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Lawmakers press investigation into DEI agenda at the Pentagon


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Marines in amphibious task force gunnery exercise in the East China Sea.   

From The Center Square


A Department of Defense official recently reported that in fiscal year 2023, all branches collectively fell short of their recruitment targets by more than 40,000. But that shortfall came even after recruitment targets were lowered significantly.

A coalition of lawmakers is pushing forward the ongoing investigation into just how much taxpayer money Pentagon officials are taking away from national defense and putting toward diversity, equity and inclusivity initiatives.

The Pentagon has been under increasing scrutiny for its focus on DEI, even as the Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Hamas wars continue.

The lawmakers sent a letter to the Defense Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion Chair General (Ret.) Lester Lyles expressing concerns that the focus on DEI was a distraction and was hurting recruitment.

“DoD’s emphasis on diversity and inclusion over mission effectiveness and capability concerns our nation’s national security and safety,” the letter said.

The letter comes ahead of an expected report from that committee on its work for DOD.

Military branches have struggled to meet recruitment goals in recent years. A Department of Defense official recently reported that in fiscal year 2023, all branches collectively fell short of their recruitment targets by more than 40,000. But that shortfall came even after recruitment targets were lowered significantly.

“Stand Together Against Racism and Radicalism in the Services (STARRS), an educational organization that includes retired military members, assembled a study of over one thousand unsolicited comments from military service members, veterans, and their respective families,” the letter said. “Their findings showed that many did not feel comfortable recommending military service because of the DEI policies instituted throughout DoD.”

As The Center Square has previously reported, the Pentagon has embraced an array of equity initiatives, from training on white privilege to guidelines on gender pronouns. Recently, the DOD asked for more than $100 million just for DEI initiatives, sparking backlash.

House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs Chairman Glenn Grothman, R-Wisc., and House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel Chairman Jim Banks, R-Ind., led other Republicans on the letter.

The lawmakers want a full explanation of what the DEI efforts at the Pentagon are, in detail.

“The Subcommittee remains concerned that under the guise of DEI, promotions are being rewarded based on sex, gender, ethnicity, and race at the expense of merit,” the letter said.

The lawmakers expressly called for transparency in the upcoming report.

“Americans have the right to expect that their sons and daughters in uniform are led, trained, and equipped by the very best,” the letter said. “The Subcommittee understands that the STARRS report was provided to DACODAI, but it is unclear the extent to which DACODAI will incorporate that information into its final report.”

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School boards need leaders who focus on education not politics

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From the Fraser Institute

By Michael Zwaagstra

Canada’s largest school board is looking for a new leader. Colleen Russell-Rawlins, director of education of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), will retire this fall.

To say her tenure has been controversial would be an understatement. During her three years in the top job, TDSB doubled down on its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies, with tragic consequences. Former TDSB principal Richard Bilkszto took his own life last year after facing relentless harassment from other administrators for challenging DEI orthodoxy during a professional development session.

The harms caused by DEI extend even further. Two years ago, TDSB voted to abolish its merit-based admissions policy at specialized arts and sports schools in the name of “equity.” Parents of students in these schools were not happy about this erosion of standards. After spending years building up these specialized schools, TDSB is now tearing them down.

Add to this the ongoing harassment of Jewish students in TDSB schools and the failure of administrators to crack down on employees who disseminate blatantly anti-Israel propaganda. Expect things to get even worse if trustees replace Russell-Rawlins with someone with a similar mindset and approach.

Unfortunately, this is exactly what will happen if TDSB follows the guidelines provided by the Ontario Public Supervisory Officers’ Association (OPSOA), the organization representing superintendents and directors of education in Ontario.

To be eligible for the position, prospective directors of education must complete the OPSOA’s Supervisory Officer’s Qualification Program. However, this program looks like a woke propogandist’s dream. According to the OPSOA’s website, the qualification program focuses on “anti-oppression, anti-racism, [and] anti—colonialism.” No wonder education directors appear obsessed with these topics.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce has stated that he wants school boards to focus more on academics. He’s even gone so far as to publicly rebuke school boards that get mired in debates over secondary issues such as masks or transgender policy. Lecce is right to be concerned. From 2003 to 2022, Ontario’s PISA math test scores declined from 530 to 495. That’s the equivalent of nearly two years of learning loss. Clearly, something needs to change.

However, things will only change for the better when school boards start hiring education directors who reject DEI ideology and who put academics first. This means choosing men and women who haven’t climbed the career ladder by pushing DEI initiatives.

