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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Backfire

Post # 303, Bob McKnight's Florida Commentary

Merry Christmas Subscribers

DeSantis took a successful voluntary goal to what will become a government mandate. He just doesn't know it.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, or "DEI" used to be the moderate expression for how we move America forward in race relations. When I was with IBM in the late '60s, a similar program was called "P for P," or Plans for Progress. Diversity has been a goal to achieve balance in our country for all people--black, white, yellow, old, young, and men, and women, from the North, South, East or West. Most hailed the goal as in keeping with our Constitution, Bill of Rights, and most laws.

But then came Florida Government Ron DeSantis who thought DEI would be the perfect for attracting the pro-Trump base. DeSantis thought that he wasn't really taking anything from Americans, just making it harder for them to achieve parity with the majority. But, by the time DEI was incorporated in Florida laws, it became a code for anti-minority. DeSantis followed up by outlawing DEI and funding to support it. It didn't do much good, because Trump is still the GOP frontrunner, with DeSantis hovering in 3rd place.

Meanwhile, the backlash has started in California. They have passed the Investing in Equity Act to make venture capital startups provide data on the gender and racial makeup of startups. Most economists see this as just the start of government wanting to know about the DEI data of organizations, public and private. Depending on the criteria set, the next step will be for the government to set goals and acceptable minimums to comply with those goals. DeSantis managed to take us from a voluntary goal of achieving diversity in our country to now government mandates.

Thanks, Governor DeSantis.


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