If life matters, DEI needs to be rejected

You’re a world-renown scientist on the verge of curing cancer. You’re pursuing a grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to fund extra help for the final stage of research needed to finalize the cure. You’ve been solely focused on this effort, and this effort only, for your entire career and you’ve brought many other premier scientists on staff to complete this historic medical advancement.

Unfortunately, you don’t receive the funding, which stalls out your work, and many many people continue to die from the cancer that you were so close to curing.


That grant funding went to a research team that focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) for their staff additions, more than just expertise and ability. Maybe they’ll eventually figure out the cure for cancer, but without the top scientists as part of the effort, the resulting delays will cost lives.

Why is it okay to put ideology before effectiveness? Why is the left okay allowing wokism to kill?

A recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by John Sailer, a senior fellow at the National Association of Scholars, is one of the most cogent pieces I’ve ever read on the fundamental ridiculousness that is DEI.

It reviewed his recent work on academia and their efforts to implement DEI into their grant application and hiring systems to conform with demands of NIH research funding programs.

Some important details documented by Sailer that shows woke ideology has heavy influence in medical research:

• Cornell University – Each applicant’s “statement on contribution to diversity” was to “receive significant weight in the evaluation.”

• University of California, Berkeley (and copied by other universities) – Diversity-statement rubric penalizes job candidates for espousing colorblind equality and gives low scores to those who say they intend to “treat everyone the same.”

• University of Alabama, Birmingham, and Tuskegee University – The institutions noted in their proposal that “the statement of diversity will be heavily weighted during the selection process.”

• Northwestern University – equally weighs a “commitment to diversity” and research potential. (Yes… EQUALLY!)

• University of South Carolina – plans to integrate critical race theory into its program’s design as part of their “efforts to bring critical race theory to the forefront of society.”

• University of New Mexico – devotes a third of the points on its applicant screening rubric to criteria such as “DEI Knowledge” and “DEI Track Record.” (You could be twice as academically qualified as the next applicant, but if your knowledge of DEI is limited, you could miss out on the job.)

Excellence is being redefined with an ideological gloss, according to Sailer.

This doesn’t have to be, and thankfully, the Kansas legislature is working to avoid this ridiculous movement. The Kansas House recently passed legislation restricting DEI initiatives on university campuses. The effort follows efforts in at least 20 other states seeking to limit DEI.

We want Kansas to be the kind of place where content of character matters more than color of skin. Martin Luther King Jr. understood that. Why can’t woke liberals understand it?

Back to Sailer, whose work exposing the NIH’s DEI demands shows the importance of getting this legislation passed in Kansas – “In medical research, lives depend on putting excellence first. The NIH distorts that value, subordinating it to political ideology and endangering those it’s supposed to serve.”

Dan Thalmann is the owner/publisher of the Washington County News and is a Past President of the Kansas Press Association. He has won numerous journalism awards in many categories over the years, including multiple awards as the best mid-sized weekly newspaper in Kansas.

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