The two-page piece of legislation removes the universities’ ability to fund, promote, sponsor, or support any department, program, or office that “funds, sponsors, or supports an initiative or formulation of diversity, equity, and inclusion beyond what is necessary to uphold the equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
Universities taking money from the Texas government would no longer be allowed to promote or decry any group based on their immutable characteristics. Specifically, the bill would prevent any university from officially endorsing, dissuading, or interfering with any “lifestyle, race, sex, religion, or culture.”
Tepper’s bill follows a flood of woke, pro-segregation activism from progressives across the nation in the last few years. Racially-charged policies under the guise of “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion” have become all too common.
Since 2020, several universities have created task forces or departments to combat “white supremacy” on their campuses. At Arizona State University in 2021, progressive students accosted two white students for sitting in their DEI office-endorsed “multicultural space.” Dozens of speaking events have been canceled by university administrations for not being diverse, equitable, or inclusive enough.
Lindsey Burke, director of the Center for Education Policy at The Heritage Foundation, elaborates:
DEI offices have been used to enforce a favored political orthodoxy and activism, rather than foster viewpoint diversity. They are heavy on identity politics and light on free expression. Campus surveys find DEI offices and their vast bureaucracies fail to improve the campus climate for students. Instead, they contribute to ever-growing college administrative bloat, funded by taxpayers.
(The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
Rep. Tepper told The Daily Signal that the time for a bill that fights back against state-funded discrimination is now. “Departments are running amuck practicing ‘reverse racism’,” Tepper said.
Tepper pointed to one example from Texas Tech University, in which the college’s Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion encouraged students to “understand [their] personal relationship to white supremacy and anti-Black racism.” The “#Academics4BlackLives” program encourages black students at Texas Tech to withdraw into black communities, blaming other cultural groups for societal issues.
Tepper warned, “It’s one thing to understand the different experiences we all have—that’s obvious, but encouraging more racism doesn’t help any situation.”
In 2021, the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion staff at Texas Tech held an “anti-racism” training in which students were forcibly segregated by color.
When asked what the role of activism on college campuses was to be in light of this piece of legislation, Tepper responded, “Students should feel free to form any group they want, but I don’t believe in [Texas] funding segregation.”
While the bill is expected to be a tough fight in the Texas House, Tepper remains confident that H.B. 1006 is exactly what Lone Star universities need: “Keep your eye out; the public’s fed up. A lot of tax dollars are flowing into these universities, and with tuition skyrocketing—dollars should go to operating costs and education, not woke activism.”
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