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Audio: Former Gov. Doug Wilder Rips Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s “DEI Is Dead” Appointee; Explains to MAGA Radio Host What Equity, Fairness and Justice *Actually* Mean

Wilder: "No, we are not living in the days of Stonewall Jackson or Robert E Lee; let's act like it!"

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This morning, former Gov. Doug Wilder – Virginia’s first African-American governor –  went on MAGA radio (WRVA in Richmond) and had a fascinating exchange with right-wing radio host John Reid over this story (“Virginia NAACP Calls for the Resignation of Martin D. Brown, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer”). Recently at VMI, Brown (falsely) claimed that “DEI is dead,” prompting the Virginia NAACP’s statement that Brown had “delivered an address to faculty members of the Virginia Military Institute that denounces the precepts, goals, and mission of the very office he fills….filled with partisan talking points and erroneous assumptions and demonstrated Mr. Brown’s lack of fitness for the critically important position he occupies.” So former Gov. Wilder – who, by the way, has been quite friendly with Gov. Glenn Youngkin and certainly was no fan of Terry McAuliffe – had a few things to say about this situation. Check out a few excerpts and transcript below.

UPDATE 5:55 pm: Former top Terry McAuliffe aide Jake Rubinstein tweeted, in response to this story, “Maybe next time don’t sabotage the person who tried to stop this nonsense.” I couldn’t agree more, and would also note that Wilder has done this type of thing for many years…

Reid: “Why don’t we start from scratch? When you hear DEI – and that’s a part of of VCU and your school –  what’s your understanding of it and what’s your intention with that theory?”
Wilder: “Well, first of all before I could explain that to you, I’d have to ask you what your definition of equity is? How do you define equity?”
Reid: “The understanding that I’ve got, well the confusion…”
Wilder: “No, not the understanding. What is your *definition* of
equity?”
Reid: “That in the end there will be equal outcomes amongst all people.”
Wilder: “No, no, no…let me just say this – If I were to say to you that I am looking for equity as it relates to anything, what would you think that would mean?”
Reid: “Well I’m trying to think…I mean it’s not equality. Equity means an equal standing? Both at the start and the finish?”
Wilder: “The definition that I come by is the quality of being fair and impartial.”
Reid: “Mm-hmm”
Wilder: “Do you have a different definition of that anywhere? Fair and impartial.”
Reid: “Well…that sounds a lot more appealing than the things that have been shared with me…There’s a visual of a fence with three different people of different heights and they make sure that they can all look over the fence and see the ball game.”
Wilder: “Let me tell you that if you would check it out, you will
find that the definitions that apply to equity refer to fairness and justice and is distinguished from equality.”
Reid: “Well fairness is different than justice isn’t it?”
Wilder: “Fairness and justice? No! Fairness IS justice. Can you argue with me on that? No! And fairness and justice are relating to what equity is.”

Wilder: “That’s where you get the absence of equity. And in this instance, the governor has put in charge of what was at one time the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and it has been changed to Diversity, Opportunity and Inclusion. Aand I have said the  unfortunate thing is that the governor does not understand what equity means. I’ve had a discussion with him. He’s had his people to talk with me; they don’t know. Now there’s nothing wrong with not knowing – not to know is bad, not to wish to know and learn is worse. And all you’ve got to do is to look at the history of this nation. Let’s get to the issue. The issue is VMI. Has VMI been fair and equitable in its treatment of people, Black or White? I can tell you, John, I’m one of the first persons to participate in integrating VMI. How was I able to do that back in 1968?”

Wilder: “Let VMI and any other entity appointed by the governor be governed with an attitude toward fairness and justice. When you have his director saying ‘DEI is dead’…what he is saying is diversity equity and inclusion is dead? That cow is dead? And what was his expertise and where did he get all of his knowledge of coming to that conclusion? From a Chick Fil-A? He was his past manager of Chick Fil-A? This is who you hire to deal with a problem that has plagued our state?!? No, we are not living in the days of Stonewall Jackson or Robert E Lee; let’s act like it!”

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