Distract and divide

Published April 11, 2024

By Gary Pearce

blainedownload (2)

It’s the oldest trick in the right-wing playbook: distract us by dividing us.

Jim Blaine, a UNC-Chapel Hill trustee and Republican political operative, says the Republican-run legislature or the Republican-appointed Board of Governors will take action this year – an election year – against diversity programs in the University system.

“It’s my belief that it is likely that the Board of Governors or the state legislature will follow Florida’s path as it relates to DEI this year,” Blaine (photo, with House Speaker Tim Moore) told trustees March 27.

Our new state motto: “To Be Like Florida.”

Throughout its long and proud history, the UNC system has stood for fairness and equal opportunity for all.

Now Republicans want to reverse that.

DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) is this year’s version of CRT (Critical Race Theory).

Critics don’t care what it is.

They just want to stir up hate and prejudice.

They need to distract voters this year from Republican candidates’ extreme views and supreme lack of qualifications.

Like gubernatorial candidate Mark Robinson insulting women, supporting a total abortion ban, opposing gun-safety laws and advocating defunding public schools.

Like Dan Bishop running to be the state’s top legal official after voting to overturn the 2020 election.

Like Michele Morrow running for chief school officer by attacking public schools as “socialist indoctrination centers” and seeing Satanism and witchcraft around every corner.

Like Dave Boliek using his seat as a UNC trustee to run for state auditor.

Paul Specht at WRAL reported that Blaine “suggested that money saved from eliminating DEI-related policies could allow the state to increase graduate student salaries. Or, he said, it could fund programs that help students struggling to finish their college courses and secure their diploma.”

That sounds good.

But Korie Dean and Kyle Ingram reported in The News & Observer that Blaine “previously served as a consultant and strategic adviser for the UNC System, making $15,000 per month.”

How many struggling students would $15,000 a month help?