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Students at the University of Tennessee broke into a protest on campus (see photo above) after the Tennessee House of Representatives passed a bill that cut funding from the university’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
Now, that sounds real bad on the surface, but you have to look at what the office actually did with its funding.
Lawmakers were pissed that the office spending hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars was focused mainly on promoting gender neutral pronouns and “inclusive holiday celebrations.” So, they ruled that the money would go towards minority scholarships instead. Sounds like a sensible solution to me. Well, for the most part.
From The Tennessean:
“Lately, the actions of this office have been more about advancing a particular worldview than about creating an environment where everybody can feel welcome,” said Van Huss, R-Jonesborough. “This office in no way reflects the values of my constituents, at least, and I don’t think the vast majority of Tennesseans.”
Lawmakers amended the bill Monday to send about $100,000 of the Knoxville diversity office’s funding to a program that would print “In God We Trust” decals for law enforcement vehicles while sending the remaining funds, or about $336,000, to minority scholarships. The original House bill would have sent all of the funding to the decal program.
Okay, the $100 Gs on “In God We Trust” stickers for police cars is pretty fucking stupid, but I’m all for the way the remaining $336,000 is being spent. Making actual fiscal strides toward a tangible goal — more minorities in college — makes a hell of a lot more sense than spending public money on reminding people to call transgenders by the pronoun they want to be called.
I suppose it could be argued that the state is overstepping its bounds by interfering with how a university spends its money. But with the way universities have been handling their internal affairs as of late (hint: not well), I think institutions of higher learning have just become the only type of business in America that would benefit from more government involvement..
[via The Tennessean]