Jay Inslee's Diversity Dogma

In November 2019, Washington state voters repudiated the Dem-controlled legislature by rejecting, via veto Referendum 88, their I-1000 Initiative to impose Affirmative Action imperatives in public education and employment.  Despite an onslaught of AA advocates, voters shunned them all by a resounding 50.56% to 49.44%.  Even though this was not the first time Washington State voters have banned affirmative action, Gov. Jay Inslee is now disregarding the public will.

Apparently, sleazy Inslee doesn’t respect direct democracy; perhaps he knows what’s best for us.  As noted by the Seattle Times in December 2019, “[s]ome Democratic state lawmakers and Gov. Jay Inslee now want to find other ways to improve equity without the affirmative-action measure.”  Well, the devious Dem has found one -- the budget.  Look at the prominence “other ways” are given here.

Disillusioned that he can’t oversee the Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion that the initiative would have concocted, Inslee’s budget proposal for the 2021-2023 biennium focuses on racial and economic inequity.  He says, “[f]or the first time in state history, I am directing agencies to center budgetary packages and legislation around equity. State employees have long led the way in equity efforts, and now agencies will begin the process of dismantling inequities in our systems and institutions, committing to a better life for all.” 

All?  Actually, his Diversity, Equity and Inclusion dogma may properly be considered exclusionary toward out of favor groups. Furthermore, rather than create wealth and thereby grow the economic pie for all, his policies destroy it; they exacerbate divisions in a zero-sum game of redistribution.

Inslee’s warped notion of equity focusses on outcomes, not opportunity.  This is evident in this statement on his website, "In partnership with the Legislature, we will continue to explore options that increase access to equitable opportunities and resources that reduce inequality -- including racial and ethnic disparities -- and improve outcomes for everyone statewide.”  Huh?  Isn’t improving opportunities more foundational?  Mentally constrained by socialist orthodoxy, he’s fixated on ensuring outcomes rather than a system of meritocracy that uplifts the entrepreneurial human spirt, and that affirms human endeavor by relishing the fruits of one’s labor.

Moreover, the petulant Dem -- who is so lacking in self-awareness that he actually ran for President -- ultimately oversees other executive offices in Washington State.  And they’ve been infested with angst-ridden DEI instigators, sabotaging any sense of unity by transforming contentment into workplace resentment.  Curiously, they really should be labelled DEX, as in Diversity, Equity, and Exclusion -- of whites, in particular, but, especially in higher education, also Asians.

In one major Washington state agency efforts to enhance morale through “resilience” confabs are all seen through the prism of promoting DEI.  Employees who simply want to recharge and connect with others must first succumb to the Inslee-imposed DEI mandates, rather than confront pandemic-induced isolation and anxiety on their own merits.  As if they’ve implanted little tattletale bots to probe the inner recesses of our brains, they accuse nice, well-meaning people of “unconscious bias.”  That’s worse than the “pot calling the kettle black,” for theirs is blatant bias.  For example, a labor relations manager at a Washington state agency invited public employees who are “like minded folks” to attend a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other people of Color) meeting “in the spirit of DEI.”  “Like minded”? Not much diversity there.  So much for all those “crucial conversations” and difficult discussions about perceived slights that they always tout.

Starting with Inslee, DEI effects role downhill. To further demonstrate proponents’ own unconscious biases, another union-sponsored outreach -- via the public employee email system -- sought to address “internal and external racism and other educational growth opportunities.”  I might not be “like minded,” but one way to expand educational opportunities is to narrow the achievement gap by supporting school choice, something favored in our vibrant communities of color.   That would go a long way toward ensuring the continued DEI that magnanimous and generous Americans, such a benign majority overall, already support.  Remember: education is the single most important predictor of success and health.

Inslee has imposed harsh restrictions on businesses and educational institutions.  Unsurprisingly, the state coffers are hemorrhaging dough.  Though a contract with public employees anticipated a general pay raise for the 2021-2023 biennium, Inslee is reneging.  Moreover, his budget proposal includes furloughs that amount to a 4.6% pay reduction for state employees.

With human resources strained to the limit as state managers cajole employees to volunteer for various pandemic alleviation efforts, the DEI police continue to probe our unconscious minds for hints of bias.  If they search long enough, they may eventually uncover isolated incidents of discrimination, but it’s hardly systemic.  Meanwhile, they divert scarce resources toward social activism that belongs in a community organization rather than in a public agency that’s about to reduce pay while increasing work.

In some states, Republican-led legislatures are able to discipline their disobedient governors.  No such luck in Washington, where “like minded” bias against those who lack color, or other protected status, is more than unconscious -- it’s blatant.  One gets the sense that Washington voters were shunning reverse discrimination, not affirmative action, by correcting the wayward Dem legislature.  Our resolute minorities already contribute so much vitality; when equipped with a sound education they are more than capable of thriving in our dynamic society unimpaired by DEI/DEX zealotry.

Image: Gage Skidmore