Letter to the Editor: Responding to DEI

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to the May 25, 2022 letter to the editor entitled, “DEI needed at CCS.”
We can all agree that DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) on the surface sounds admirable. Unfortunately, the author of the May 25 letter failed to perform proper due diligence on the Oakland County Schools DEI training. Coming to the conclusion that Clarkston Schools needs DEI is tantamount to voting for a candidate based on a bumper sticker slogan. While the author blames CCS for not adequately preparing him on how to interact with other cultures, I would suggest if anything CCS and the University of Michigan failed to teach this individual how to perform proper research prior to forming and publishing an opinion.
For example, Oakland County’s DEI consultant prefaces his training with the following statement: “I want to begin and provide a context when engaging in these types of conversations that I operate under the premise that the systems in this country and the institutions within the systems were built to be inequitable. They were built on the framework of racism and white supremacy. Our nation is functioning exactly as it was designed to do and that is to be inequitable.”
The writer of the May 25 letter points out that the Independence Township’s 84% white “homogenous” demographic was a detriment to his ability to understand other cultures. However, if the author of the letter were to perform a simple Google search, he would have discovered that it is the same “homogenous” 84% white Clarkston/Independence township taxpayers who bankroll the African American DEI consultant’s six-figure salary who in turn enrolls his daughters in Oakland County’s most elite private schools, all the while telling our students just how systematically racists we are as a community.
One would also find after further research that our school’s DEI consultant goes further by quoting his mentor Dr. Bettina Love, a critical race theorist, by encouraging our students and educators to become “social justice accomplices and CO-CONSPIRITORS” and “to be willing to put their lives on the line to advance equity.”
He further encourages students to “get into trouble, good trouble, necessary trouble,” quoting the late John Lewis. I think our schools have seen enough “trouble” and the “giving up of lives” for one year.
The DEI consultant also asks students to imagine a country where innocent black males can safely walk the streets in American communities without being gunned down by police. Does this include Main Street Clarkston? No, we do not need this kind of DEI in our Clarkston Community Schools.
What we do need are schools and universities that teach its students the value of performing proper research and how to avoid the embarrassing consequences that come with not having all the facts before forming, let alone publishing, one’s opinion in one’s hometown paper.

Tim Parkin
Independence Township

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