Readers of The New York Times blasted the outlet after it published an essay that attempted to defend the controversial push for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in American institutions.
“The backlash against ‘wokeism’ has led a growing number of states to ban D.E.I. programs at public universities,” the Times piece warned. “Thousands of emails and other documents reveal the playbook — and grievances — behind one strand of the anti-D.E.I. campaign.”
The piece portrayed the conservative Claremont Institute as a conspiratorial group on a “crusade” against harmless “social justice education” programs. Many of the Times’ own readers, however, seemed to reject that narrative.
The Times essay attacked lawmakers from Texas, Arkansas, and Florida, as well as the “anti-D.E.I.” precautions taken by conservative states. The piece suggested that higher education itself is under attack by Republican politicians, listing a number of conservative donors under the subheading “Naming the Enemy.”
Educator and author Daniel Buck drew attention to the scathing comments that Times subscribers left beneath the article. “Every single top-reader comment on the anti-Claremont expose in the NYTs essentially says ‘no, actually, the anti-DEI campaign has a point. Progressive group-think is rotting our universities,’” Buck wrote.
With over 1.2 thousand comments left on the initial post, many responses ranged from rejection to exposing political bias and tearing apart the author’s argument.
Brian from New York stated:
This article attempts to discredit the view that DEI has gone too far by linking this view to politicians most readers will find distasteful. Many Americans think this progressive bias is wrong. The fact some unsavory characters may agree doesn’t negate the point.
Some readers even aimed their responses at the Times itself. Ty from Chicago commented: “This article makes the same assumption that the DEI movement does: opposing any aspect of the DEI program is an opposition to diversity and thus is racist itself.”
Ty then questioned the Times: “Why can’t it be okay to think that the DEI program is the wrong approach to achieving diversity?”
One of the standout comments was left by LG, also from Chicago:
The flood of comments will likely leave many wondering if Times readers are “awake” and not “woke.”