We at the Bear are confident, and indeed happy, that during this year of free expression, DEI will not be threatened. It is clear to us that President Pollack has no interest in supporting free speech at the expense of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. We are confident that for President Pollack, free speech ended when George Floyd was killed. We believe this is true because President Pollack says she is “deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) both because they, and we, believe that it is our responsibility to ensure that everyone has an equitable chance to benefit from the transformative opportunity our education provides; and because research demonstrates the educational benefits of learning in a diverse environment. Indeed, a commitment to diversity and inclusion is core to who we are at Cornell, and to why our university was founded: as an institution “where any person can find instruction in any study.”
President Pollack went on to say:
What about the second critique – that an institutional commitment to DEI automatically renders its commitment to free expression spurious? If an institution were to place restrictions on speech to protect certain groups, the critique could carry some weight. Most often, however, the claim is made that a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is in principle at odds with free expression, because (it is argued) this public commitment constitutes indoctrination: it forces community members to suppress the expression of beliefs that might be at odds with the institutional value of DEI.
We are happy to hear that Cornell University is planning a new Cornell Dairy ice cream flavor celebrating freedom of expression. We are hoping that the new ice cream will celebrate either the freedom of gender identity expression over free speech and be rainbow colored or the freedom of people of color (not counting Asian men and Afro-American men) over free speech and be black.
Whichever flavor they choose, I am sure that it will be used to celebrate the chilling effect that the LBGTQA+ and DEI have on free speech.