The “progressive” project of controlling society works more easily if people’s thoughts can be shaped by the use of language. Orwell understood that and so do our contemporary authoritarians of all shades.
In the realm of education, we find lots of examples. Right now, the most prominent is the DEI trio: diversity, equity, inclusion. Those words sound benign, but the DEI agenda is not, as Jay Schalin observes in today’s Martin Center article.
First, there’s “diversity.” Schalin writes, “The traditional definition of ‘diversity’ generally means some sort of variation within a population. But it has undergone several transitions in recent times. First, it has been given a normative spin with connotations of goodness—‘diversity is our strength,’ for example—that Americans have largely accepted. But more recently, a second twist has occurred: The word ‘diversity’ is now used as a descriptor for preferred demographic groups.”
To the leftists, you only have “diversity” if you have enough people who happen to have ancestry from widely different parts of the globe. Nothing else matters.
“Equity” used to mean justice and fair treatment for individuals. But, Schalin writes, “It now means that protected classes of people must have proportionate representation—or better—since (quoting a recent article) ‘the mere fact that achievement gaps exist’ between different demographic groups ‘is taken as proof that there is some inequity that must be remedied.’”
As for “inclusion,” it “now implies proportionate representation, even if the traditional standards for membership must be relaxed or altered to achieve such representation. Furthermore, it must be remembered that to include somebody in a group with a fixed capacity is to exclude somebody else who would otherwise be included.”
The manipulation of language is meant to facilitate the “progressive” transformation of America, away from a nation where success or failure depends on one’s individual accomplishments and into one where rewards are handed out to further group equality.
DEI policies and “training” have penetrated deeply into our educational institutions and will be hard to root out.