Is it so hard being a white male Republican in Oklahoma? Stitt, Walters seem to think so.
Is it so hard?
Is it so hard to be a white male in Oklahoma?
Our governor seems to think so.
Ryan Walters, too.
Really, their whole wing of the Republican party in this state, which is most of them, the men at least, appear to think so.
White males who are Democrats?
Strangely, they seem to get along all right. They appear to not feel encroached upon, which is kind of interesting given they can hardly get elected in this state, certainly not statewide, though a few persist and persevere.
Actually, they know they have it better than pretty much everybody else. They know they’re given standing from the get go not everybody else receives.
They’ll take it, sure, but they’d prefer everybody receive the same favor, that everybody be treated with the same baseline respect.
Miraculously, they remain comfortable in their own skin.
Kevin Stitt, Walters and their ilk?
Not so much.
They’re under attack.
Just ask them.
Wednesday, they did something about it, and to explain it, here are the opening bars The Oklahoman’s Murray Evans wrote about it.
Gov. Kevin Stitt signed an executive order on Wednesday requiring state agencies and institutions of higher education in Oklahoma to initiate a review of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) positions, departments, activities, procedures and programs to “eliminate and dismiss” what the order called “non-critical personnel.”
In a related move, state Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman, said he’s filed four anti-DEI bills for consideration during the upcoming session of the Oklahoma Legislature. The bills would prohibit the establishment of a DEI office or hiring or assigning of employees at Oklahoma higher education institutions to carry out DEI practices.
What Stitt referred to as an “anti-discrimination” order drew praise from fellow Republicans including state schools Superintendent Ryan Walters, long an opponent of DEI practices.
And, to put it all into context, here’s the meat of that order, explained in a press release from the governor’s office.
The order requires state agencies and institutes for higher education to initiate a review of DEI positions, departments, activities, procedures, and programs to eliminate and dismiss non-critical personnel. State agencies and institutions for higher education shall not utilize state funds, property, or resources to:
1. Grant or support diversity, equity, and inclusion positions, departments, activities, procedures, or programs to the extent they grant preferential treatment based on one person’s particular race, color, sex, ethnicity, or national origin over another’s;
2. mandate any person to participate in, listen to, or receive any education, training, activities, procedures, or programming to the extent such education, training, activity, or procedure grants preferences based on one person’s particular race, color, sex, ethnicity, or national origin over another’s;
3. mandate any person swear, certify, or agree to any loyalty oath that favors or prefers one particular race, color, sex, ethnicity, or national origin over another;
4. mandate any person to certify or declare agreement with, recognition of, or adherence to, any particular political, philosophical, religious, or other ideological viewpoint;
5. mandate any applicant for employment provide a diversity, equity, and inclusion statement or give any applicant for employment preferential consideration based on the provision of such a diversity, equity, and inclusion statement; or
6. mandate any person to disclose their pronouns.
So maybe Stitt, Walters, Standridge and the rest of their pale brethren can finally sleep at night. Maybe now, they can relax for a bit.
Oklahoma Columnist, by Clay Horning is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Twenty months ago, feasting upon the silly, stupid and bigoted trans-panic they helped create, they “saved” women’s sports from nobody who was coming after them.
Wednesday, they stepped up to deliver us from righteous efforts and intentions to open the public square, academia, society, really, to everybody and not just people who look like them.
So fragile, such snowflakes, it almost makes you feel sorry for them. Well, until the bigotry and racism get in the way and you quit feeling sorry for them because of the bigotry and racism.
It’s so clear they’re not even sure what they’re trying to eliminate.
Here’s a quote from Stitt in his office’s release.
“In Oklahoma, we’re going to encourage equal opportunity, rather than promising equal outcomes. Encouraging our workforce, economy, and education systems to flourish means shifting focus away from exclusivity and discrimination, and toward opportunity and merit. We’re taking politics out of education and focusing on preparing students for the workforce.”
Because you know what DEI seeks to do and not do? Exactly what Stitt said he wants, that’s what: equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.
Meanwhile, exclusivity and discrimination are exactly the things DEI has been combating for some time. Had DEI never become a thing, about the only people getting ahead would be the white male brigade of Stitt, Walters and Standridge, who are not railing against special treatment for others, but against they, themselves, not being given the same special treatment they’ve always been given.
Really, they’re taking politics out of education in a state that, thanks to their efforts, is giving taxpayer money to families who were already sending their kids to private schools in the first place?
The cold truth is, in a post affirmative action world, one that was hard for liberals to defend and easy for conservatives to deride, diversity, equity and inclusion rose up for all the right reasons.
Should a workplace be diverse, or an incoming freshman class, or a faculty?
Sure, if you can do it in a way that enriches education, that puts people next to other people who might be from different backgrounds, cultures and faiths, adding to the educational process, rather than compromising it, because America’s a melting pot and so, too, believe it or not, is Oklahoma.
Like, not everybody in Oklahoma City lives between May and Western and 63rd and Memorial, you know?
Shouldn’t everybody have the same opportunities?
Shouldn’t everybody be offered the same stake in their own future?
What’s the problem?
The order requires state agencies and institutes for higher education to initiate a review of DEI positions, departments, activities, procedures, and programs to eliminate and dismiss non-critical personnel.
What does that even mean?
Non-critical to what?
DEI is an aspirational starting point, it’s good intentions, not special treatment.
It might be about beating the bushes to find worthy candidates.
It’s about not being an asshole just because you can be.
For Stitt, Walters and company, it’s like so much else, too.
Walters can’t define critical race theory, but he thinks you can teach the Tulsa Race Massacre leaving race out of it. He can’t tell you what’s wrong with the way American history has been taught previously, only that he knows how he wants it taught moving forward, which is inaccurately.
Meanwhile, Stitt can’t tell you how the McGirt decision will make living in Oklahoma unreasonable or unfathomable. He can only tell you that it will, justifying his never-ending war with the tribes.
They are immune from specifics.
Now, attempting to tear down DEI, they say they’re doing it in the name of precisely what DEI encourages in the first place.
Why don’t they just admit it?
They’re small, fragile, white men with every conceivable advantage, but it’s not enough.
They can’t have anybody gaining on them, can’t allow the masses to catch up, can’t let everybody have a shot.
Until others come and get them, they define their party.
They’re the worst.