The Republican “war on woke” has taken many forms, but perhaps none is more bizarre than the party’s attacks on a couple of three-letter corporate acronyms: DEI and ESG, or, to spell them out, diversity, equity and inclusion and environmental, social and governance. Both are mainstream business practices and have been around in one form or another for decades — which makes them odd targets for the party that once proudly proclaimed itself a job-creation engine.
Yet last week, a board appointed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to govern Walt Disney Co.’s special tourism district voted to outlaw all DEI programs and job duties. It’s the latest in a series of anti-DEI moves flowing from the flailing presidential candidate, who in May banned DEI efforts at the state’s publicly funded colleges. That parallels an effort by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who signed a similar bill in June. Both states have also led the charge against letting state money be invested using ESG criteria.
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