As DEI dies, equality rises; The 1970s called. It wants you to use its equal opportunity policy again

Jeannie Suk Gersen was the first Asian American woman to earn tenure at Harvard Law School. She freelances at the New Yorker and tenure allowed her to comment on the Asian Americans who sued Harvard for its race discrimination. She brought up an odd fact. The Supreme Court had to demand the trial judge — Allison Burroughs, an Obama appointee — release transcripts of the trial including sidebars.

Gersen and various media companies had sued to obtain the transcripts of the sidebars. In a court hearing, the judge said, “There are a lot of things in those sidebars that were really just meant to be out of the hearing of the jury, not meant to be out of the hearing of the entire world for all time.”

In the New Yorker, Gersen wrote, “Strange, since there was, in fact, no jury at that trial.”

What Gersen was after — and what the SJW judge wanted to hide — was a racist joke shared by Thomas Hibino, the federal civil rights overseer of Harvard, with William Fitzsimmons, Harvard’s longtime dean of admissions.

Gersen wrote:

After Hibino oversaw the federal investigation into Harvard’s alleged discrimination against Asian American applicants, decades ago, he and Fitzsimmons became friends, and by 2012 their exchanges included banter about lunch dates and running races together, and teasing when one opted to sleep in. But the relationship wasn’t all palling around, because Hibino was still at the federal agency regulating Harvard. In April of 2013, he wrote to Fitzsimmons, “Regarding the impact of legacy on Asian American applicants, what proportion of AA applicants are legacies and what proportion of white applicants are legacies? Of course I’m happy to talk about this if necessary!” More than anything, the e-mails reveal the coziness of the federal regulator toward the regulated entity.

On November 30, 2012, amid a friendly back-and-forth about lunch plans, Hibino e-mailed Fitzsimmons an attachment that he described as “really hilarious if I do say so myself!” Hibino explained, “I did it for the amusement of our team, and of course, you guys” — presumably Harvard admissions officers — “are the only others who can appreciate the humor.” The joke memo had been written on Harvard admissions-office stationery, during the earlier investigation. It was purportedly from an associate director of admissions and parodied the admissions officer downplaying an Asian American applicant’s achievements. The memo denigrated “José,” who was “the sole support of his family of 14 since his father, a Filipino farm worker, got run over by a tractor,” saying, “It can’t be that difficult on his part-time job as a senior cancer researcher.” It continued, “While he was California’s Class AAA Player of the Year,” with an offer from the Rams, “we just don’t need a 132 pound defensive lineman,” apparently referring to a slight Asian male physique. “I have to discount the Nobel Peace Prize he received. . . . After all, they gave one to Martin Luther King, too. No doubt just another example of giving preference to minorities.” The memo dismissed the fictional applicant as “just another AA CJer.” That was Harvard admissions shorthand for an Asian American applicant who intends to study biology and become a doctor, according to the trial transcript.

Not bad but where’s the black applicant joke?

The Supreme Court took the 14th Amendment and smacked Harvard upside the head. The message was clear. Affirmative action will soon be as dead as separate-but-equal.

The decision has encouraged Republicans in Florida, Texas and elsewhere to enforce the 14th and shut down DEI (Didn’t Earn It) offices. This will end the black privilege, female privilege and LGBT privilege that socialists have foisted on Americans. Of course that privilege is revoked if you are Clarence Thomas, Sarah Palin, Ric Grenell or anyone else who thinks for himself.

The New York Times boasted, “With State Bans on D.E.I., Some Universities Find a Workaround: Rebranding.”

The story said, “Florida State University, in Tallahassee, seems to be taking a ‘damage mitigation approach,] Will Hanley, a history professor at FSU, said in an interview.

“The school has reshuffled jobs and turned the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Office into the Office of Equal Opportunity Compliance and Engagement.”

Wow, how clever. They’ll just call it equality instead of equity — which is exactly what they began as 50 years ago when Nixon was president and hot pants were in style.

NYT said, “For some universities, the opposition to diversity programs comes at a challenging time. They face an incoming student shortage, the result of declining birthrates and skepticism of the value of an expensive college degree. Others are worried about how the ban on race-conscious admissions will affect the complexion of their campuses.”

Complexion? Oh no, Harvard Yard will get zits if it admits too many Asian Americans.

I join David Mastio, formerly of USA Today, in celebrating the return to a color blind society.

He wrote, “Equity as practiced in big corporations, university campuses, unions and government is about substituting mandated equality of outcomes for broadly-supported equality of opportunity — the equal treatment by race and sex mandated by the 14th Amendment. Equity segregates workers and students by race and sexuality in affinity groups while naming itself an enemy of racism and discrimination. It fosters enmity among colleagues and classmates while claiming to build belonging. It claims to fight microaggressions and ends up restricting expression.”

I will be blunt. This is about keeping the fight going. If American foreign policy is merely a string of wars overseas then its domestic policy is merely a string of civil wars here at home.

I don’t know how we can disengage from the world, but I do know how we can stop hating one another.

Mastio wrote, “Every university should have a state-funded and mandated Office of Equal Opportunity Compliance.

“Their job would be to root out the destructive race, gender and sexuality-based discrimination that the liberals who run universities, private and public alike, have salted their schools with over the decades when higher ed went from fighting for equality to embracing the DEI mantra of equal outcomes.

“Women-only scholarships? No. Black-only graduation ceremony? No. Race, gender and sexuality-based advisory groups? No. Quotas for diversifying the professorate? No. Segregated diversity training? Also no. LGBTQIA+-only spaces? Also no.”

There were many things wrong about the 1970s.

Equal opportunity was not among them. Let’s welcome its return.

This article first appeared on Don Surber’s Substack. Reprinted here with permission.

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