TX NAACP urges actions against Abbott’s DEI changes
TX NAACP urges actions against Abbott’s DEI changes Credit: Evan L'Roy, Texas Tribune

The Texas NAACP urges all citizens of goodwill to join them and their partners in fighting to stop the state of Texas from continuing what the iconic civil rights organization is calling “its move back to Jim Crow.”

“We do not say this as hyperbole to make a point, but because it is real as we continue to see new laws and initiatives that are aimed at advancing white supremacy,” said NAACP Texas President Gary Bledsoe. “The new initiative by our Governor to seek the elimination of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs from state government is just such an initiative.”

In a press release Bledsoe invoked Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., noting that he once said he was aware that we could not pass laws to make people love each other, but that we could pass laws that prohibit people from acting on the most evil and extreme thoughts as we see in (Abbott’s) initiative.

Bledsoe and the state’s NAACP is calling on individuals and organizations to join with them and their Texas Legislative Black Caucus partners to:

  • Request the NBA, NFL, Major League Baseball and NCAA cease to use Texas as a designation for their major sporting events (All-Star games, Super Bowls, tournament games, etc.) until Abbott withdraws his current action;
  • Reach out to Corporate America for their support in persuading Governor Abbott to reverse his course of action; and for these companies to speak the truth about DEI policies and their impact so the public gets the facts; and
  • Call on all Texans, regardless of political party, to press Abbott to keep DEI policies in place

The NAACP shared the following bullet points for Texans to understand what’s at stake with Abbott’s DEI changes:

  • The US Dept. of Education Office of Civil Rights issued a fact sheet (memo) last week discussing DEI Programs and making it clear that such programs are generally legal programs designed and intended to combat discrimination instead of causing it;.
  • DEI programs are designed and intended to counter historical and current discrimination practices and policies that have prevented people of color from getting job opportunities or admission to state colleges and universities; to help open doors as DEI policies are goals and objectives that aren’t backed by force of law;
  • African-Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans are all tax-paying Texans, financing state government and its services. And as such, they deserve to be represented and hired into the job force.at all levels. Looking at current numbers, these groups are significantly underrepresented across in employment and in the state’s public colleges and universities.
  • Eliminating DEI will send a message that it’s OK to take away a key tool that is helping facilitate equity and fairness in the workplace and in higher education institutions. That message no doubt would discourage businesses and corporations from locating in Texas.

For more information visit www.txstatenaacp.org or contact Gary Bledsoe at 512-322-9992 or gbledsoe@thebledsoelawfirm.com.