Leftist ideologues maintain a multi-billion-dollar grievance industry by burrowing deep into our cultural and financial institutions. Once people catch on to the perniciousness of their messaging—and people always catch on—it is too late. Any attempts at removal come at the risk of public embarrassment. After all, the DEI movement understands two letters very well: PR. DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) is a part of the same family as CRT (Critical Race Theory) and SEL (Social Emotional Learning). All of these Marxist beliefs want the same thing: to separate us from each other. This sick philosophy is poisoning our business communities and education system.
So I was heartened some months ago to learn that, at least temporarily, DEI practices across the University of Texas system had been suspended. Signing ideological purity statements as part of the hiring process is McCarthyism. (The real question, which we can save for another day, is why such discriminatory practices were allowed to get up and running in the first place.)
Getting rid of purity tests is one thing. But that’s just a symptom of our present ills. To tackle the cause is much more difficult. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the Texas Senate understand this, and accordingly passed SB 17, legislation that eliminates the DEI bureaucracy in state universities. In particular, schools will be prevented from setting up DEI offices or using racial criteria in hiring practices. That we must advocate for color-blind hiring practices in 2023 astounds me, especially in Texas.
Giving credit where it is due, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick deserves thanks for pushing this as a policy priority. But now he is faced with the challenge of getting the legislation passed through the Texas House, led by liberal Republicans. The legislation is now in the House Calendar Committee. The clock is ticking. In the meanwhile, let’s lend our support behind what ought to be no-brainer bi-partisan legislation.
Also worth mentioning is Senate Bill 18, a bill that would set up procedures for removing tenure in our public colleges and universities. The concept of tenure is an interesting one. If you were to describe it to a friend, they might not believe you. For you see, once one is granted tenure, lifetime job security is all about assured. A professor cannot be dislodged short of egregious ethical conduct. Originally, this concept was meant to protect freedom of inquiry and liberty of thought. Now, decades and decades later, the exact opposite has occurred, with “tenured radicals” running the show.
This protected class of public workers who, of all things, oversee teaching our children, must be broken up. If the ideological breakdown in higher education were split, things might be tolerable. But it is no secret that the left successfully captured our universities and colleges some time ago. Any honest person with a son or daughter in the system will attest to this sad fact. Universities are training our children, who then spread the poison throughout K-12.
If we don’t do something about the Texas higher education system now, our schools will continue as so many progressive Madrasas. We have the opportunity, even at this late hour, to support the GOP push to reform higher education in Texas.
Don Huffines is a former State Senator, self-made businessman, and proud fifth-generation Texan. You can keep up with his work advancing liberty, prosperity, and virtue at HuffinesLiberty.com and follow him @DonHuffines on Twitter and other social media. Huffines’ column, Liberty Report, runs weekly in The Dallas Express.