Businesses attempt to 'rebrand' DEI policies as prominent figures ignite a match to the anti-white 'racist' initiatives

"The focus is moving away from 'those three words' towards efforts around 'wellbeing and inclusion.'"

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
Employers are attempting to rebrand diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies in an attempt to distance themselves from the controversial progressive scheme amid escalating backlash over increasing antisemitism allegations on college campuses.

Instead of DEI, businesses and higher institutions are swapping the terminology for a focus centered around "wellbeing and inclusion." Despite the rebranding, it's still the same policy, and an attempt to rebrand the anti-white initiatives, which many believe are "racist." This won't come as an easy task, as DEI has captured the attention of prominent outspoken billionaire businessmen such as Elon Musk and Bill Ackman.

"The focus is moving away from 'those three words' towards efforts around 'wellbeing and inclusion,'" Diana Scott from The Conference Board told Axios. "Anything that smacks of a quota is out."

As the years progress it's going to be difficult for businesses to meet its "diversity, equity, and inclusion" quotas, as attacks on DEI will likely continue to increase.

In an effort to increase diversity, the policy frequently resulted in the selective employment of minorities or specific demographics, resulting in the automatic exclusion of white people. Because of this, some claim DEI is "reverse racism."

Over the past few months, DEI policies made their way into the national spotlight when some of the nation's top Ivy League university presidents refused to denounce student organizations' calls for the genocide of Jews following the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel.

Claudine Gay, the first black female president of Harvard, vigorously advocated for the DEI approach and was one of the three Ivy League presidents who refused to categorize calls for the genocide of Jews as harassment during a congressional hearing in November. In addition, Gay refused to acknowledge whether or not Jewish students had a right to feel safe on her Harvard campus.

Irate individuals called on Gay to resign over her remarks, and independent investigations were launched which revealed that she allegedly plagiarized more than 50 academic writings. Questions quickly arose as to why she was selected to be the president of Harvard, which critics claimed was strictly due to DEI policies, suggesting that Gay was never qualified for the position in the first place.

This heightened the war on DEI across the country and Gay announced her official resignation on Tuesday.

Harvard graduate and Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy condemned Gay's appointment as "a thinly veiled exercise in race and gender."

Billionaire businessman Bill Ackman, a former Harvard donor and Jew who led Gay's ousting campaign after student organizations wrote an open letter praising Hamas and blaming Israel for the terrorist attack, argued that DEI has been "the root cause of antisemitism at Harvard." Ackman published a 4,000-word essay on X as to why DEI is the fundamental cause of division in America.

Tech billionaire Elon Musk backed Ackman on X and said: "DEI is just another word for racism. Shame on anyone who uses it."

Despite DEI policies clinging to life by a thread, woke progressive organizations are striving to salvage the controversial policies.

Cinnamon Clark, cofounder of the DEI consulting firm Goodwork Sustainability, told Axios that DEI isn't going anywhere other than the fact that "companies are really starting to look at other ways to do the work without saying that they're doing the work."

"Employee experience" and "wellness," which come under the inclusion category, will likely be discussed more by companies, according to Clark.

Furthermore, former chief diversity officer and dean of the College of Business at the University of Rhode Island, Sean Edmund Rogers, cautioned that attempting to alter DEI initiatives could act as a "danger" to the endeavor by diluting the policies.

Last year, DEI staffing and funding plummeted, following a two-year high that commenced in the aftermath of the demonstrations that ensued following the police-involved death of George Floyd in 2020, according to Axios. Attention on DEI policies in corporate America increased after the 2022 Supreme Court decision that overturned affirmative action in universities.

Axios reports that businesses have since been trying to avoid any legal scrutiny that could come their way by means of DEI policies, specifically hiring employees based on race.
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