‘Crisis of Courage’: Jonathan Turley Rips Companies, Colleges for Pushing Diversity Programs Despite Court Losses

By Published on April 2, 2024

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said Monday that universities and corporations were doubling down on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts despite court losses due to a “failure of courage.”

Turley discussed several legal challenges raised over DEI efforts during the interview. He noted that many in university administrations were “fighting” to keep DEI programs, despite the court losses.

“Corporations, universities are all fighting to keep DEI initiative and when they get into court, they are very often declared what they are, racial discrimination,” Turley told Fox News host John Roberts. “You can’t have this direct racial component that you want simply someone because of their race or gender and you exclude others. That is what was involved in this case, but we are seeing this played out in court after court. What’s interesting is how hardened this silo is in academia and in corporations.”

“They are still not giving up. They would rather be pulled into court, which means that executives and professors have had to go through years of litigation,” Turley continued. “They win, but there is still this resistance because a university official or a corporate official really loathes the idea of being the one to say, ‘we’re going to have to pull back on DEI. We are going to have to be more modest in how we approach these things to try to balance these equities.’ All of that can bring a cancel campaign against you. It has direct personal impact, and so it’s a failure of courage to some degree.”

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America First Legal announced a federal discrimination complaint against Disney in a Feb. 14 series of posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, citing “inclusion standards” leaked to X owner Elon Musk. An employee of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire sued the college in December, alleging she was demoted because of her race, while the University of Chicago was forced to backpedal after an alleged racially discriminatory scholarship was exposed.

“If you go to universities, for example, these are really large offices that have been established, they have been expanded. These are people that work all day long to try to create diversity, which is a noble goal,” Turley told Roberts. “It also means that you have got this bureaucracy that is sort of unrelenting in some areas that really raise constitutional concerns.”

“There is a crisis of courage here. It is very hard to get a university official to walk that cat backwards to say we want to pursue diversity goals, but we need to stay clear of racial discrimination,” Turley continued. “It is just a lot easier to achieve those goals by saying, ‘we won’t consider males or whites.’ It’s not that easy. That is what the Supreme Court has repeatedly said.”


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