In the upside down, gay activist lexicon, tolerance means intolerance, inclusivity means exclusivity, and diversity means my way or the highway. Dr. Angela McCaskill, associate provost of diversity and inclusion at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, is the latest victim of the diversity police.
McCaskill is now on administrative leave after working at Gallaudet for 23 years. She assumed her current position as the university’s first Chief Diversity Officer in January, 2011, and she seemed ideally suited for her job, being female, African American, and deaf. In fact, she was “the first deaf African American woman to earn a PhD” from Gallaudet, hailed as “the nation’s premiere school for the deaf.” At present, however, she is so shaken by the university’s actions that her husband reports that she is under doctor’s care.
What was this accomplished woman’s great transgression? As a private citizen and resident of Maryland, she signed a petition in July supporting marriage as the union of a man and woman. And she signed this petition on the way out of a church service where her pastor had preached against redefining marriage. Almost three months later, a faculty member became aware of this and issued a complaint to the university, and McCaskill was immediately relieved of her responsibilities.
PlanetDeafQueer reported that, “On November 6th, Maryland voters will decide whether the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which was enacted by the Maryland legislature and grants lesbian and gay couples the equal right to marry, is upheld or rejected. While there are many that support overturning this important civil rights legislation, one person you would never expect to be in favor of doing so is Gallaudet University’s own Chief Diversity Officer and Maryland resident, Dr. Angela McCaskill,” noting that her “job at Gallaudet is to promote diversity and inclusion at Gallaudet.”
But there is not a single mention of gay or lesbian issues on the university’s web page entitled, “About the Office for Diversity and Inclusion.” Instead, the Mission Statement declares, “The mission of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion at Gallaudet University is to promote an academically enriching and supportive climate that allows all the diverse members of its community to thrive and succeed. The Office for Diversity and Inclusion will achieve its mission by collaborating with units on campus to intentionally design a comprehensive, university-wide approach to diversity; facilitate equity, access, social justice and inclusion; and, empower students, faculty, and staff to build a diverse and inclusive campus community. Through the cultivation of diversity, the Office for Diversity and Inclusion will lead efforts to institutionalize diversity as a fundamental transformative force that fosters professional growth and academic excellence.”
Can someone fulfill this role without believing that marriage should be radically redefined? Is it possible for the Chief Diversity Officer “to promote an academically enriching and supportive climate that allows all the diverse members of its community to thrive and succeed” without believing that a man should be able to marry a man and a woman marry a woman?
The answer is obviously yes, since even PlanetDeafQueer noted that, “Dr. McCaskill is well liked by students. ‘She’s been a great ally to the LGBT community and supported many of the LGBTQA Resource Center’s programs,’ said one student, who asked to remain anonymous. ‘I’m heart broken about this.’” So, you can be a friend of the LGBT community without believing that marriage should be redefined.
But there’s a more fundamental question to ask: Whatever happened to “diversity and inclusion”? Whatever happened to Dr. McCaskill’s Constitutional rights and freedoms?
Before “diversity and inclusion” became gay activist code words, they actually used to mean what they meant. (What a novel idea!) “Diversity and inclusion” referred to the welcoming of diverse viewpoints and ideologies and peoples. Now, however, in classic Doublespeak, they mean the opposite of their original definition (and in the name of “tolerance” at that).
But this is nothing new. To give a personal example, in June, 2009, Grand State Valley University (GSVU) in Michigan, a publicly funded institution, hosted an event to counter Focus on the Family’s Love Won Out conference, which was being hosted by a local church. (The Love Won Out conference was devoted to helping people with unwanted same-sex attractions.)
GSVU invited a militant opponent of Love Won Out to give a presentation mocking the idea that sexual orientation could be changed, to be followed by a panel discussion with five participants. When this was announced, the university received more than 10,000 emails requesting that I be included in the panel discussion, since all the participants were proponents of gay activism.
Despite this email deluge calling for just one of the five participants to have a differing viewpoint, and bearing in mind that the panel discussion was already quite secondary to the main presentation which would ridicule conservative Christian viewpoints, the university refused to include me. To be specific, it was the department of inclusion and diversity that refused to include me!
But all hope is not lost. Back in DC, the
Now that would be a refreshing step in the right direction, not to mention in the direction of diversity and inclusion.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.
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