Elizabeth Economou and Nicole Pelletiere, Fox News, July 27, 2022
Some universities across America are requiring compliance from faculty in the form of signed diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) statements, as conditions for tenure or promotion — arguing that DEI across college campuses is a top priority.
However, there may be growing pushback in some areas from faculty as well as from parents — who claim that the DEI agenda actually challenges the diversity of viewpoints and opinions of students within the college environment.
Some say it also promotes a culture of fear and intimidation.
In the city of Seattle, for example, roughly 40% of the University of Washington’s faculty recently rejected — or abstained from voting on — a measure that would have required faculty members seeking advancement to provide a statement demonstrating their support of DEI.
“The fact that [the vote] was stopped is unprecedented,” Cliff Mass, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the university and an advocate for viewpoint diversity, told Fox News Digital in a phone interview.
“One political viewpoint is being pushed very hard by the administration and by a number of others,” said Mass, who is also a meteorologist.
“Requiring all faculty members to support a social/political agenda favored by one segment of society not only politicizes the university, but represents ‘compelled speech,’” he noted recently in a blog post.
It’s “a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution at a public university,” he added.
“They believe that the university should be biased in its admissions and resources to ensure equal outcomes for all groups, with particular attention to a small number of favored ‘unrepresented’ groups,” Mass told Fox News Digital.
“I suspect most parents don’t understand what’s happening here,” he said. “Parents that we serve are from the whole state. There’s a wide variety of political views from people who send their kids here.”
Mass said he believes that parents have a huge role to play in limiting the DEI agenda on campus.
“There’s a lot that parents can do,” Mass said, noting that parents can decide not to make contributions to their child’s college.
“There are a lot of tools to pressure the university — and if they did, it would have an impact,” Mass predicted.
DEI advocates ‘misuse our trusted words,’ says one mom
Rebecca Friedrichs, a California-based mother of two grown sons, told Fox News Digital that parents may be “unaware of the destructive nature of DEI.”
She said that “DEI proponents (and their allies) use linguistic gymnastics to change the very meaning of words, in order to manipulate the masses into believing propaganda.”
“We collectively understand the word ‘diversity’ to include respectful debate of diverse opinions, open and honest discussion, respect for others, even when we disagree.”
“So, when the university announces it is ‘diverse,’ we think, ‘That’s positive,'” noted Friedrichs, who is a co-founder of Kids and Country, a national movement of parents, teachers and citizens.
DEI advocates “misuse our trusted words,” according to Friedrichs.
“Their definition of ‘diversity’ is twisted and is the exact opposite of our understanding,” she said. “Their ‘diversity’ accepts only their group-think opinions, their stifling of true debate, their silencing of diverse ideas and their tyrannical control of all content.”
“DEI is dangerous,” she said, expressing her opinion — “and many parents don’t discover this destructive agenda until it’s too late.”
Friedrichs encouraged parents to boycott universities that promote the DEI agenda to “stop the madness.”
“Any politician supported by the so-called teachers’ unions is going to push DEI, so don’t vote for them and educate your friends as well,” urged Friedrichs, who is the author of “Standing Up to Goliath: Battling State and National Teachers’ Unions for the Heart and Soul of Our Kids and Country.”