TEXAS, USA — A Texas House committee is expected to soon take up a bill that would restrict how public universities in the state can promote and incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs.
SB 17 outlaws mandatory diversity training at those universities and would force them to close their DEI offices.
Former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson is on record supporting the bill and he told Inside Texas Politics why.
“What we particularly don’t want to do is enact policies that polarize and that create divisions between groups of people,” he said.
Carson testified in support of SB 17 before a Texas Senate subcommittee last month.
The Republican says the country has changed dramatically during his lifetime with tremendous progress in terms of diversity and racial equality.
And he told us part of the reason he testified is because he grew up during a time when "real racism" existed.
The pediatric neurosurgeon says no institution exists today that’s made up of all one race, so there’s no need to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.
“Racial issues just are not the same as they were before, so why should we dig them up and put them on a pedestal once again? We don’t need to do that. We need to build on the progress that we’ve made already,” Carson told us.
SB 17 passed the Texas Senate along a party-line vote.
It was referred to the Texas House Committee on Higher Education where it’s scheduled for a public hearing on May 8.