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A Small But Important Victory at Johns Hopkins – HotAir

I am less sanguine than many that DEI is really on the way out. Rather, I think DEI is on the rope and will adapt, coming up with new acronyms, new job titles, and, at best, a somewhat smaller role in the near future. But the grievance culture is well ensconced and I expect it will bounce back.

However, we should take our victories where we can, and I still believe that we can make significant progress in pushing back its influence.

One example of taking the win is the latest victory at Johns Hopkins, where the hospital’s DEI office sent out a diversity “word of the month.” It was a doozy of an email.

Not to make this about myself, but I happen to fit every single category in the list. You would never know that I am super-extra privileged if you compared my paycheck to any of the doctors or bureaucrats at the hospital. I can assert with 99.9999% certainty that the DEI coordinating there is more privileged than I am by most measures. I assure you she isn’t sitting on her couch typing several thousand words a day to make a living, and eats at much nicer restaurants than I.

I definitely don’t rate up there with an astronaut.

Needless to say, when this email got out into the wild, it caused a firestorm.

I’m not going to waste my time doing the research and creating a Venn Diagram that demonstrates how idiotic this list is; however, I will note that almost every single person in America checks at least one of these boxes, and plenty check most or all of them. The vast majority of people are, for instance, heterosexuals. Does that mean they are privileged?

Throw in able-bodied, and you have another large group. Almost everybody is “cis-gendered.” I could go on, but you get the point. The list is nonsense and simply a recitation of all the intersectional categories.

The backlash against this idiotic email was intense if engagement on social media is any measure. Or, for that matter, if you look at the response of the Chief Diversity Officer, who is in full retreat.

Dear Colleagues,

Yesterday I sent the January edition of a monthly “Diversity Digest” from the Johns Hopkins Medicine Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity. The newsletter included a definition of the word “privilege” which, upon reflection, I deeply regret. The intent of the newsletter is to inform and support an inclusive community at Hopkins, but the language of this definition clearly did not meet that goal. In fact, because it was overly simplistic and poorly worded, it had the opposite effect of being exclusionary and hurtful to members of our community. I retract and disavow the definition I shared, and l am sorry. I will work to ensure that future messages better reflect our organizational values.


Sherita H. Golden, M.D., M.H.S.

Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer

Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity Johns Hopkins Medicine

I would call that a pretty dramatic reversal.

First of all, kudos to Johns Hopkins. While the idea of a hospital having a “Chief  Diversity Officer” is rather silly and is an example of administrative bloat, they at least responded quickly to the backlash.

That it probably came as much from within–and from a very privileged group of doctors, if I could use that word–probably helped expedite the retraction. I suspect that if the backlash was only from normies on Twitter the reaction would have been different and more hostile.

But at least they reversed course rather than stuck by a clearly awful statement.

What this proves is that the pushback works; what my fears indicate, though, is that if we want to keep making progress and push back effectively we can’t let up.

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