As NH HB544, the “divisive concepts” bill, continues to gain publicity, many of the arguments levied against this bill do not stand up to scrutiny and are instead based on ideological rhetoric, appeals to emotion, and/or mischaracterization of what it actually says.
All three of those are manifest in NHBSR’s public statement against it and many recent letters/op-eds.
Note that those opposed to the bill never actually reference the bill itself nor provide any empirical cases against it. In contrast, those who support the bill offer ample expert testimony freely available to view online, which directly addresses every criticism against it in long form.
Details that go much further and explain why iHB544 is needed – even though the likes of NHPR would rather you never heard these voices.
A common opposition argument is that it would prevent having discussions or training towards “diversity and inclusivity” (or similarly named) efforts. The bill itself says clearly, specifically, in 10-C:3. I & II that it would do no such thing.
All HB544 will do is prevent agencies that receive state money from presenting or teaching as uncontestable/empirical fact any of the “divisive concepts” that are specifically defined in it.
These “divisive concepts,” if anything, increase racism, sexism, hatred, and division, and they absolutely should be banned from having taxpayers’ dollars funding them.
Another (more recent) argument against the bill is based on free speech. In testimony you can view online, the former NH Chief Supreme Court Justice made it clear that it would certainly not “stifle free speech” and that it has nothing to do with free speech at all? Schools and Government-Funded Institutions are not people, and the first Amendment applies only to people.
Should we actually allow those state-funded institutions to stereotype and scapegoat people by their race or sex? To assign collective guilt? To teach racial superiority? To blame, as the Bible forbids, “the son” for “the sins of his father”? To teach that meritocracy and a good work ethic are apparently rooted in white supremacy? That you should feel psychological anguish just because of how you were born? And that the state should willingly use your taxes to inculcate such abhorrent ideas?
The bill is essentially a restatement of the 14th Amendment and the 1964 Civil Rights Act, geared towards a new ideology that did not exist at the time but would gladly undermine both.
Yet, many local companies and powerful institutions like Dartmouth College continue to oppose it – or, more accurately, those with the power to speak on behalf of such companies and institutions oppose it because doing so fits in well with their knowingly or unknowingly held pernicious ideology and/or political tunnel-vision.
Colleges like Dartmouth, especially in non-empirical-sciences and the public school systems, are, more and more every day, acting as indoctrination centers to this pernicious ideology, where everything is some power game that must be “deconstructed,” the endpoint of which would be the rubble of most free, prosperous, and opportunity-rich nation in the history of humanity. The ingratitude, arrogance, and blindness shown by those who may actually wish to see that rubble is impossible to understate.
A Dartmouth Professor, whose Twitter page makes their political tunnel-vision obvious, made this plainly clear in their recently published op-ed against HB544, which was a whole lot of emotional appeals and, where actual empirical claims were sparsely sprinkled in, lies that are easily proven by just reading the content of the bill, which really ought to be little to ask of them as an English Professor.
They also, very tellingly, slandered every single person in support of this or similar legislation across the entire country as a white supremacist, including the sponsors from NH. Consider what one is capable of who thinks this way – that something approximating half of the nation is legitimately white supremacist – especially when in a position of power.
It is emblematic of this ideology’s view of the world. There are only oppressors and oppressed that how much of an oppressor or how oppressed you are is determined by some sick summation of the demographic criteria chosen, in the order and weighing seen fit.
It is no coincidence that those perpetuating such indoctrination that HB544 would make illegal – like defining an individual as an oppressor in the good-evil binary just because of the color of their skin – are using every argument they can find, including, as per the usual, pulling the ever-diluting “racist, white supremacist!” card, to push back against it. This comes with constant calls to feel-good language (justice! do the work! lived experience!) and deflection from any actual argument made to abstract language that they can play deliberate games with (do you not think slavery was bad!?).
Such is the way of postmodern “Critical Theory” – the most prominent current embodiment being “Critical Race Theory” (CRT), some of the ideas of which are what NH HB544 really gets at.
That ideology claims that someone like Tim Scott, a black Republic Senator from South Carolina, or any other individual with arbitrarily defined “oppressed” characteristics who do not agree with its tenants, is exemplifying “false consciousness” – an idea rooted in Marxism. That is, Tim Scott may be black, but he is not “authentically black.” He, Ben Carson, Glenn Loury, and Larry Elder, for additional examples, may be “black “but cannot ever be “authentically black” because they dare think for themselves and do not embrace the all-or-nothing ideology.
Critical Theorists, with their hyper-focus and totalization of selected demographic characteristics, truly believe that they are working against the very evil they are perpetuating. Lily Tang Williams, the co-chair of the NH Asian-American Coalition, has been desperately warning us of the consequences of this to anyone who will listen to her. She grew up in Communist China and had been advocating for NH HB544 because it would ban the instantiation-as-fact of these concepts that she, firsthand, saw used en masse to justify China’s bloody “Cultural Revolution” under Mao.
Quoting her: “Mao’s Cultural Revolution sought to destroy the ‘Four Olds’: traditional ideas, culture, habits, and customs. Through it, he led a campaign to silence dissident opinions, purge his political enemies, and, in the process, destroy age-old social institutions and gain absolute power… In today’s populist, racially-charged “social justice” movement in America, I see the shadows of the Cultural Revolution in Critical Race Theory (CRT), and in the ideology that inspired this movement.”
Another tenant of this ideology is that any difference in outcome when outcomes are measured across the selected demographic groups (these ideologues love to measure) is evidence of systemic discrimination in whatever system is being analyzed. The legendary Thomas Sowell has written multiple books on this very topic, like “Discrimination & Disparities.” Using the same logic that the “Critical Theorists” employ to accuse various elements of the USA in 2021 as being “systemically racist,” we could, for example, say that the field of nursing is “systemically misandrist” by a measure of the proportion of men versus women in it. Of course, this is ridiculous.
Any outcome difference that is against the apparently wholly “oppressed” demographic looked at is a direct target for action to directly address, under the pretense of the “systemic inequity” it supposedly proves. When you see “equity,” it is calling for equal outcomes. This is like the idea of “false consciousness,” a tenant of Neo-Marxism, where the criteria that define the “proletariat” and the “bourgeoisie” is shifted to, in this case, race.
We really should know better than to think we can centrally plan, organize, and build into policy some utopian society where every single element of said society is perfectly-population-proportional in representation throughout every level of it. That idea, itself, is technically impossible without all-powerful totalitarian rule and would, ironically, eliminate diversity.
We are ignoring or reject the mountains of (literal) bodies of evidence of what happens when this concept has actually spread in a nation. It is anything but a utopia; just ask Lily Tang Williams – and NH HB544 would help stop the spread of these very bad ideas contained in their gilded package.
This is what is really at stake here. It is not fearmongering. The lightning-quick growth of these postmodern neo-Marxist ideas, with their by-design deflection of any criticism whatsoever, should make you fear for the future of all inhabitants of this country.
Accordingly, if you do not support NH HB544 to stop the state-funded reification of this ideology, and/or if you are letting political tribalism drive your opposition, then I implore you to dig deeper and talk to someone outside of your bubble. I may be available to do so.