The Texas Legislature has approved legislation prohibiting public university diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.
The bill will now be sent to Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) desk.
The bill, the second of its sort passed by any state after Florida, is criticized by critics as potentially crippling prominent state universities such as the University of Texas and Texas A&M University. They warn that it will drive minority students away from public colleges and destroy smaller schools.
The measure requires the governors of each state university to ensure that their school does not have a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) office and does not consider diversity when making hiring decisions.
State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington), the law is required to safeguard Texas from radicalism.
“Conservatives began this session by recognizing a simple truth: Texas has allowed leftists to infiltrate our universities for far too long,” Tinderholt said on Monday.
“You are complicit in their subversion if you vote to keep these people on the Texas tax payroll at these universities,” he added.
DEI initiatives ease integration and ensure the fair treatment of social and s*xual minorities in American businesses.
“Diversity is where everyone is invited to the party, inclusion means that everyone gets to contribute to the playlist, [and] equity means that everyone has the opportunity to dance/experience the music,” said Robert Sellers, chief diversity officer of the University of Michigan, in a statement.
However, since the national crisis on race that followed the m*rder of George Floyd in 2020, conservative campaigners have pushed to portray DEI programs as essentially racist.
“The University of Texas has created a radical DEI bureaucracy that equates ‘objectivity’ with white supremacy,’ recommends the word ‘wimmin’ as a replacement for women,’ and affirms ‘polyamory’ and ‘polyfidelity’ as positive s*xual identities,” far-right activist Christopher Rufo wrote earlier this month.
“The University of Texas at Austin is wasting untold millions of dollars on race and gender narcissism,” Rufo continued.
Tinderholt reinforced the notion that DEI was aggressive, extreme, and essentially racist in his remarks on Monday.
“I was outraged by what I heard my Democratic colleagues say about you, my Republican colleagues, on Friday. “We judge people based on their character, not their skin color,” Tinderholt explained.
“Texas has allowed not only the establishment of racist programs but also the hiring of dozens of full-time leftist activists who do nothing but spread these destructive DEI Marxist policies and worldview.”
During Monday’s debate, however, several Black and Latino members, all Democrats, got up to speak about the importance of diversity initiatives in their lives or the lives of their children or constituents.
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Rep. Mary E. González (D-El Paso) described enduring racial remarks in the dorms during her first semester at the University of Texas, as well as the critical influence the university’s multicultural center played in her decision to stay and pursue medical school.
“What I appreciate about these spaces is that they serve as learning laboratories for our future society.” “Instead of creating nuance around these spaces, we’re outlawing them,” she explained.
With one out of every six Texas children attending school outside of the state, González warned that the bill will “perpetuate the exodus we’re seeing.”
Our Twitter official The Hill post below covered Texas Joins Florida In Blocking ‘Marxist’ Diversity Offices. If you want to know more information, you can check it out:-
The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott (R). https://t.co/BckMF3sgZl
— The Hill (@thehill) May 22, 2023
And, because many awarding institutions on whom professors rely now have DEI criteria, she cautioned that the state’s ability to attract processors might suffer.
“If I’m a professor thinking about going to university, why would I come to Texas if I couldn’t get the research funding I need to do the work I want to do?” She said, “I’d rather go to a different state.”
For example, state hospitals and medical schools are only eligible for financing from the National Cαncer Institute’s $20 million F30 Grant if they have a DEI office.
Rep. Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth) warned the House that closing all state DEI voluntary offices would cost the state $1 billion in lost grant revenue.
She claimed that much of the cost will fall on smaller universities relying on third-party research funding grants, which she claims they will now struggle to build.
Other Democrats emphasized the message the proposal would send to young, college-bound voters in Texas, one of the country’s most diverse states.
“When I’m out in my district, I’ll tell you that when I talk to young voters, this is the one topic they bring up diversity, equity, and inclusion — and they’re not happy about it.”
“And I can assure you that the young people in your district are watching you when you vote in favor of this legislation,” Rep. Christina Morales (D-Houston) addressed the House.
Rep. Alma Allen (D-Houston) spoke up about her childhood in Texas’ segregated school systems. “This is 2023 — 2023! — and we are still fighting for the rights that we fought for in 1954,” she explained.
Allen delivered a passionate, forlorn plea to her Republican colleagues. “Your children will grow up alongside my children.” They might even marry my kids. “Think about it,” she said.
“Vote no for my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and your children, grandchildren, and grandchildren,” she encouraged her colleagues. “Make the world a better place,” she urged.
Her appeal was denied. On Monday, the bill was voted 83-60 along strict party lines.
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