The DEI Overlords, “Counter-speech”, and Their Iron Grip on Universities

28 March 2023

2.9 MINS

A recent incident at Stanford University offers another example of how DEI ideology and the suppression of free speech have pervaded university campuses.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) is a modern, man-made doctrine that aims to create a more just society by supporting people of different racial, gender and sexual backgrounds, among other traits.

At least, that’s the flag they wave. But what are the true intentions of DEI agents? Is it really to promote diversity, or to get society to hop onto the same ideological bandwagon?

Stanford Law Protest

On March 9, Trump-appointed, Fifth Circuit Court judge Kyle Duncan was invited to speak at a Stanford Law event hosted by the Federalist Society, until it was intercepted by student protesters and Dean Tirien Steinbach who heckled and humiliated the judge during his speech.

Steinbach is not just any dean, but the associate dean of DEI at Stanford Law, who joined the disruption because Duncan’s work caused “harm” and made her “uncomfortable”.

Steinbach was supposed to be the administrator of the event, but video footage has shown that she did nothing to manage the situation, apart from delivering a speech herself.

“I’m uncomfortable because this event is tearing at the fabric of this community that I care about… I have to ask myself… is the juice worth the squeeze? Is this worth it?” Steinbach took to the podium, facing Duncan.

“It’s uncomfortable to say that for many people here, your work has caused harm”, with Steinbach referring to the judge’s previous legal work that protesters claimed was harmful to women, immigrants and the LGBTQ+ community.

“Do you have something so incredibly important to say about Twitter and guns and COVID that is worth this impact on the division of these people?” she asked Duncan.


The irony continued as Steinbach explained that her role was to promote “a space of belonging for all people in this institution”. She initially welcomed Duncan “wholeheartedly” in the name of free speech, while asking if Duncan’s discussion was “worth it” and saying it “feels abhorrent” and “denies the humanity of people”.

Steinbach concluded: “I understand why people feel like the harm is so great that we might need to reconsider [free speech] policies … and luckily they’re in a school where they can learn the advocacy skills to advocate for those changes.”

Judge Duncan called the incident “a bizarre therapy session from hell” and warned that “if enough of these kids get into the legal profession, the rule of law will descend into barbarism”.

Stanford Law School Dean Jenny Martinez and Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne issued an apology to the judge, which led to another protest in Martinez’s classroom with students using the slogan, “counter-speech is free speech”.

DEI Hypocrisy

Similarly, in March last year, hundreds of law students at Yale University disrupted a panel on freedom of speech and religion, heckling the speakers. They claimed the event was an attack on LGBTQ+ people and provided “a platform to ideas that deny our full personhood”.

Reporting and commentary from Newsweek, CBN News, The Federalist and the Wall Street Journal thus noted that the Stanford incident was not an isolated event, but one of many instances that highlight the deeper issue of DEI bureaucracy in university leadership and its weaponisation against freedom of speech.

This demonstrates that DEI is not about fighting evident and unjust discrimination. It is about using language of entitlement and ‘empathy’ to promote a quasi-religion where society is reduced to victims versus perpetrators; where oppression is both to blame and to flaunt; and where the advocacy and practice of human rights – such as free speech – is reserved only for the followers of its ideology.

The “D” stands for diversity of virtually every human attribute, except for the diversity of ideas.

The “E” stands for equity, or equality of outcome, where individual experiences and values are diminished to confine people into groups. Not to mention the subversion of the concept of equality, which places characteristics above character.

The “I” stands for inclusion as a euphemism for exclusion, and as a sly invitation to groupthink.

DEI has imbued university classrooms and boardrooms, where their priorities should lie in providing a solid education and instilling in students the critical-thinking skills and intellectual maturity needed to face the ‘real world’. Instead, law students – who should be learning how to engage in debate – disrespectfully shout down those who dare disagree with them, including invited guests of the university.

Do we really want to stand by and watch the DEI overlords rule the future of education?


Photo by Thirdman.

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One Comment

  1. Warwick Marsh 28 March 2023 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    Nicole Yap, Congratulations on a brilliant well argued article about the moral depravity behind the new DEI religon. Great headline. Killer line to finish, “Do we really want to stand by and watch the DEI overlords rule the future of education?”

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