The Boston Globe published an op-ed Tuesday which claimed that opposition of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives is the modern equivalent of lynching.
Filmmaker Ya’Ke Smith authored the op-ed, which compared the efforts to ban DEI in conservative states to the racially motivated murder of black Americans. Smith claims that, just lynching was once the primary means of punshing a black person for standing up against the societal status quo, attacks on DEI are now seen as the preferred method of quelling black resistance. States that attempt to limit or ban DEI are, “the equivalent of the tightened rope, and just as suffocating,” Smith wrote. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Norfolk Southern Spent Years Pushing Woke DEI Initiatives Prior To East Palestine Train Derailment)
Smith goes on to argue that the goals of DEI are being caricatured by its opponents, drawing on his own experience working in a DEI department. He claims that the purpose of DEI is to educate people about how racism is baked into societal structures and to find ways to dismantle these “inequalities and inequities.” Without DEI, Smith claims, students will lose valuable mechanisms they can use to combat “historically oppressive and violent systems.”
From the hyperbolic metaphor used to describe DEI opposition in the Boston Globe today, to the completely fallacious assertion about a trans genocide below, it’s no wonder we see such fanaticism on the activist left. https://t.co/PYyP6NNWvP pic.twitter.com/sTlYzhYnpJ
— Scott G (@scttfrnks) March 28, 2023
The filmmaker also called out Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Oklahoma State Superintendent Ryan Walters for their attempts to dismantle DEI within state-funded institutions.
The op-ed drew significant backlash online.
“We’re winning. They’re flailing,” prominent DEI critic James Lindsay tweeted.
“I strongly oppose all the reactionary legislative attacks on DEI in higher ed currently waged by Republicans. But framing them as ‘modern day lynchings’ is catnip for right-wing propagandists, and framing DEI as a solution to racism is neoliberal bullshit,” wrote left-wing PhD student and political commentator Sam Hoadley-Brill.