Joy Villa: The left shows its hypocrisy yet again on race and diversity

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This is stunning—but it’s another example of how hypocritical the so-called “tolerant left” has become on issues of race and diversity today. Boston University history professor Ibram X. Kendi on Saturday accused President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett of being a racist “white colonizer” because she adopted two black children from Haiti and is using them as “props.”

Barrett, 48, has seven children with her husband, Jesse Barrett. Five are their own biological children; two are adopted. Their youngest child has special needs.

But whatever the particular details of their diverse family makeup, these are their seven beloved children—and the kids should be off-limits. (Isn’t that what people said about the two young Obama girls when Barack Obama was elected president?) At a time when liberals have been up in arms about racial issues in our country, too many on the left are going squarely against their own views in a blatant attempt to slam Trump’s pick for the High Court simply because she’s a conservative.

I’ve dealt with issues of race and diversity my entire life. Last week, I testified on Capitol Hill to the House Judiciary Committee on the topic of “diversity and the representation of people of color in the media.” I explained how I’m of mixed race. I’m Black and Choctaw Native-American on my mother’s side; I’m Italian and Argentinian on my father’s side. I’m proud of my diverse background and I believe in diversity. It’s one of the great strengths of America. It’s part of what makes us strong.

But nearly four years ago, once I publicly shared my support for Trump, the weirdest and most wrongful thing happened: I became a target of the left. I had never been blacklisted as an artist until I came out as a conservative. How is that acceptable among those who believe in diversity?

Diversity includes not just race, creed, color, sexual orientation, and background. It includes diversity of thought. It includes diversity of political beliefs. So why was I and other conservatives of color suddenly on the “outs” among those on the “inside” of the media and entertainment worlds?

As I told Congress, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel in 2015 talked favorably about one of my red-carpet gowns. This was before I came out as conservative. Today he would never discuss me in positive terms or welcome me on his show. Ava DuVernay, the celebrated black filmmaker who has argued persuasively for more diversity, blocked me on Twitter, and Rolling Stone magazine told a member of my team they’d never write about me again now that I identified as a conservative.

Liberals are proud of being pro-diversity. But the above examples—and the slams against Amy Coney Barrett—don’t sound that way to me.

As a conservative, I was suddenly disinvited to casting round tables. I was blacklisted from industry events. I was no longer welcome on most talk shows. I’ve even been called that “Trump b****” and much worse.

This is discrimination against political views, and it’s why I told members of Congress we must stop the discrimination not just against race, color, and creed—but against a diversity of political views. Political opinion should be a protected class in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, just as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, and disability are protected classes.

Congress has an opportunity to be a watchdog on this and set the tone. Employers in Hollywood and the larger entertainment fields should not discriminate in hiring practices based on a person’s political leanings.

The attacks against Amy Coney Barrett because of the diverse makeup of her family must stop. She should be evaluated on her legal merits for the High Court. All of us in our great patchwork-quilt country should be evaluated for what we bring to our respective fields and areas of expertise—not for our personal backgrounds or heritage, including political beliefs. The tone too many people are taking for political reasons does not sing the song of diversity that they claim to be sharing at all other times.


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Joy Villa


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