By Alexandria Staubach
A rule petition to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, brought by the State Bar of Wisconsin, sought to create a new category of continuing legal education: the “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access” (DEIA) credit. The Supreme Court denied the petition without giving it a hearing.
Justice Rebecca Grassl Bradley authored a 33-page concurrence, joined in full by Justice Patience D. Roggensack and in part by Chief Justice Annette K. Ziegler, which railed against the validity of DEIA. Often, the concurrence cities dubious and deeply partisan scholarship in addition to a Justice Clarence Thomas concurrence to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision gutting the remnants of affirmative action in college admissions.
In follow up to the SCOW docket report on that order and concurrence, WJI examines a few of the authors and their writings cited by Grassl Bradley to support her argument that “DEIA courses damage human dignity, undermine equality, and violate the law.”
“Various institutions promote a lie designed to divide: ‘human beings are defined by their skin color, sex, and sexual preferences; that discrimination based on those characteristics has been the driving force in Western civilization; and that America remains a profoundly bigoted place, where heterosexual white males continue to deny opportunity to everyone else.’ ”
Heather Mac Donald, The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine our Culture 2 (2018).
Mac Donald is a conservative political commentator, attorney, and author. She is a fellow at the conservative think tank Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and made a name for herself in opposition to criminal justice reform. She advocates that overemphasis on and education around white privilege and toxic masculinity on college campuses is driving racial divisiveness. She blames the “academic left and its imitators in politics and the mass media” for racial divisiveness in the U.S. and blames the left for emboldening white supremacists. Mac Donald dismisses police racism in favor of the “far larger problem: black on black crime,” and has argued in favor of racial profiling in policing. Mac Donald is deeply critical of the Black Lives Matter movement and accused President Barak Obama of “attacking the very foundation of civilization” in lending credibility to the movement.
“Nice-sounding euphemisms aside, DEIA initiatives often presuppose the existence of certain ‘universal values,’ which are not actually universally shared in an effort to stifle debate.”
Ben Shapiro, How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them: 11 Rules for Winning the Argument 22 (2014).
The author and his rules:
Shapiro is a conservative political commentator, author, media personality, podcast host, and attorney. In 2004 he graduated from college at UCLA and published his first book, Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth, which argues that the ideological left generally control universities and that professors are intolerant of non-left opinions. He later graduated from Harvard Law School. Shapiro served as the editor-at-large for Breitbart News from 2012-2016. He is the author of articles with titles including “5 Times Hillary and Bernie Pandered to Blacks During the Last Debate,” “Antonin Scalia’s Death Could Mark the End of Constitution,” and “The Real Reason Republicans Love America More than Democrats.”
His “11 Rules” discussed in the 2014 pamphlet begin with the following four:
Rule #1: Walk Toward the Fire – “The left knows this is war. And they know you are the enemy. You will be castigated. You will get punched. That’s the way it will go because that’s how the left wins: through intimidation and cruelty. You have to take the punch, you have to brush it off. You have to be willing to take the punch.”
Rule #2: Hit First – “Don’t take the first punch. Hit first. Hit hard. Hit where it counts.”
Rule #3: Frame Your Opponent – “You’ve researched your opponent; you’ve game planned him. You know he’s going to call you a racist, because he always calls his opponents racists. So hit him first by pointing out his vicious tactic.”
Rule #4: Frame the Debate – “The left is expert at framing debates They have buzzwords they use to direct the debate toward unwinnable positions for you. They are tolerant, diverse, fighters for social justice, if you oppose them, by contrast you are intolerant, xenophobic, and in favor of injustice. All these terms are – to be polite – a crock, if considered as absolute moral values … The left’s use of magical buzzwords places you in a corner, against supposed universal values that aren’t universal or universally held. It’s important that you neuter those buzzwords quickly, because otherwise you will be arguing against nonsense terms that can be used against you.”
“ ‘Ultimately identity politics should be rejected … because it poses a threat to republican self-government by corroding patriotic ties, fostering hatred, promoting cultural separatism, and demanding special treatment rather than equality under the law.’ ”
David Azerrad, “The Promise and Perils of Identity Politics,” First Principles Essays, Jan. 23, 2019, at 1.
Azerrad holds a Ph.D. in politics from the University of Dallas. He has taught courses on conservative and progressive political thought at American University and is a former staffer at the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation. In the Spring of 2021 Azerrad gave a talk at St. Vincent College on “Black Privilege and Racial Hysteria in Contemporary America,” in which he (in his own words later discussing his talk) “denounced the widespread system of preferential treatment that benefits our fellow black citizens, including the prohibition on noticing said system” and “criticized the excessive praise showered on mediocre black composers, scientists, and writers from the past.” In a September 2022 talk at the National Conservatism Conference he discussed “the LGBTQ agenda and the damage it has done to American families,” labeled Millenials and members of Generation Z as “the most coddled, mentally unstable, historically ignorant, lowest testosterone, and woke generation in history,” and said that “the left is not sending their best” but instead is represented by “incompetent diversity hires” and “overweight, ugly, mentally unstable, cross-dressing, low-IQ people.”
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