North Carolina.” This new program will “ensure equality of all persons and viewpoints.” This complies with legislation passed by the N.C. Legislature last year. All people are to be treated equally, regardless of race. This is in direct opposition to DEI which allows race to take priority over merit. It is merely a new form of affirmative action, which the Supreme Court found unconstitutional in June 2023.

North Carolina is just one of the other states to come to its senses and be removed from this failed DEI experiment. Florida, Texas, Utah, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas and Wyoming have also repealed this program, which at its core, is discrimination. Companies across the USA are removing their DEI departments as they’ve witnessed their accomplishments sagging. Instead of attaining their stated DEI goals, businesses have witnessed their profits dramatically fall (anybody remember Bud Light?). It’s interesting to note that professional sports never acquiesced to either affirmative action or DEI. Those teams are out to win and only want the best athletes. Their skin color, religion, etc. are irrelevant. The bottom line is, can they win games? Our universities and businesses would do well to take note if they want to succeed.

The UCLA Medical Center is a prime example of the disastrous effects of implementing DEI. A new study revealed that this esteemed school, formerly known as one of the best in the world, now has nearly half of its students failing basic tests of medical competency. Many cite a DEI-fixated dean, who allowed less qualified minority candidates into the program, as the reason this prestigious institution now has such dismal ratings. Opening the doors to unqualified minority students, while at the same time denying qualified white and Asian students, has caused scores to crash.

Even Secret Service agents are complaining about persons hired under the new DEI rules. At least 39 USSS agents have sent a petition to Congress to examine the national security risk posed by Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategies. It’s a sad commentary when those assigned to protect our leaders speak out against DEI policies.

Despite initial good intentions, DEI has become the complete opposite of The Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under President LBJ, this law forbade discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. The Equal Opportunity Act of 1972 expanded on the 1964 law. Now, with DEI, those very factors are the reasons particular people are chosen. Elon Musk has stated, “DEI is just another word for racism. Shame on anyone who uses it. He later said, “DEI, because it discriminates on the basis of race, gender and many other factors, is not merely immoral, it is also illegal.”

Ryan Williams, president of The Claremont Institute, told CNN, “The words that the acronym ‘DEI’ represents sound nice, but it is nothing more than affirmative action and racial preferences by a different name, a system that features racial headcounts and arbitrarily assigned roles of ‘oppressor’ and ‘oppressed’ groups in America. If we continue to do democracy this way, it will only end in acrimony, strife, resentment and American collapse.”

Instead of giving preferential treatment to underrepresented groups who fail to perform, it’s time to get back to plans of action that work. Employees and students alike regardless of skin color, sex, religious views or ethnicity, should be selected on their abilities. It is called meritocracy, a system where people are promoted by what they achieve. Throughout civilization, this has proven to produce success. DEI is just another woke philosophy that only results in mediocrity at best, and failure at worst. Thank God our University of North Carolina Board of Governors took action against this ill-fated plan.

Renee C. Scheidt lives in Salisbury.