At a minimum, the province must drop the requirement for education directors to hold supervisory officer’s qualifications. Making the completion of a program replete with DEI buzzwords such as “anti-oppression” and “anti-colonial” mandatory is a surefire way to ensure that education directors will focus on non-academic issues.

Fortunately, the Ford government has started making at least some changes. Back in 2020, Ontario removed the requirement for directors of education to be former teachers. Considering the uselessness of most Bachelor of Education courses, it’s legitimate to ask why anyone would need an education degree to run a school board.

Obviously, none of this means that qualifications don’t matter. The Ford government’s recent announcement that all future teachers must pass a math proficiency test shows that basic competency matters. People working for school boards, particularly those in the top job, must also be familiar with the education system and know how to lead effectively.

It’s important to remember why we have schools in the first place. The purpose of education is to help students master the academic basics, acquire important life skills, and become responsible Canadian citizens—not to indoctrinate students into woke ideology.

Schools can only function if they have the trust of the communities they serve. If parents feel that teachers are ignoring their concerns or are disrespecting their beliefs, they will pull their kids out of the government school system and pursue other educational options. While parents should always have this right, it’s unfortunate when they are forced into it by administrators who are hostile to their values.

TDSB trustees have a real opportunity to make a change for the better by hiring an education director with a track record of putting academics first. Otherwise, TDSB will continue its downward spiral.

Real change starts at the top. Hopefully, TDSB trustees realize the importance of the decision they are about to make and hire the right person for the job.

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Top Canadian university posts job listing that excludes white heterosexual men

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

The University of British Columbia says the new job is ‘restricted to members of the following federally designated groups: people with disabilities, indigenous people, racialized people, women, and people from minoritized gender identity groups.’

One of Canada’s most well-known universities has posted a job opening for a new research chair position but has essentially barred non-homosexual white men from applying for the job. 

A recent job posting for the position of “Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Oral Cancer Research” at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Vancouver campus has explicitly mentioned that those who don’t meet its so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) requirements need not apply.  

The UBC job posting was published on May 21, and notes that the seven-year contract for the chair role has with it certain “eligibility requirements,” such as candidates having to demonstrate a track record of “supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion.”  

According to UBC, the selection for the role will be “restricted to members of the following federally designated groups: people with disabilities, indigenous people, racialized people, women, and people from minoritized gender identity groups.” 

This rules out straight white men from applying for the role. UBC uses its Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan as well as the B.C. Human Rights Code as validation for its job requirements.  

The UBC claims that its current faculty is underrepresented by those who “self-identify” as having a disability, thus it notes that a person from this category is “preferential.” 

To ensure that straight white men do not apply for the job, the UBC is also mandating that anyone who applies for the role must first conduct what it calls an “equity survey.” 

“Candidates from these groups must self-identify as belonging to one or more of the designated equity groups to be considered for the position,” notes UBC. 

According to the UBC, “Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence.” 

Musk: Is the even legal?  

As news of the UBC job posting spread on social media, X owner Elon Musk chimed in to comment on the matter, writing on June 3, “Is this legal in Canada?” in reply to a sarcastic post from Quebec-based academic Gad Saad mocking the job posting.  

“Yes! Oral cancer research has long been dominated by white heterosexual males. Imagine the progress that can be made if the relevant research were conducted by Trans People of Color. Thank you @UBC for your epistemological courage in fighting against the scourge of White Heterosexual Science,” sarcastically wrote Saad on June 3 on X.  

In recent years, there has been a notable increase in the promotion of so-called DEI requirements on employers, because of a push for it from the federal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

Indeed, LifeSiteNews recently reported on how Trudeau’s Liberal government has spent over $30 million DEI affiliated contracts amongst many federal ministries since January 2019.   

When it comes to DEI, Musk has been a formidable opponent to the discriminatory hiring practices. In Canada, the only main party speaking out against it is the People’s Party of Canada, under its leader Maxime Bernier. He has been outspoken against radical gender ideology repeatedly over the last few years as well as the COVID jabs and mandates. 

In April, he announced a new party policy officially denouncing the so-called DEI agenda, saying it is nothing more than a “fundamentally racist, sexist, and discriminatory ideology” that “divides Canadians.” 

Bernier told LifeSiteNews recently that the only way to stop the “radical policies” of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) agenda – which he calls a combination of “official discrimination against white heterosexual males” and the “promotion of weird mental illnesses” – is for people to fight back against those seeking to undermine “traditional norms and values.” 

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