Black California diversity director fired for asking questions

(AP Photo/Ariel Tu)

At a small community college in Cupertino, California, De Anza College, Dr. Tabia Lee (who happens to be a Black woman) thought she had landed a great position in 2021. She was placed as the school’s director of its Office of Equity, Social Justice and Multicultural Education. But her tenure grew rocky almost immediately. She committed the sin of asking questions about the school’s “anti-racism” policies and the language that was being used in describing what the policies meant. She would later go on to publish an article in the Journal of Free Black Thought that was critical of DEI policies. That turned out to be a bridge too far for the school and Dr. Lee was removed from her position. And today she remains unsure of how and why it happened. (NY Post)


A black director of a “woke” California college’s Office of Equity, Social Justice and Multicultural Education claims she was fired for questioning the institution’s anti-racism “orthodoxy” and what the term “anti-racism” even means.

Dr. Tabia Lee said De Anza College, a community college in Cupertino, retaliated after she objected to several campus policies aimed at inclusion.

“I was working in a California community college, and I noticed that there was a lot of resistance to my even asking questions about anti-racism, policy efforts and language,” Lee told nonprofit Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism.

Here is a partial list of the various “mistakes and sins” that Dr. Tabia Lee was accused of:

  • Questioning anti-racist policies and asking what “anti-racism” even means.
  • Declining to join a “socialist network”
  • Asking why the word “Black” was capitalized but not “white”
  • Refusing to use the terms “Latinx” and “Filipinx”

In the essay that Dr. Lee published, she wrote, “Under the banner of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts, in many learning environments a neo-reconstructionist race(ist) orthodoxy has emerged that actively works to suppress and exclude alternative frameworks, methods, ways and means for dealing with American education’s race(ist) problem.”

For her efforts, a colleague of Dr. Lee’s publicly accused her of “whitesplaining” and supporting “white supremacy.” By being a person who is both Black and female at a California school, you would think that Tabia Lee would be essentially fireproof, but there are some sins that remain unforgivable on the left. (She apparently missed the hat trick by failing to also be a lesbian.) You simply aren’t allowed to question the established narrative, no matter what you look like.


But her entire story leaves me with what seems like a rather obvious question. Why did Dr. Lee take this position to begin with? She accepted a position as the director of the “Equity, Social Justice and Multicultural Education” office. What did she think the job was going to involve? That’s rather like applying for a job running the state’s fish and game office when you’re personally opposed to hunting, eating meat and gun ownership. I will grant you that the entire premise is destructive and rather silly, but those ideas were clearly entrenched in the school’s culture. Dr. Lee came in the door and immediately began to effectively question the rationale for having the office that she agreed to direct. And if she actually didn’t know what any of those terms meant, why would the school believe her to be qualified for the position?

None of this makes any sense, but Tabia Lee may still wind up serving as an object lesson for everyone else. Once wokeness takes root in an institution, it will prove exceedingly difficult (if not impossible) to eliminate it. And even if you qualify as one of the special people that such policies are ostensibly supposed to protect, that won’t save you when the woke mob lights its torches and comes knocking at your door. You will preach the words that you are instructed to say or you will face cancellation.


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