Dan Crenshaw Tries To Defund Universities Engaged in DEI Policies, Misses Bigger Point

P. Gardner Goldsmith | February 13, 2024
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Cynicism on the part of a proponent need not be the primary reason that a superficially good-looking, hot-button political proposal doesn’t get to the principle-based root of the matter.

Sometimes, the proponent simply might lack an understanding of the deeper principle, or he might be incapable of grasping it.

Such are the possibilities when studying the recent move by Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) to ban federal funding for universities that require so-called “DEI” – or “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” – statements from prospective students or employees.

DEI is bald-faced prejudice-in-practice. It is sexism, racism, ageism, genderist-preference stereotyping with a cozy name, and it’s something many pro-liberty folks find utterly offensive and unacceptable. It also is very popular within the ranks of leftist university administrations, in dinosaur entertainment, and in government.

But that flash of righteous indignation, that first-blush vibe of agreement with Crenshaw’s move against DEI, might fall slightly short of the proper constitutional and ethical marks.

Mary Mobley writes for The College Fix:

“Crenshaw said DEI bureaucracy is ‘directly responsible’ for a ‘toxic campus culture,’ and his bill will protect freedom of thought on campuses.

Specifically, his bill would amend the Higher Education Act to block federal funds for colleges and universities that require DEI statements as a condition for employment or enrollment.”

So, of course, that means that those of us who bother to read the US Constitution – you know, the so-called “rules” by which Crenshaw swears to operate as he draws a salary off our tax money – have to remind Mr. Crenshaw that the US Constitution doesn’t allow the federal government to give federal funds to colleges or universities for anything.

Related: Rep. Crenshaw Takes Aim At Gun Owners Of America | MRCTV

Why is it that people such as Crenshaw appear so intent on playing off of current cultural conflicts and scoring points by introducing legislation that, perhaps, he thinks conservatives will like, when he overlooks the deeper, substantive, rule he already swore to uphold?

Is he unaware of the fundamentals?

If he finds it offensive that the feds take our money to hand it over to others for DEI, why doesn’t he find the initial act of the taking to be offensive? The feds not only have no constitutional “power” to take your money to fund a university for any reason, the politicians like Crenshaw have no moral authority to take our money.

Even if the Constitution were amended to allow it, the taking would not suddenly be made ethical or moral.

If he gasps that, why doesn’t he call to end the showering of federal funds on colleges for ANY reason?

Surely, some taxpayers might like DEI, others might not, and it should be up to THEM to personally fund what they prefer, not for the government to take their money then get them arguing with each other over where and how that giant pot o’ politically-grabbed gold will be poured.

And are other major problems with Crenshaw’s “watch the shiny thing but miss the point” proposal.

He tells us that DEI bureaucracy is “directly responsible” for a “toxic campus culture.”

But if DEI purports to push “inclusivity,” and “diversity,” especially for so-called “minorities,” how is one to assess this next Crenshaw expostulation?

“‘We can see the utter moral bankruptcy in higher education with the spread of antisemitism on college campuses,’ Crenshaw said in a statement when he introduced the bill. ‘Make no mistake – the DEI bureaucracy is directly responsible for a toxic campus culture that separates everyone into oppressor vs oppressed.’”

Which assumes that there really IS greater antisemitism on college campuses, a point that is in debate, since many people who see students calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, or protesting against the polis of Israel, depict those students as “antisemitic” when they are not, and, in fact, when their call for peace also includes a call for peace among the semitic people known as Palestinians.

Crenshaw’s easy, inappropriate, turn to label people as “antisemitic” is something Republicans in DC have seen used against them MANY times in the past.

Even Congressman Jerry Nadler pointed out that many of the Hasidic Jews in his district have called for a ceasefire by the Zionist rulers of the Israeli state, yet some of his colleagues in the House might label them as, astoundingly, antisemitic.

Most important here is the fact that none of this is the federal government’s business. At all.

Crenshaw might want to remember that before he continues his posturing, his parade of superficial “cuts” in handouts that shouldn’t happen at all. When the government force is removed, we can assess things ourselves. We can see what we want to fund and to what extent.

Until then, we can remind Crenshaw that some of us aren’t dazzled by these shallow ploys. We can read the Constitution and understand the immorality of government-backed theft and redistribution. We don’t need to go to college to get it.

Does he?

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