When Governor Sununu created the Diversity and Inclusion Council in 2017, I warned him and New Hampshire. The name has nothing to do with ending discrimination or improving opportunity. Quite the Opposite, and nearly 60% of its members just proved me right.
First, here is a bit of what I said back then.
Governor Sununu has just happily signed “an executive order establishing the Governor’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion, and the formation of a new Civil Rights Unit at the New Hampshire Department of Justice.”
Diversity and Inclusion programs on campuses are responsible for speech codes, infringing on religious liberty and free association, compelled speech, and more. Complete with a disciplinary committee, which in the case of New Hampshire, is the State Attorney General’s office. What could go wrong?
Here is a bit of what the so-called diversity and inclusion council members said when 10 out of 17 of them resigned.
In a letter sent to Sununu, 10 members wrote: “We feel obligated to inform you that — contrary to your recent public statements — systemic racism does in fact exist here in New Hampshire. You appointed us to explore these issues, and we have reported our findings to you in detail every step of the way.”
“We collectively see no path forward with this legislation in place,” the letter concluded.
And here is the offensive language that pissed them off so much, from HB2. where <redacted protected classes> below, mean age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, creed, color, marital status, familial status, mental or physical disability, religion, or national origin. [Repetition edited out for simplicity and space]
354-A:31 Prohibition on Public Employers.
No public employer, either directly or through the use of an outside contractor, shall teach, advocate, instruct, or train any employee, student, service recipient, contractor, staff member, inmate, or any other individual or group, any one or more of the following:
I. That people of one <the redacted protected classes> are inherently superior or inferior to people of another<the redacted characteristics classes>;
II. That an individual, by virtue of his or her <the redacted protected classes> is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously;
III. That an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her <the redacted protected classes>; or
IV. That people of one <the redacted characteristics classes> cannot and should not attempt to treat others equally and/or without regard to <the redacted protected classes>.
This applies to any employee, agent, or employer using your tax dollars. Teachers, administrators, colleges, professors, contractors. No more insulting diversity and so-called anti-discrimination training that is itself discriminatory.
The legislation is unambiguous. Free speech is protected. Open debate about race and racism is protected. Scholarly debate is protected. It says this in the language.
But at no point can that include material or language emanating from any taxpayer-funded source that accuses people or even implies they are guilty of racism, sexism, ageism, bigotry, anti-Semitism, or anything else.
You cannot teach or train anyone to denigrate any person based on their age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, creed, color, marital status, familial status, mental or physical disability, religion, or national origin.
Explain to me, masters of the Diversity and Inclusion universe, how that language leaves no path forward unless your destination was systemic discrimination based on a pre-determined set of political priorities?
And yes, you should be concerned about lawsuits but not because of HB2, though that helps. We already had plenty of anti-discrimination laws on the books, but they were not enough to keep taxpayer-funded entities from race-shaming children or state employees.
You were already violating NH anti-bullying laws and were going to get sued anyway. At least now the message is clear. And if that means you need to excuse yourself, please do.
I hear Massachusetts is still shaming people and probably Vermont. I am sure they’d love to have you.
And I hope the state motto hits you in the ass on the way out.