by • January 22, 2024 • Weekly ColumnComments (0)201

Shocking Emails Reveal Right Wing Plans to Hijack Education

New York Times Story Shows Wicked Intentions of Anti-DEI Warriors  

A blockbuster New York Times article revealed the rank bigotry and backward fundamentalist  worldview secretly behind efforts to eliminate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts at universities. A cabal of right-wing activists, think tanks, donors and Republican politicians are colluding to distort the debate, lie about opponents’ motives and conceal their true noxious beliefs to advance their ignoble crusade.

The New York Times unmasked these charlatans in a review of more than 5,000 documents obtained through public records requests. This included emails highlighting the racism, misogyny and rampant homophobia of phonies who claim to simply want ideological diversity on our nation’s college campuses. In reality, they want to purge America’s education system of those who don’t share their medieval mindset and replace them with hardcore right-wing ideologues.

The starting point for such contemptible efforts is promoting the objectively false belief that DEI efforts are obsolete because America is a colorblind society that has achieved equality. The real bigots, in this perverse line of thinking, are “radical” left wing activists who work to narrow racial disparities at universities, government, and the private sector.

Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley best captured this delusional view when she said, “We’re not a racist country. We’ve never been a racist country.” Of course, this comes from the same opportunistic snake who pointedly failed to say that slavery was the cause of the Civil War. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also waded into this historical and rhetorical revisionist sewer when he claimed that African Americans benefited from slavery.

The New York Times article laid waste to the two-faced frauds sabotaging DEI and showed how animus against minorities is the driving force behind their campaign. In one email, The Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald showed her true colors:

As I was taking my evening power walk in the hood here (upper east side) and seeing all the nannies of color walking school children back to their apartments, it struck me again the bizarreness of females deciding that their comparative advantage is in being an associate in a law firm, say, and thus that they should outsource the once in a lifetime unduplicable unrepeatable experience of raising a unique child to someone else, especially someone from the low IQ 3rd world…Another curse of feminism.  

In another email exchange, Mac Donald was discussing with Claremont colleagues the routine of comedian Bill Burr, who took feminists to task for the low attendance at WNBA games. (“None of you showed up! Where are all the feminists?”):

Ms. Mac Donald asked why the comedian hadn’t been “canceled,” Mr. Williams, Claremont’s president, pointed out that Mr. Burr was “married to a black woman, which helps.”

Mac Donald replied: Hilarious. The usual pet black phenomenon. We are all just SO grateful if there is a black who does not overtly hate us.

Scott Yenor, a Washington Fellow at the Claremont Institute and Professor of Political Science at Boise State University, was outed by the Times as a deeply homophobic bigot who seeks to dehumanize LGBTQ people:

In a 2021 exchange among academics at Claremont, Hillsdale and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Dr. Yenor discussed edits to an essay he was planning to publish in First Things, a conservative journal. His editor, he said, wanted Dr. Yenor to be less “prudent” in his writing about homosexuality, encouraging him to voice ideas like — as Dr. Yenor characterized it — “Our sexual culture will not heal until ‘faggot’ replaces ‘bigot’ as the slur of choice,” or “Our sexual culture will not be healed until we once again agree that homosexuality belongs in the closet and that a healthy society requires patriarchy.” (“Since they are my views, I have tried to do that,” Dr. Yenor wrote. In the end, he settled for tamer language.)

The anti-LGBTQ hatred was echoed by Mac Donald when she disparaged gay right wing mega-donor Peter Thiel:

Last spring, Ms. Mac Donald emailed some of the same people about news reports that a boyfriend of Mr. Thiel — nominally their ally in the rising “national conservatism” movement — had committed suicide after a confrontation with Mr. Thiel’s husband at a party. Calling the episode “a scandal,” she opined that gay men “are much more prone” to extramarital affairs “on the empirical basis of testosterone unchecked by female modesty.” She added mockingly that a friend had once tried to convince her “how wonderful Thiel’s ‘husband’ was.”

Thiel’s hallucinatory connection to reality is mind-boggling. Despite mountains of evidence, he appears obtuse enough to believe the world he’s paying huge sums to create would be inclusive of his gay family. Thiel is essentially digging his own grave with a golden shovel and burying alive the family he purports to love.

Meanwhile, The Times article highlighted how Gov. DeSantis’ overkill on “woke”, during his failed presidential campaign, was strongly encouraged in a meeting with wealthy Claremont donor Thomas Klingenstein. One email described the meeting:

He was much more passionate about winning the election than he was in saving the country. He knew policy stuff in great detail. But there was no vision. I asked him how he defines “woke.” He said “you know it when you see it.” I suggested gently that he might improve on that…I suggested he should explain better than he has why wokeism is so dangerous. 

To further appease Klingenstein, DeSantis selected Yenor to “run a new office in Tallahassee, appointing him as its ‘senior director of state coalitions.” The Times reported, “in an email, Klingenstein told Claremont officials that DeSantis had agreed to give Dr. Yenor access to his top political and government aides.”

While DeSantis likes to portray himself as a bold leader, the email exchanges make it clear that he is nothing more than an obsequious functionary pandering to deep pocketed conservative donors. Voters saw through his act and it’s a key reason DeSantis failed to gain traction and probably derailed his political future.

There is a legitimate debate over whether the pursuit of equity (guaranteed outcomes) is counterproductive, as opposed to equality (access to fair opportunities). However, those on the right driving this discussion aren’t interested in equity or equality. Instead, they are demonizing the left to stage a coup against education, with the pernicious goal of installing radical curriculums designed by extremists.

In one exchange, some of those involved discussed how to marshal political power to replace left-wing orthodoxies with more “patriotic,” traditionalist curriculums.

“In support of ridding schools of C.R.T. (Critical Race Theory), the Right argues that we want nonpolitical education,” Mr. Klingenstein wrote in August 2021. “No we don’t. We want our politics. All education is political.”

But the conservative conspirators knew they were out of step with the American people and discussed how to best conceal or sugarcoat their despicable ideas:

They debated how carefully or quickly to reveal some of their true views — the belief that “a healthy society requires patriarchy,” for example, and their broader opposition to anti-discrimination laws — in essays and articles written for public consumption…In candid private conversations, some wrote favorably of laws criminalizing homosexuality, mocked the appearance of a female college student as overly masculine.

Unfortunately, these nuts succeeded in many states by sliming their opponents as communists who were indoctrinating children, which was projection considering their plans for a hostile takeover of education. In one grant proposal, they outlined how they would define their foes:

“America is under attack by a leftist revolution disguised as a plea for justice” reminiscent of ‘Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution,’” Claremont’s president, Ryan P. Williams, wrote in a draft proposal to the Jack Miller Family Foundation.

These vile and dishonest attacks had succeeded in many Red States. There were pervasive DEI bans in Florida and Texas. In Arkansas, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued an executive order banning “indoctrination and critical race theory in schools.” Oklahoma’s Republican governor, Kevin Stitt, issued a similar executive order.

It’s worth noting that Yenor inadvertently revealed his movement’s total contempt for its own supporters. In an email he wrote that bans on Critical Race Theory don’t go far enough and were merely, “smoke or boob-bait for the bubbas.”

This is how right-wing elites talk about their base when they think no one is looking.

Whatever your views on DEI, the right wing’s leading critics have a cruel and misleading plan that’s irrefutably worse than the current system. They detest modernity and want to turn back the clock on recent progress. They use fearmongering and “boob-bait” to scare “bubbas” so they can hijack education and remake it in their bigoted image. To save America from the vice grip of these goons, we must first educate society on who these people truly are and highlight the dangerous nature of their wicked intentions.

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