The NAACP’s Virginia chapter demanded that the commonwealth’s chief diversity officer resign over comments about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in a speech at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI).
In a speech to VMI cadets, Martin D. Brown said, “Let’s take a moment right now to kill that cow. DEI is dead.” Brown added, “We’re not going to bring that cow up anymore. It’s dead. It was mandated by the General Assembly, but this governor has a different philosophy of civil discourse, civility, treating — living the golden rule, right?”
Brown’s remarks came during a mandatory, annual training on “inclusive excellence” for the military academy’s facutly and staff members.
The Virginia NAACP, in a statement, said, “The speech was filled with partisan talking points and erroneous assumptions and demonstrated Mr. Brown’s lack of fitness for the critically important position he occupies.” The organization added, “His comments are not in keeping with either the intent of the office nor the spirit of unity of people supported by the Virginia State Conference NAACP. He should resign immediately.”
Brown is a political appointee by Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Also, due of the divisive nature of DEI, the Youngkin administration changed the name of the office to Diversity, Opportunity, and Inclusion (DOI) from DEI.
Brown told the Washington Post, which broke the story about Brown’s speech, “It’s proven that institutions achieve more with a more diverse and inclusive workforce… However, equity has become a tradeoff for excellence. Our aim is to expand opportunities but not guarantee equal results.”
Youngkin’s office told the press that it will resist any call to “cancel” Brown over his comments. The statement read, “Governor Youngkin will continue to advance equal opportunities—not equal outcomes—for all Virginians. This is too important of an issue to succumb to those seeking to cancel Chief Brown for challenging the groupthink of the progressive left’s pursuit of equity at any cost.”
VMI receives state funding, to the tune of $21.6 million for the 2021-2022 year, and had made changes related to DEI initiatives after a 2021 report said VMI failed to address “institutional racism” and sexism.
DEI initiatives are commonly found in higher education institutions and even corporations, but are politically divisive because it emphasizes the color of one’s skin over merit, skills, aptitude, or ability. Youngkin and Brown, so far, have not backed down to the DEI crowd.