Harvard Reins Wokeness and 'Diversity' & 'Equity' Statements for Faculty

By Alex Newman

The totalitarian ideology underpinning “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) is becoming more and more toxic as even far-left Harvard University begins reining in the extremism that is scaring away donors and normal people. The school also said it would no longer issue official statements on issues not directly related to its mission.

In an email sent out last week, Harvard University Dean of Faculty Affairs and Planning Nina Zipser announced that candidates for positions in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) — all undergraduate programs and many graduate ones — would no longer need to include a “statement” on “diversity, equity, and belonging.”

The decision was made by Zisper and FAS Dean Hopi Hoekstra “in response to feedback from numerous faculty members,” Zisper said. Among the concerns:  the forced DEI statements were “too narrow in the information they attempted to gather.” They might also confuse international candidates who come from saner countries.

Rather than forced DEI statements, applicants who become finalists for a position will have to write a statement on their “efforts to strengthen academic communities, e.g. department, institution, and/or professional societies,” according to the email. DEI statements could still be included, if the candidate wants to make one.  

Perhaps even more interesting, the new rules suggest the far-left university — increasingly the butt of jokes — may be seeking a bit of ideological diversity. Applications, the email said, will have to explain how they plan to create a “learning environment in which students are encouraged to ask questions and share their ideas.”

“This broader perspective acknowledges the many ways faculty contribute to strengthening their academic communities, including efforts to increase diversity, inclusion, and belonging,” wrote Zisper.

Even at the bastion of DEI and leftwing extremism posing as an educational institution, criticism of DEI fanaticism was escalating and could no longer be ignored. In fact, numerous prominent liberal and leftwing professors at Harvard started speaking out publicly against it.

“I am a scholar on the left committed to struggles for social justice,” Harvard Law Professor Randall Kennedy wrote recently. “The realities surrounding mandatory DEI statements, however, make me wince. The practice of demanding them ought to be abandoned, both at Harvard and beyond.”

“Playing ball entails affirming that the DEI bureaucracy is a good thing and asking no questions that challenge it, all the while making sure to use in one’s attestations the easy-to-parody DEI lingo,” he continued in his op-ed for the Harvard Crimson.

“It does not take much discernment to see, moreover, that the diversity statement regime leans heavily and tendentiously towards varieties of academic leftism and implicitly discourages candidates who harbor ideologically conservative dispositions,” Professor Kennedy added.

Even philosophy Professor Edward Hall, who wrote a pro-DEI statement op-ed, argued that they needed to be “reformed” rather than abolished entirely. “I share my colleague professor Randall L. Kennedy’s anger,” Hall conceded in the piece, which was published in the same issue as Kennedy’s op-ed.

“But I think we should direct that anger at its proper target: not diversity statements themselves, but rather the horribly distorted view that has taken hold about what they should contain,” Hall continued.

The news makes Harvard the latest domino to fall as more and more institutions drop divisive and highly controversial DEI schemes. Just last month, as documented in The Newman Report, MIT ended its coerced DEI statements. Numerous state governments have now ended DEI at all of their schools, too.

Florida, in particular, has moved rapidly to crush DEI. “DEI really is a cover for discrimination, exclusion and indoctrination,” explained Florida Board of Education Chairman Ben Gibson. “That has no place in our state colleges at all, and our state colleges need to be focused on learning.”

The fake media has noticed the trends, too. The far-left New York Times, longtime advocates of DEI ideology, wrote about Harvard and MIT’s decision under the headline, “Is This the End for Mandatory D.E.I. Statements?” Jeff Bezos’ propaganda mouthpiece Washington Post featured a similar piece pretending to explain what is going on.

Harvard, of course, was rocked by a national scandal when its DEI hire Claudine Gay, who served as president, was forced out after being exposed for plagiarism and her bungled handling of anti-Semitism on campus. It was broadly understood that she was only hired for “diversity” reasons, fomenting even more disgust with DEI.

The news about DEI statements at Harvard came shortly after the university announced it would stop issuing official statements on issues that “do not directly affect the university’s core function.” Critics on all sides of issues have blasted the university for taking sides — almost always the leftwing one — on contentious topics.

After going radically overboard with far-left extremism, it is good to see institutions such as Harvard and other universities take a step back. However, as with all Marxist advances, the one step back only partly reverses the two steps forward taken by the totalitarian destroyers of civilization. Far more change is needed.

Originally published at FreedomProject Media.

Alex Newman is an award-winning international journalist, educator, author, and consultant who co-wrote the book “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children.” He writes for diverse publications in the United States and abroad.