I have observed that when confronted with the real ramifications of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” (DEI), a common response is to flat-out deny these consequences. So far I have primarily observed three broad reasons for what we will dub “DEI Denialism”:
Lack of Familiarity with the Issue
Unable to Digest Arguments
Recognizing Reality, but Not Caring
Let’s dig into each one of these three variations of DEI Denialism.
1) Lack of Familiarity with the Issue
During a series of exchanges that occurred on 𝕏, Mark Cuban made a claim in regards to the nature of DEI:
The argument that DEI does not compromise merit-based selection is simply wrong. Along with the common sense understanding that being mindful of non-merit factors means we are being less mindful of merit itself, there are many cases where demographic preferences and soft quotas are present. However, people like Cuban might not be familiar with this information which presents an opportunity to change people’s minds through the sharing of knowledge.
Many people who support DEI are ignorant and unaware of what the ideology entails; these people often have trouble understanding that the advertised intentions often do not match the real practical outcomes. Of the various types of DEI Deniers, this group is perhaps the easiest to convince through nuanced conversations and sharing the real data showing the consequences of DEI policy. I've personally managed to convince a few people in my personal life by showing them the data; Americans do not like systemic racism so many are appalled when they realize Affirmative Action is, in reality, a euphemism for universities practicing racial preferences. Of course, like any religion, you have the casuals and the true believers - the latter of which are harder to convince and will be discussed in section three.
2) Unable to Digest Arguments
It will help to start this section by remembering Hanlon’s Razor:
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
Although it might be more fun to imagine people are genuinely out to get you, it is more often the case that they are simply stupid. How far does stupidity go? Quite far as anyone who has ever engaged in conversations regarding the concept of “per-capita” within the context of crime can attest.
It is harder to change the minds of these types of DEI Deniers because they struggle to follow the logic in arguments that critics of DEI make - often because they have become so used to thinking through the lens of DEI frameworks. Patience will be your friend here; learning how to walk these types of DEI Deniers through Anti-DEI arguments will be a good exercise in convincing people and polishing your arguments so that they are more palatable to broader audiences.
3) Recognizing Reality, but Not Caring
Lastly, we have the DEI Deniers who understand the demographic hierarchy that DEI puts in place but simply do not care or even support the paradigm; this is often driven by historical guilt (typically seen with Woke Whites) or by historical grievances (Woke Blacks).
“When people get used to preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination.” — Thomas Sowell
These people will often shave off information that does not align with their worldview and attempt to rationalize the worst parts of DEI such as the racial preferences we see in college admissions. Attempting to reason with people who have such a twisted sense of morality is a difficult task; the best way to approach these types of DEI Deniers is to use their words to convince those who might fall into the first two categories.
Are these the only types of DEI Denialism? Possibly not; this article was an attempt to summarize the trends that I have observed and give this phenomenon a specific label that describes the illogical defenses we see of DEI. Wokely Correct Comics was kind enough to help me visualize these variations of DEI Denialism in a comic format:
At the end of the day, DEI is just bigotry with better branding. Don't fall for it and reject this horrible ideology.