Governor Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) has officially put forth an announcement about a massive shift in the purpose of Virginia’s state diversity office.
This past Wednesday, Youngkin took steps to tap Angela Sailor, a former official in the George W. Bush administration and vice president of The Feulner Institute at the Heritage Foundation, to take over work as the state’s chief diversity, opportunity, and inclusion officer.
They have taken steps to replace the term “equity” with the term “opportunity” in the title of the position, which signals a new mission for the agency as a whole. As stated in an executive order penned by Youngkin, Sailor will “promote free speech and civil discourse in civic life,” serve as an “ambassador for unborn children,” and “be responsive to the rights of parents in educational and curricular decision making.”
“The people of Virginia elected the most diverse leadership in the commonwealth’s history,” stated Youngkin in a release, as reported by Virginia Business. “Virginia is big enough for the hopes and dreams of a diverse people. Angela Sailor’s experience in government, nonprofits and the private sector will guide us as we ensure that the government is working for all Virginians across our diverse commonwealth, especially when it comes to economic opportunity for all Virginians.”
Despite all of this, a Manhattan Institute senior fellow and leading education reform activist, Christopher Rufo, seemed to suggest the idea of scrapping the department altogether.
“My recommendation: abolish the DEI department entirely and replace it with a MEO department, promoting ‘merit,’ ‘excellence,’ and ‘opportunity.’ This is ultimately a war of values and most Americans prefer a system of individual rights and achievement — not neo-Marxist ‘equity,’” he stated in a Twitter post.
My recommendation: abolish the DEI department entirely and replace it with a MEO department, promoting "merit," "excellence," and "opportunity." This is ultimately a war of values and most Americans prefer a system of individual rights and achievement—not neo-Marxist "equity."
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) January 19, 2022
As soon as Youngkin took office he put forth and signed 11 executive orders that enacted his various promises that were made along the campaign trail. These new orders are trying to restore “excellence in education by ending the use of divisive concepts, including Critical Race Theory, in public education,” allowing “parents to make decisions on whether their child wears a mask in school,” and investigate “wrongdoing in Loudoun County.”
Going beyond this, various other orders that Youngkin has signed now seek to prevent “human trafficking and provide support to survivors,” establish “a commission to combat antisemitism,” cut out “job killing regulations by 25 percent,” and restore “individual freedoms and personal privacy by rescinding the vaccine mandate for all state employees.”
“The will of the people grants a license to serve,” stated Youngkin as part of his inaugural address. “A temporary license extended with trust, with hope, and with expectations to deliver on promises made. And therefore, as I reflect on my Virginia home and my love for this great nation and its founding principles, I am so humbled to be sworn in as the 74th governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
“We stand here today as the messengers of that movement, entrusted to protect liberty, create opportunity, and build unity for the hard work ahead,” he stated.