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Chief Diversity Officer rejects DEI

iStock / Getty Images Plus/Dzmitry Dzemidovich

This is an open letter in solidarity with Martin D. Brown, Chief, Diversity, Opportunity, and Inclusion for the Commonwealth of Virginia regarding his comments at Virginia Military Institute (VMI) on April 21, 2023, proclaiming DEI is dead and “it is time to kill that cow.” 

Despite the usual critics from academia and the local NAACP, I’m in complete agreement with Mr. Brown.

As an Army veteran with direct family ties that extends before President Truman desegregated the armed forces, I join Mr. Brown in drawing a ceremonial sword and figuratively killing the “DEI cow.” 

Most Americans realize that the motivation behind DEI has nothing to do with its label of diversity, equity, and inclusion. In practice, it divides Americans along racial lines, presumes guilt with no redemption, and is counter to the values that bind us together as Americans. Proponents of DEI have been embedded in our nation’s most elite universities for decades with deep-rooted Marxist and socialist sympathies. They are using DEI as a contagion to spread their agenda throughout American society.   

For example, in a virtual training session, professors from top universities including Gholdy Muhammad, PhD, University of Illinois; and Bettina Love, PhD, Columbia University, trained middle and high school teachers in my home state of Minnesota and many others on the tenants of DEI. Their training sessions included Marxist ideology speeches to teachers including statements such as, “agendas for meetings are examples of whiteness.” Another comment included “destroying capitalism is part of the agenda.”[1]

Partnered with allies from academia, Teachers’ Unions, and the Media, DEI has infected K-12 public schools, Corporate America, the Armed Forces, and our nation’s Military Service Academies including VMI and other state-operated military colleges. The spread of DEI and CRT ideology has been wide and rapid. Its continued proliferation should be assessed and called out for the danger that it is. 

DEI proponents resort to character assassination for anyone or any organization that doesn’t align with their beliefs. However, there are many of us who refuse to be intimidated and we are waving the American flag higher than ever during this cultural debate.

My parents grew up and lived through the Jim Crow South. They would have loved to have grown up in the America that I grew up in. We have made tremendous progress as a nation, but sadly, the black community was led astray right when the Civil Rights Bill was signed into law by leaders from the progressive left. Many of these leaders from the black community were involved or stood watch while the black community plunged from 80% two-parent families that focused on faith, family and education — a better education for their children and became a culture of generational welfare dependency with neighborhoods full of fatherless homes. 

In regard to the NAACP’s rebuke of Mr. Brown, the vast majority of black Americans do not contribute, support, or hold the organization in high esteem. Less than 10% of black Americans deem the NAACP as an organization with credibility when making major decisions in their lives and the lives of their families.[2] 

There is a growing number of black Americans denouncing DEI and the progressives’ agenda in schools, colleges and the workplace. These people come from broken families and meager backgrounds, and they have achieved their position in life the old-fashioned way — they earned it. Many of them, like myself, recognize that they had help from others that encouraged them to work hard, persevere, and trust in the meritocracy of the American system. And by doing so, they achieved goals their parents and grandparents were unable to realize. 

It's time for a new era and transformation. Thank God Mr. Brown and many others are leading the way.

[1] See video file.

[2] Numinar, This survey was conducted between February 13 - 16, 2023, and then February 20-22, 2023 with a random sample of 441 African American voters nationwide. It has a margin of error of +5.00%. Known registered voters were interviewed via IVR and SMS (see attached).

Kendall Qualls is Founder and President of TakeCharge. TakeCharge strives to unite Americans regardless of background toward a shared history and common set of beliefs. At TakeCharge, they promote that the promise of America is available to everyone regardless of race or social standing. 

Despite the challenges and turmoil of his early life, Mr. Qualls worked full-time to pay for college, served as an officer in the U.S. Army, earned three graduates. He worked his way up the ranks at several Fortune 100 healthcare companies.    

Mr. Qualls articles have been published in national newspapers across the country. His new book, Prodigal Project is scheduled for release in December 2023. Mr. Qualls has been married to his wife, Sheila for 37-years and they have five children together.  

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