Moss: ‘Diversity’ or Merit?

May 15, 2024

by Richard Moss, M.D.

The Evansville Regional Economic Partnership (E-REP), is an organization that “promotes regional economic development and vitality.” It encompasses four counties, including Vanderburgh, Posey, Warrick and Gibson, and seeks to “drive the region’s economic growth, attract a high-wage and high-skilled workforce and elevate quality of life.” Encompassing the “Evansville Region,” it “thinks regionally – and acts regionally.” Its essential missions include “business growth and retention, attraction of a highly skilled workforce, community development, and regional planning.”

All of this is commendable – a welcome benefit to the area. Until, that is, we turn to their section on “advocacy.” It is here where we learn of E-REP’s commitment to “Embrace Diversity and Inclusion” and to “keep the value of diversity, inclusion, and equity at the core of all our efforts . . . ”

Why would an organization that purports to promote economic growth and a skilled work force add to its otherwise praiseworthy goals something so divisive and exclusionary as DEI?

DEI, as the world knows, refers to “Diversity Equity and Inclusion.” E-REP, chose to change the order of the words but the meaning is the same. Like many seemingly innocuous-sounding slogans or acronyms, it carries with it aspects quite sinister. It is a phrase that has swept the nation and all our major institutions, including our universities and schools. DEI has become the new mantra, indeed, a booming industry and ethos, dominating our culture. But contained within it are concepts that are alien and antithetical to the founding principles of the nation.

DEI is a hyperaggressive and politicized quota system, an aggressive version of affirmative action for certain so-called “marginalized” people. It divides society into “groups” based on race, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, and so on. It gives preference to certain favored groups and discriminates against groups currently out of favor — chiefly whites, Asians, men, heterosexuals, Jews and Christians.

Apart from being intensely divisive, DEI reflects a world view that is incompatible with our biblical tradition. That belief holds that each person is an individual uniquely made in the image of God. This concept is peculiar to the West and accounts for its extraordinary success, particularly here in the U.S., the greatest embodiment of Western thought and accomplishment. Our emphasis on the individual, protecting individual rights and liberties, has made Western nations in general, and America in particular, so desirable. This is why all the world seeks to come here.

DEI rejects that because it is considered an identitarian ideology, a “caste” system, so to speak, that divides society into intersectional groups founded on perceived wrongs committed by alleged dominant power centers in society. Within the DEI calculus, there are oppressors and oppressed, victimizers and victims, and, as noted above, so-called “marginalized people.”

This divisive, hierarchical worldview emerges from standard collectivist ideology, except it is centered on culture or race rather than class, as originally conceived, hence the term “cultural Marxism.” DEI is an extension of cultural Marxism, part of the “intersectional” hierarchy of “oppression” that divides society into odd categories. Rejecting the individual, DEI reduces American society into a collection of groups or tribes, hence the “tribalization“ of society. Further, this tribalization (racialization) is based on certain immutable, physical traits such as skin color and sex. This, by the way, has been the norm for all of human history and throughout the world. America was unique in that it rejected tribalization, group characteristics and superficial appearance, and elevated the individual, which accounted for its historic success.

DEI, furthermore, has no place in any institution that values standards and color-blind meritocracy. If diversity becomes the driving force behind hiring and promotion, or even a small part of it, rather than skill, accomplishment and merit, then it necessarily compromises standards. If the goal is diversity, and to have proportional representation based on race, sex, sexual orientation and other such trivialities, even in part, and E-REP, and other organizations that embrace DEI, do not contemplate the individual and his unique abilities and contributions over all else, then the system collapses and becomes simply one of groups or tribes competing with one another. Meritocracy necessarily dies in such a system. You can have DEI or meritocracy but not both.

Should employers now have hiring quotas based on DEI principles of proportional allocations for certain favored minorities over more qualified individuals perceived to have the wrong color, sex or sexual orientation? Such a practice is antithetical to E-REPs primary mission of promoting “regional economic development,” in pursuit of current fashionable and destructive Marxist goals that have no place anywhere in this country. Further, why is “diversity” a goal? Diversity is actually a challenge to overcome in the pursuit of “unity,” which is a far more important aspiration.

In short, E-REP has discredited itself and its alleged mission. It chose politics and division over talent and competence. The choice is clear. Embrace standards and merit over superficial characteristics.

I hold that we treat each person as an individual and judge him, as a famous black preacher once said, “not by the color of their skin but the content of their character.” Yes, that is a “dream” we should all aspire to. Including E-REP.

Dr. Richard Moss, a physician in the town of Jasper in Dubois County, is the author of “A Surgeon’s Odyssey” and “Matilda’s Triumph” available on Contact him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 


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