Thursday, February 16, 2023

Diversity Thursday

I almost passed on this story because it is all derived from digging into someone's twitter history.

This has a spotty track record, as most of it is when people intentionally take things out of context, have no sense of humor, or just plain assign motives and meanings to things that only had the malfunction of being less than 240 characters.

However, after reading it a few times and letting the draft post sit for a few days I decided that, no, this is pretty straight forward.

If at least two members of Congress are willing to call it out, the least thing we can do it bring it out here ... because it is about made to order on the type of people we've been discussing here for the better part of two decades - and worse - these are people injecting their venom in to the veins of the children of servicemembers.

On occasion, the diversity industry provides a moment of clarity where they simply and directly validate their critics.

As we've outlined on Thursdays for almost a couple of decades, though you will on occasion find a well-meaning true believer, they are the exception. Most of the time you find the otherwise unemployable people in the diversity nomenklatura willingly seeking out opportunities to externalize their internal sectarianism, grievance, and brainstem desire to "other" some group of people they have decided to blame for their own inadequacies - and get paid for it.

A story as old as our species - and you know it when you see it.

Though they will usually couch their sectarianism in nice words or cute posters - or even in the often laughably Potemkin Village like photo spreads - because they live and exist in an isolated, self-affirming intellectual terrarium - the less clever of their cohort will often say the quite part out loud and then look for top cover from their fellow travelers and the cowed administrators who live in fear of their own creation.

We have a perfect case today, but before we get to the details I'd like you to remember a few things. This isn't just your money paying for this, this is your nation's military paying for this. This is the kind of person they want forming policies that directly impact the children of servicemembers who have no choice but to send their kids to a DOD school. 

More than 67,000 students attend 159 schools operated by DoDEA worldwide.

This individual was chosen not by accident, but my intention. Higher leadership appointing mid-level leadership.

Not all bigots hide in the shadows.

The Pentagon official who oversees diversity, equity and inclusion for the Defense Department’s schools is at the center of an inquiry from lawmakers who said she made “racially disparaging” comments.

Now, Kelisa Wing, who has led diversity efforts for the Department of Defense Education Activity since December 2021, is pushing back against those claims in an exclusive interview with Military Times. She emphasized that she is speaking only as a private citizen and educator, and not on behalf of DoDEA.


Would anyone in a leadership in DOD be given a pass for saying these things out of uniform ... pick any racial or ethnic group.

I'm not as focused so much on the error, I am a bit permissive to people making mistakes, owning them, and moving on ... humans can have weak moments - but she defends her comments. She sees nothing wrong with them. For her, they are just a normal part of her "personal life." I will give her credit for owning them - but there is little room for nuance here.

Does she get a personal carve out here between her work and non-work statements? Is this a grey area open to interpretation? Are other people on the opposite political side of her - and make no mistake this is political - get the same carve out? Would she give them the grace she is asking for here?

“No, I did not make disparaging comments against white people. I would never categorize an entire group of people to disparage them. I’m speaking now as a private individual, about my private free speech from July of 2020,” she said.

Ponder the above as you read this;

I’m so exhausted at these white folx in these PD [professional development] sessions this lady actually had the CAUdaacity to say that black people can be racist too … I had to stop the session and give Karen the BUSINESS … we are not the majority, we don’t have power.

It appears that she specifically has a problem with caucasian females and uses "Karen" as a general descriptor. 

The lawmakers also cited press reports stating that Wing tweeted she was “exhausted by 99% of the white men in education and 95% of the white women.”

Those reports are wrong, Wing said. Fox News correctly reported in September that the tweet was made by another Twitter user, she said. Fox reported that she responded to the tweet, saying “If another Karen tells me about her feelings … I might lose it …”

Perhaps she should submit a statement on what she defines as a "Karen." That would be fun.

Again, twitter is a horrible place where it is easy to have things come off not quite the way you might want it to. You can reply to people or retweet someone who you don't know who is actually quite odious if you dug around a bit, so we should all give some room for twitter's clunkyness, but this is not such a case. 

You would think that Wing must know that if the races were reversed here, she would not have a job. I'm not sure she is self-aware enough to understand this.

In another tweet from 2017, Wing described herself as a “woke administrator.”

Wing told Military Times that, for her, “woke” means “being conscious, being aware, being aware of my surroundings, being aware of everything … that’s what it means to me and what it’s always meant to me.”

In their letters to Austin, the House representatives also referred to comments in books associated with Wing, saying she “reportedly disseminated her woke invectives.” The books are part of a series of children’s books on racial justice in America, with titles including “What Does It Mean to Defund Police,” “What is White Privilege?” and “What is Anti-Racism?”

The front covers of the books list each author and “with Kelisa Wing.” However, Wing said, “I want to go on record that I’m not the author of those books.” She describes her role as a “content adviser,” helping lay out what the general themes and purposes of the chapters should be.

A review of all the DoDEA school libraries by the group Open The Books, a nonprofit government watchdog, found that 11 of the schools collectively carried 45 copies of these racial justice series books.

Wing said she doesn’t promote these books through her DoDEA work, and she doesn’t receive royalties from the sale of those books.

Wing is the author of four books: “Conversations” (2006); “Weeds & Seeds: How to Stay Positive in the Midst of life’s Storms” (2017); “Promises and Possibilities: Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline” (2018); and “If I Could: Lessons for Navigating an Unjust World” (2020). She was a also contributing author of “Becoming a Globally Competent Teacher” (2019)

In one professional development video from 2021, she mentioned to her DoDEA audience that she is proud of her book “Promises and Possibilities: Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline,” and held it up, saying “shameless plug.”

To be fair, in time and place that she was pushing her books, the Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gilday was pushing even worse books.

The very highest levels of leadership are the problem, really, Wing is just a symptom.

“Kelisa Wing is exactly the right person to lead our efforts in building on the foundational work done to support meaningful change in our organization,” said DoDEA Director Tom Brady in the 2021 announcement. “This new position will take a holistic approach to identifying and improving how we integrate the practice of diversity, equity and inclusion in every aspect of DoDEA, from curriculum and assessment to hiring and professional development.”

You get what you hire.

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