12 Comments
Jul 24, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

It is infuriating, because the anti-defund people position themselves as the "adults in the room" while activists are relegated to wannabe poser anarchists seperated from reality.

You know what's unrealistic? Expecting police reform without the threat of funding cuts.

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founding

I have a friend who worked for four or five years as a Title IX diversity officer at a large state school. She started the job with a lot of fire in her belly for the righteousness of the cause, but she ended up resigning in a state of total disillusionment. Not because she no longer believed in the principles behind Title IX - she believed in them even more deeply - but because she realized that her job in that capacity would always, always be fundamentally about protecting the interests of the university rather than about living up to those ideals. So it wasn't that sexually aggressive students got away with it when they shouldn't, or that innocent students got railroaded on phony accusations when they shouldn't have been, in general. It was that whatever the outcome of a given investigation was, it was always the outcome that best helped the school from the standpoint of optics and politics and marketing. Her department didn't have a bias for or against finding students accused of sexual misconduct guilty. It just had a bias in favor of the institution.

The thing is, that's not a reflection of that university or universities writ large. It's a reflection of the nature of institutions. Anyone hired by an institution to promote diversity will inevitably find themselves in a marketing position, no matter how zealous they are. And the problem with so much of the diversity efforts at colleges or corporations or nonprofits is that they're trying to institutionalize processes and ideals that could, if performed appropriately, cut against the institutions that write the paychecks. At scale, and over a long enough timeframe, that becomes impossible. It's a fundamental and intrinsic problem with the institutional approach to "diversity."

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Jul 25, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

This is exactly what I argue with my highly intelligent, liberal boomer mom about on politics all the time. "Bernie is too radical, Hilary is a smarter vote," "you can't just cancel student debt, the public will never go for it," "the NYT editors/ownership are not biased against Palestinians or trans people, they just try to take a neutral stance," "the Green New Deal is too radical for the American public, despite the need."

Appeasement is all around us. Everywhere. The Democratic establishment are experts at this. The tea party/Maga scam artists on the right are experts at manipulating the left into this.

I just wish I saw a way out of this insanity cycle...

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Jul 24, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

One of these efforts, in support of the MN DFL trifecta was Faith In Minnesota. Constant discussion on issues and policies to promote. Then we get them elected. Then they implement and prioritize those policies. Lots or articles on the latest session here but not much written about the work behind it.

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Good as always but the thing about corporate DEI programs in 2020 is they were often a response to employee demand not just corporate marketing (though obviously they were that too). I think there is a framing where DEI directors or whatever are/could be a source of labor power in white or grey collar jobs that are largely not unionized but where you still have many(/most?) of the issues that motivate labor power everywhere.

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I have been hounded by DEI graduate programs for the past 8 years. (HI CORNELL!!!) My background makes me the idea target. I worked for unions and progressive NGOs and then crossed over to the private sector. DEI programs at universities seem to be another grad program cash grab, no better than the MBA of the aughties. I'm sure the CDO positions were largely staffed by white women and didn't even provide the window dressing of diversity.

Good riddance, HR strategies were never going to empower the working class.

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"Defund" was mind-bogglingly stupid and literally killed BLM in the crib. "Transform" policing would have completely solved that but here I am word-smithing...sorry!

That aside, I think the word "measure" is key and truly transformative measures could be established. Like what's the RIGHT ratio measurement of uniformed cops on the street to "social service officers"? Let's get a bunch of them hired somewhere willing, trained in all the things (conflict mitigation, substance abuse, mental health, etc.), team them with beat cops and see if they make a better difference than the diversity officers of corporate silliness.

Some strategy. Speak to this "service to police officer ratio" as a fact of modern life and start measuring it, publishing the measures, and asking mayors and police chiefs about their progress in this transformation. Move right past and don't argue if it's a good idea. Go TRY IT and talk to measured results. Set goals on the outcomes like getting the right skill sets (police vs service) to the situations.

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I wrote about how DEI programs are the Achilles heel of capitalism and explained how they have incompatible goals, so of course corporations aren't going to leave themselves vulnerable for any longer than necessary. They can't let us peasants be getting ideas! Corporate DEI programs are lipstick on a pig. Time to make executives scared again.

https://open.substack.com/pub/jdgoulet/p/dei-is-capitalisms-achilles-heel?r=10bxpq&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

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