February 6, 2024
Social Media Rips Utah Governor For Celebrating Black History Month After Banning DEI Initiatives
This is called "nerve"...
Utah’s Republican governor, Spencer Cox, is receiving backlash for banning diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) incentives and celebrating Black History Month—in the same week—the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
On Jan. 30, Cox signed HB261 into law, requiring public schools to remove all references to diversity posted in offices and open programming to everyone. For example, a Black cultural center, found in numerous K-12 grade schools and colleges, will now be forced to serve white students. It’s a huge step backward since Cox signed the Utah Compact on Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, which promises to “foster cultures of inclusion in every aspect of our organizations and society while addressing social injustice and inequality, and condemning all forms of prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination.”
Just two days later, Cox tweeted in celebration of BHM: “February is #BlackHistoryMonth, and we honor the resilience, courage, and contributions African Americans have made to our state and nation,” Cox wrote. “We celebrate Black communities and remain committed to improving access to opportunity.”
That didn’t go over well on social media. “Seriously, how did you have the nerve to write this?” @1Eyed_ShihTzu wrote.
Another one called the governor out on his antics. “Crazy how you’re saying this days after signing a bill that will actively hurt Black students in Utah all we can count on you for is saying nice things while doing nothing to support the little statements you make, if not do the opposite,” @pnwkww wrote.
Even state elected officials stood in solidarity with opposing tweeters. “Once again, actions speak louder than words,” state Sen. Nate Blouin said.
Cox has openly been opposed to having employees support DEI, calling it “awful, bordering on evil.” “We’ve been concerned about some DEI programs and policies, particularly with hiring practices, and this bill offers a balanced solution,” Cox said, according to NPR. But he tends to go back and forth on his viewpoints.
In 2022, he stood tall with trans athletes by vetoing a ban on transgender students playing in girls sports. But later he supported a bill that put regulations on how race and religion were discussed in public school classrooms. The bill banned teaching students that anyone can be racist solely because of their race.