Investigation reveals the 'identity hierarchy' promoted by DEI, CRT programs at USF

Christopher Rufo wrote that DEI programs at the University of South Florida 'promote ... the exclusion of any group that finds itself on the wrong side of the identity hierarchy.'

An investigation into USF's programs reveals a 'sprawling diversity bureaucracy' that 'has turned left-wing racialism into a new orthodoxy,' Rufo argues.

The University of South Florida (USF) Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) has come under fire after conservative activist Christopher Rufo revealed a series of documents showing the extent to which USF is pushing DEI, Critical Race Theory (CRT), and related ideologies onto its students. 

Rufo, who released the documents in a Feb. 9 article for City Journal, wrote that DEI programs from ODEI and USF’s academic departments and services “promote ideological conformity, racial and sexual discrimination, and the exclusion of any group that finds itself on the wrong side of the identity hierarchy.”

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One leaked document–a statement that the USF School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies appears to have issued after the murder of George Floyd–states, “Knowledge about the ongoing history of institutionalized, structural racism and white supremacy and their interactions with other forms of oppression is critical to building a just, equitable, and democratic future for the United States.”

“Education on these issues is one of the School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies’ main missions,” the statement continues.

The School suggests that its mission is fulfilled through classes that address “critical thinking about the intersections between race and other forms of oppression,” “the influence of racial structures in politics, economics, culture, and education,” and “understanding social movements of resistance to oppression and injustice.”

Another leaked document is a similar statement prepared by USF’s Department of Anthropology on “Police Violence and Anti-Black Racism,” which ends with a list of “Useful Resources” on the subject. The resources include “Guidelines for being a Strong White Ally“ and Ibram X. Kendi’s famous book “How to Be An Antiracist.”

“Taken together,” Rufo observes, “these materials paint a troubling picture.”

He continues, “USF’s sprawling diversity bureaucracy has turned left-wing racialism into a new orthodoxy and implemented an administrative policy of racial preferences and discrimination. It divides individuals into categories of oppressor and oppressed, presents ‘anti-racism’ as the solution, and proposes ‘racial identity development’ ... as the necessary method of atonement.”

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The revelation of the extent of USF’s commitment to leftist ideas comes in the wake of a broader revelation of CRT and DEI in Florida’s public colleges and universities. On Jan. 31, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a 2023 legislative agenda that would effectively dismantle the funding of these ideologies in Florida higher education. 

DeSantis’ announcement followed a probe into DEI spending at public colleges and universities, and Rufo has since examined other programs that he accuses of “left-wing racialism.” 

Campus Reform contacted all relevant parties listed for comment and will update this article accordingly.