A Public Service Announcement! ;)

A Public Service Announcement! ;)

Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Diversity Pledge/Statement of Pledges and Supports

 Last year or so, I began working on what, for me, would constitute an honest diversity pledge. I worked on it under the pretense that my employer would soon ask for such documents. As you know, many universities and colleges ask applicants to share a diversity statement or to take a diversity pledge.  I share mine with you below. Feel free to tell me what you think about it via a post at my current twitter account, @CarterAcademyNC. What does it lack? Is it a radical document based on today's preferences within the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI, or "DIE," as some call it)? What elements of current academic parlance and conscientiousness does it not cover?

I support the notion that people deserve to be named as they want to be named and identified how they want to be identified regarding gender and pronouns. I do not support the idea that one must believe that the named identity or named gender of any person is who or what they really are, though I pledge to be respectful of calling people by their chosen names and using their chosen pronouns to the best of my ability. I do not support the corrupt, Marxist radical front known as Black Lives Matter. I do believe that all Black lives are important, including the lives of Black Republicans, Libertarians, Classical Liberals, and Conservatives, and the millions of Black lives that have been lost through abortion.  I do support and pledge to continue to support the pro-country, pro-family, and pro-accountability Black-led movement Take Charge. I do not support Black sovereignty, or the sovereignty of any people based solely on race. I support and pledge to continue to support national sovereignty, sovereignty of a nation to be a nation, to protect its citizens, to maintain borders, and to act in the interests of its own citizenry while offering help to those who may not yet be its citizens. I do not support the erroneous, divisive 1619 Project or its tenets as teachings of fact and am especially skeptical of the claim that America’s founding principle is slavery. I support the pro-Founders, pro-American 1776 Unites and the Black-led Woodson Center that helped create it. I acknowledge the efforts of Thomas Jefferson to pinpoint the stain of America’s reliance on slavery as a sin foisted upon the colonies by its European controllers, as Jefferson maintained in an early draft of the Declaration of Independence. I support and pledge to continue to support notions of history that are expansive, interpretive, as accurate as possible, and centered around the recognition of the sacrifices people of all kinds have made to move America ever closer to what Barack Obama has called its Promissory Note. I recognize that land existed in the eyes of God as His before it was ever conceived of as property and that the human notions of stewardship, ownership, and inheritance of land have shifted throughout millennia. I pledge to continue to acknowledge that land pre-dated man, and that land will post-date humanity as well.  I do not believe that the opposite of racism is anti-racism, or that, as Black academic Ibram X. Kendi says, the only way to deal with past discrimination is with more discrimination. Rather, I believe and pledge to continue to believe – and to act in the belief in -- what accomplished Black scholar Carol Swain says: “The opposite of racism is not anti-racism. The opposite of racism is pluralism.” I believe this pluralism must extend to embracing viewpoint diversity as one of many necessary diversities championed through actual diversity, inclusion, and equity work. Inclusion must not be gained through exclusion, and equity work must be rooted, from its onset, in the notion that all people are equal in the eyes of God and were bestowed from God with inalienable rights, rights that have been and still may be systematically kept from them by flawed humans, but not by God. I do not believe that white scholars should champion themselves as anti-racist; rather, it seems to me that should be an honor bestowed upon them from people of color based on their actions rather than from white scholars’ privileged position of and authority to describe themselves as anti-racist. I believe and pledge to continue to believe that the primary goal of diversity, equity, and inclusion work should be opening spaces to those who have not had access to them based on socioeconomic factors and such initiatives should work to create opportunities for the disenfranchised and people of color from all belief systems and political points of view.  I believe that education must be rooted in the classical sense of critical consciousness – the ability to consider multiple viewpoints and think them through – rather than rooted in ideologies of indoctrination and dogma. I pledge to teach according to this belief.  I maintain that the responsibility of those who educate is to help young people learn how to think and to think for themselves, with an emphasis on exploring the multitudinous reasons – not single-factor reasons -- systems have developed the way they have throughout the full run of human development. Further, I do not believe that any rational person should take advice about diversity, inclusion, and equity from any organization or entity so unaware of itself such that it feels compelled to take a lead in that work while concurrently being comprised of a membership that gathers periodically to celebrate ritualistic rites of passage while its members are adorned in hoods and robes.

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