Feb 2, 2024 - News

Ratio du jour: Gov. Cox and Black History Month

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Gov. Spencer Cox came under fire yesterday for posting celebrations of Black History Month on social media, two days after he signed a ban on DEI programs.

What they're saying: "February is #BlackHistoryMonth and we honor the resilience, courage and contributions African Americans have made to our state and nation," Cox tweeted. "We celebrate Black communities and remain committed to improving access to opportunity."

Details: Cox on Tuesday signed a bill that dismantles diversity, equity and inclusion programs at public colleges and government agencies.

  • H.B. 261 turns higher-ed DEI programs into "student success" offices that include and support "all students."
  • It also prohibits DEI workshops for students and government employees.

Zoom in: Critics were especially incensed by Cox's statement that "[w]e … remain committed to improving access to opportunity."

  • "'Improving access to opportunity' … he says right after signing the anti-DEI bill. 🙄," Instagrammer Julie Braam posted.

Context: DEI programs in higher-ed are designed to close college attainment gaps among historically underrepresented groups, including people of color, LGBTQ+ students, people with disabilities and veterans.

Flashback: About a month ago, Cox described DEI hiring practices as "bordering on evil."

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