Home Youngkin says he’s for equality of opportunity, not outcomes: He’s actually for neither

Youngkin says he’s for equality of opportunity, not outcomes: He’s actually for neither

Chris Graham

Gov. Glenn Youngkin, under fire for his pushback against DEI, tells you that he’s for equality of opportunity, not outcomes.

His dismal record on appointments to state boards suggests that he’s not really on board with either.

A report from VPM has it that 75 percent of Youngkin’s appointments to state boards last year listed their race as Caucasian.

According to Census data, Virginia is 61.6 percent White.

This from a governor who is violating state law every time he refers to his Diversity, Equity and Inclusion office, which was created in 2020 under Youngkin’s predecessor, Ralph Northam, a Democrat, as the Diversity, Opportunity and Inclusion office.

In line with the governor’s disrespect for the law, the person he appointed to head up that office, Martin D. Brown, who was plucked from a three-year stint managing a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Richmond to take over the Cabinet-level agency, stirred up controversy in remarks last month at VMI, declaring that “DEI is dead.”

“We’re not going to bring that cow up anymore. It’s dead,” said Brown, who is Black. “It was mandated by the General Assembly, but this governor has a different philosophy of civil discourse, civility, treating — living the golden rule, right?”

There have been calls from far and wide for Youngkin to fire Brown in the wake of his tone-deaf declaration, including this week one from former Gov. Doug Wilder, a Democrat who was the first African-American to be elected to a governor position in U.S. history, and is now a professor at VCU’s Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, which is named for him.

“The comments from Brown signals a direct departure from the recognized needs for improvement at VMI, and that he would so blatantly make such an inflammatory statement flies in direct contradiction into the face of the roll that he’s appointed to fulfill,” Wilder said.

“I have not asked for him to resign. I’m calling for him to be immediately replaced by the governor, because it’s in dereliction of his duties and responsibilities, and his statements do collective harm to all of the people of Virginia,” Wilder said.

Youngkin, of course, is not only just resisting the pressure to replace Brown and reverse course on his efforts to go about finishing off DEI, but he’s instead doubling down.

“These ideas five, ten years ago were laudable,” Youngkin told reporters at a ceremonial bill signing this week, saying DEI has “gone off the rails, candidly, and I think they’ve taken on a new mission that is really not consistent with those key principles.”

“We’ve got to get back to the basic principles that we know are right, and away from the bombastic language that DEI has become where people all of a sudden are professing that we want equal outcomes for everyone at any costs, and where all of a sudden excellence has been subordinated to equity. Let’s put words down and go work on the things that we know are right,” Youngkin said.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].