According to the Wall Street Journal , "Companies including Netflix, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery have said recently that high-profile diversity, equity and inclusion executives will be leaving their jobs. Thousands of diversity-focused workers have been laid off since last year, and some companies are scaling back racial justice commitments."
Maybe companies are discovering that DEI is superfluous or even damaging to their bottom lines and that the DEI staff are often considered to be un-collegial and bullying.
The trend of deemphasizing DEI will likely be accelerated by the June U.S. Supreme Court decision that found race-conscious admissions to colleges were unconstitutional. It should also apply to admissions, hiring, and promotions at medical and other professional schools.
Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a retired dean for curriculum and co-director of the renal division at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, wrote an important article this spring. Its theme is that the woke DEI agenda of medical schools, which "promotes people and policies based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and sexual orientation rather than merit," is undermining medical care.
Goldfarb criticized the trend toward allowing "social justice" considerations to play a dominant role in medical schools' admissions and curricula:
The university [of Pennsylvania] also implemented a new "pipeline program," allowing ten students a year from HBCUs (historically black colleges or universities) to attend its med school after maintaining a 3.6 GPA but no other academic requirement, including not taking the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test). And the university has also created a project called Penn Medicine and the Afterlives of Slavery Project (PMAS) in order to "reshape medical education ... by creating social justice-informed medical curricula that use race critically and in an evidence-based way to train the next generation of race-conscious physicians." Finally, twenty clinical departments at the medical school now have vice chairs for diversity and inclusion.
Consider this: When you're admitted to the hospital for cardiac arrest or neurosurgery, do you want it to be performed by the most competent and accomplished surgeon or by one who was admitted to medical school and residency because he or she is a member of an underrepresented racial group and has been trained to be a "race-conscious physician"?
An incident at Stanford University, one of the nation's leaders in woke policies, illustrates the DEI mindset. In March, a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, Kyle Duncan, arrived on campus to deliver an invited lecture on "Guns, COVID, and Twitter" to a conservative and libertarian group at the law school. At his lecture, Duncan, who had argued in the past against gay marriage and various progressive pieties, was met with a prolonged chorus of boos and acrimonious catcalls from student groups both inside and outside the classroom where the talk was held. Among other things, they yelled "scumbag" and "you're a liar."
Finally, Duncan asked for an administrator to calm the crowd and allow him to speak. Enter Associate Dean for DEI Tirien Steinbach, who, instead of calming the crowd, harangued Duncan, telling him he had caused "harm" to students and that his opinions from the bench "land as absolute disenfranchisement of the [Stanford] community's rights."
Law student Denni Arnold, one of the leaders of the protest, said that the protesters' disruptive actions were inspired by the fact that Duncan was brought "into the classroom building where our students have to go every day to be able to get this degree and participate in this community."
What a sad commentary that law students cannot tolerate the presence in the hallowed law school building of a distinguished guest who was invited to deliver a talk, a talk that the students were not required to attend, by the way.
So much for common courtesy at Stanford and so much for DEI.
Henry I. Miller, a physician and molecular biologist, is the Glenn Swogger distinguished fellow at the American Council on Science and Health. He was the founding director of the FDA's Office of Biotechnology.