Latino and Black leaders in Texas pushed back on claims that diversity and inclusion hiring programs are illegal as the vast University of Texas System put a hold on such programs at its institutions and campuses.
Kevin Eltife, chairman of the system's board of regents, announced Wednesday that he was delaying new policies on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and launching a review of all of them. The announcement at a board meeting, with no discussion or vote, was reported first by The Austin American-Statesman.
Eltife, a former state senator appointed to the board by Abbott, also a Republican, said that within UT campuses “some DEI efforts have strayed from the original intent to now imposing requirements and actions that rightfully has raised concerns of our policy makers.”
No examples of DEI programs that have strayed were provided at the meeting or in response to an NBC News request.
Eltife’s stop on new policies follows a declaration by Abbott's chief of staff in a letter dated Feb. 4 to state agencies that DEI "has been manipulated to push policies that expressly favor some demographic groups to the detriment of others." The letter, first reported by The Texas Tribune and posted on Twitter by KHOU in Houston, went on to say that a state agency spending tax dollars to pay for DEI initiatives and resources connected with them is illegal.
That declaration from a higher education system of 13 institutions and more than 244,000 students is drawing pushback from Black and Latino lawmakers and organizations.
Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said DEI programs are set up through legal departments and are conservative in nature so as not to run afoul of federal anti-discrimination laws.
"It is a complete misrepresentation to say that DEI programs are illegal and that they violate the Constitution or any statute, because they don't," said Bledsoe, who also is a founder of the Black and Brown Dialogue on Policy. The multiracial, cultural group seeks to confront what it says is a "growing threat of racism and policies meant to undermine our human dignity and humanity."
Friday, February 24, 2023
The Pentagon announced a new package of long-term security assistance for Ukraine on Friday, marking the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion with a $2 billion commitment to send more rounds of ammunition and a variety of small, high-tech drones into the fight.
The announcement comes just days after President Joe Biden made an unannounced visit to Kyiv and pledged America’s continuing commitment to Ukraine. Biden told President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his people that “Americans stand with you, and the world stands with you.”
In a statement Friday, the Pentagon said the aid includes weapons to counter Russia’s unmanned systems and several types of drones, including the upgraded Switchblade 600 Kamikaze drone, as well as electronic warfare detection equipment.
It also includes money for additional ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, artillery rounds and munitions for laser-guided rocket systems. But, in an unusual move, the Pentagon provided no details on how many rounds of any kind will be bought. Including this latest package, the U.S. has now committed more than $32 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement that the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion is a chance for all who believe in freedom “to recommit ourselves to supporting Ukraine’s brave defenders for the long haul — and to recall that the stakes of Russia’s war stretch far beyond Ukraine.”
As the Ukraine war enters its second year, the Biden administration is pledging to support Kyiv for “as long as it takes.” That language is calculated to send a message of resolve to Russian President Vladimir Putin, but it’s not what Ukrainians want to hear. Though they’re fighting valiantly, Ukrainians are also suffering greatly — and they are begging the West to help them speed up the war, not settle in for an endless slog.
Just a few days before the anniversary of Putin’s unprovoked invasion last year, Biden visited Kyiv and made a rousing speech in Poland promising that the West “will never waver” in the fight for freedom and democracy. A few days earlier, Vice President Harris took the stage at the Munich Security Conference to declare America’s endless commitment to the Ukraine effort.
“The daily agony of war will persist,” she said. “But if Putin thinks he can wait us out, he is badly mistaken. Time is not on his side.”
Nearly all the Ukrainian officials I met in Munich respectfully disagree. It’s not just about weapons (although they insist that more and better weapons are badly and quickly needed). These Ukrainian officials say they’re worried that the Biden administration’s stance could undermine support for Kyiv’s strategy, which is to accelerate the war effort now and avoid a protracted stalemate.
For them, an endless war means a win for Putin and the loss of their country as they know it.
“We are very grateful for the support that is coming, but there is one phrase that makes us very concerned,” Ukrainian member of parliament Yelyzaveta Yasko told me. “Many leaders right now are saying, ‘We will support you as long as it takes.’ And we feel this phrase is quite dangerous.”
The topic of Ukraine funding will be front and center when both spending fights and presidential politics heat up later this year. Republicans are seeking to rein in spending across the federal government now that they control the House and will have leverage in negotiations to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, while conservatives on the campaign trail are looking to contrast their priorities against Biden’s in the prelude to the 2024 election cycle.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday on Fox News that US aid to Ukraine was little more than an “open-ended blank check” – a sentiment shared by a handful of House Republicans who have growing power in a narrowly divided Congress.
For now, Republican leaders on Capitol Hill still view it differently, setting up a clash that could come next fall when the fight over government spending kicks into full gear. Republicans leaders will have to contend with a small but vocal bloc of anti-interventionists within their party who view military support for Ukraine as a prime example of US government waste. In a House of Representatives where Republicans control a razor-thin majority and conservative hardliners have a stranglehold on McCarthy’s speakership, those voices can’t simply be ignored.
Remember that FOX News being the propaganda arm of the GOP is as much for Republican voters as it is everyone else.
So yeah, spend all day screaming about ILLEGALS BRINGING IN DRUGS and that's the main "threat".
Guns? Number one among Democrats, 4% among Republicans. More Republicans consider fat people a threat.