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University of Calgary diversity chief calls conservatives ignorant and racist

ANALYSIS: Diversity task force leader does not appear ‘inclusive’ to conservatives

The co-chair of University of Calgary’s new task force has some strong views about conservative activists and Republican politicians, though she is tasked with creating an “inclusive” institution.

“UCalgary is embarking on an initiative to become a more welcoming, equitable, diverse, inclusive and accessible institution, where every member of the campus community can flourish,” the provost’s office wrote in its email to the university community.

The task force is “composed of representatives from [the] campus governance bodies and associations” and intentionally includes “voices from members of equity-deserving groups: women, Indigenous peoples, racialized/visible minority persons, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ2S+.”

However, one co-chair of the task force has some strong views against conservatives, including President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Malinda Smith, vice provost for DEI and a political science professor, accused DeSantis of “promoting ignorance” when he decided to reject an experimental African-American Studies Advanced Placement class that included lessons on “Black Queer Studies.”

“Promoting ignorance: Hypocrites advocate unfettered speech+enable hate speech, yet ban African Studies courses, decry antiracism lessons, ban books—Atwood, Maas, Morrison!” Smith wrote. The tweet thread also criticized a school board that decided not to include 21 books in its library.

“No to euphemisms. The racist mindset bent on renormalizing anti-Black legislated racism,” Smith wrote, along with a link to an article about DeSantis’ decision.

She also accused black Daily Wire commentator Candace Owens of being a fascist.

The reversal of Roe v. Wade in June 2022 also prompted Smith to refer to former President Donald Trump as an “unsavoury person” and imply that Supreme Court justices were deceptive on their abortion jurisprudence views.

“Like the unsavoury person who nominated them, these justices are unlikely to face consequences for deceiving,” the political science professor tweeted.

Five justices voted to reverse Roe v. Wade but only three were appointed by Trump, while Justice Samuel Alito was a President George W. Bush appointee and Justice Clarence Thomas was appointed by President George H.W. Bush.

“Reversals, backlash. The judges believe this is what the colonial, slave-owning patriarchy of the past wanted,” Smith wrote. “The Court has highlighted ongoing need to expose this ugly history & credulous idea that originalists can divine what the originators could never imagine about the future.”

The same day, June 25, she said that the “far right” was trying to suppress voters. “Far right extremists are mobilized, Activists restrict voting, suppress the votes, control electoral power at municipal, state, federal levels,” she tweeted. “They work to control all institutions. They are in a ‘battle’ for hearts and minds.”

Smith has not returned a College Fix request for comment on her social media activity.

The Fix reached out to the sponsors of the task force, inquiring about what diversity means to them, if they have considered ideological diversity, what their goals are and what they believe is lacking at the university in terms of diversity.

The University of Calgary’s media team responded and said it did not have anyone available to answer questions.

Among the current 19 members of the task force, one was born in Vietnam, one was born in the United States, at least 12 are white, and four are black. At least one is from Montreal, and one has experience living in Iran.

There are no indications of Indigenous members working with the team, despite the university advertising the task force as one that “encompasses representatives from our campus governance bodies and associations and is intentional in its inclusion of the voices of members of equity-deserving groups.”

MORE: White people need to ‘work’ on their whiteness, sociologist says

IMAGES: Malinda Smith/Twitter

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About the Author
William Diaz-Berthiaume -- University of Calgary