Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs in schools around the country are not what they claim to be, said Cynical Theories author Dr. James Lindsay, as a featured speaker for Eanes Kids First, a non-profit devoted to students in the Eanes Independent School District in Westlake Hills, Texas.
“I believe that they are selling snake oil,” he said of the coordinated push for programs such as these in school systems. “If you don’t know what snake oil is, snake oil is a fake medicine that when it’s ideally concocted, is slightly poisonous that makes you sicker and specifically the way where the charlatan doctor will be able to convince you that you need to buy it. Then when you take it and get sicker, they say: ‘See, you’re even sicker. You have whatever problem even worse. You need to buy more of it.’ And I think that the DEI programs and all of these Critical theories that inform them are, in fact, social snake oil.”
He said one of the ways the push for these programs has worked so well is strategic equivocation. In simple terms, program pushers say one thing, but mean something else.
Equity as a Perversion of Fairness
While school DEI programs may be touted as being about “fairness” and “equal access,” they actually are about equality of outcome – equity. Lindsay says this creates a linguistic shell game. “The pattern is whatever they are saying a thing is, it means the upside down thing … the inversion.” For example, while a word like diversity sounds productive and positive, in the DEI-centered world, it actually means only identity-conscious voices with approved narratives are allowed – not an actual diversity of perspectives, viewpoints, and experiences.
Another example is that the, “Treat everyone how you want to be treated” Golden Rule can easily become “perverted into a dependency-enablement model, which is what ultimately Marxian theory tries to create, a dependency model for people who are in the so-called underclass. Then, of course, the scapegoat of the underclass is the over class because the over class is the one producing the ideology that keeps them in their down-dependent state.”
The DEI programs being promoted in schools flame this conflict of perceived social classes while aiming this conflict toward an end goal of equity. “Equity does in fact mean equality of outcomes,” Lindsay said.
How does equity ultimately look in the classroom? Equity disempowers all students. Some are taught to blame the system rather than hone their inner character, and other students learn not to excel because they don’t deserve it or won’t get credit for it. And, yes, everyone gets A’s.
Learn much more about DEI in the classrooms and around the nation in the full video.