Although leftist proponents of so-called “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” curricula in schools say such lessons deliver a holistic view of American society, an increasing number of critics believe it is a stealth vehicle by which educators can introduce kids and young adults to controversial critical race theory ideals.
Backlash by parents and legislation passed in a number of Republican-led states have forced some schools to halt or slow down their adoption of such materials, but one major university system is doubling down by making its program mandatory for graduation.
All 64 campuses within the State University of New York system informed incoming freshmen that they would need to pass its new “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice” class, prompting backlash from the conservative wing of academia — including some professors at the university.
In order to graduate from a NY State university, you must now pass a course in “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice.”
This is absolutely disgusting and beyond “woke.” https://t.co/XTpUBeP2ZO
— Mario Fratto (@MarioFratto) February 1, 2023
Nicholas Giordano, who is both a political science professor at the SUNY-affiliated Suffolk Community College and a fellow at the right-leaning Campus Reform organization, sounded off against the decision.
“This is nuts,” he said. “SUNY is one of the best university systems in the country. Why are they doing this?”
He proclaimed that the entire program is based on “a cultural movement” and not academics, accusing the university of capitulating “to the mob.”
Breaking down the underlying message of the new class, Giordano claimed that it would teach students that the United States is “inherently racist” while effectively pitting groups of people against each other based on their respective identities.
The university system’s board of trustees previously approved a robust “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Act” in 2021 under the leadership of Chancellor James Malatras, who had been selected for the role by disgraced former Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
SUNY’s current chancellor, John King, attempted to defend the latest development against mounting criticism, asserting: “Exposure to, and understanding of, diversity is essential to success in our modern society and economy. As a leader in preparing the future workforce and citizenry, SUNY is committed to embedding diversity into the foundation of all it does — from academics to campus life and everything in between.”
The New York Post published a breakdown of the new class, which is designed to, among other things, address “the historical and contemporary societal factors that shape the development of individual and group identity involving race, class and gender.”