The response to my recent letter to the editor, in which I argued that promoting the diversity, equity and inclusion ideology in Carmel schools would be harmful to students, was indeed eye opening. I warned that the DEI movement suppresses open debate. For the sin of politely expressing my opinion, an organized group of local DEI activists slandered my professional reputation and tried to get me fired. Quite a strange way to promote tolerance, though it did prove my point.
I also warned that DEI defines a person’s worth not by one’s character but by categorizing people in identity groups only it gets to define. Seemingly on cue, I was disparaged as “white,” “male” and “privileged,” qualities these DEI activists disdain. They did this despite knowing absolutely nothing about me — my personal struggles or challenges, my experience as a first-generation immigrant, my professional dedication to helping the poor of Indianapolis or my strong desire to see struggling communities achieve success. Certainly, an odd way of promoting diversity and inclusion.
In fact, I chose to speak my mind precisely out of concern for struggling communities. DEI is likely to fail children because it teaches that the system is keeping them down. Instead, we should emphasize and promote what studies have shown almost universally guarantee success: a stable two-parent household, measurable educational achievement and climbing up the work ladder.
The free America that enabled people to share differing viewpoints in an open and civil atmosphere is sadly disappearing amid the suffocating effect of “cancel culture,” which tried to harm me, my career and my family’s livelihood simply for expressing my opinion as a private citizen. Cancel culture is now in Carmel, and if you don’t want it to succeed, you must not be afraid of speaking your mind — to CCS, our local government and in public.
Allon Friedman, Carmel