MYTH VS FACT: Kentucky’s Bill to Protect Against Discrimination (SB 6)

Blog Articles · Mar 26, 2024

The promotion of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) fosters oppressor-versus-oppressed narratives—leading to the labeling and unconstitutional segregation of individuals based on immutable characteristics such as race and sex. Kentucky has an opportunity to dismantle the discriminatory consequences of DEI by passing SB 6 as amended by the House.

This commonsense legislation safeguards the rule of law, respect for individual rights, and equal treatment under the law by:

  • Ensuring fair treatment regardless of race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, national origin or ancestry.

  • Protecting freedom of speech for individuals by ensuring they are not compelled to sign a statement that violates non-discrimination laws.

  • Reinforcing merit based systems rather than giving preferential treatment based on skin color.

Opponents are spreading misinformation about the impact that SB 6 could have on Kentucky. Here are the facts:

MYTH #1: Enacting SB 6 will lead to the elimination of scholarship programs for marginalized communities.

FACT: By prohibiting the consideration of race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, national origin, or ancestry in admissions and hiring decisions, scholarship opportunities remain unaffected. This legislation simply asserts that individuals cannot face penalties, discrimination, or adverse treatment for declining to support, endorse, or adhere to discriminatory beliefs or ideologies.

MYTH #2: The absence of affirmative action or DEI initiatives will worsen inequalities and result in a return to segregated schools and communities.

FACT: There is no evidence to suggest that the elimination of race-based admission policies has led to heightened segregation or decreased representation of ethnic minorities in educational institutions. On the contrary, enrollment data for the 2023-2024 academic year indicates an uptick in the presence of historically underrepresented groups such as African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans/Pacific Islanders. True diversity encompasses various dimensions of life, including diversity of thought, background, and culture—not solely race. If diversity was the genuine objective of DEI, preferences would be based on unique qualities rather than racial categories.

MYTH #3: SB 6 chills free speech and will lead to hostile academic environments for students.

FACT: Nothing about this bill interferes with free speech. Rather, SB 6 safeguards freedom of speech by prohibiting discrimination or adverse treatment based on refusal to endorse specific ideologies. By contrast, DEI policies in Kentucky's educational institutions have led to multiple instances of discrimination and censorship, stifling the voices of both students and faculty. According to the Free Speech Rankings by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, which assesses factors like openness, tolerance, self-expression, and support for free speech, the University of Kentucky scored a low 52%. A significant 70% of faculty members feel restricted in expressing their viewpoints, fearing potential repercussions from students, peers, or the administration, while 65% of students at the University of Kentucky expressed feeling somewhat or very uncomfortable publicly disagreeing with a professor on a contentious issue. These statistics highlight a troubling erosion of healthy academic discourse within our higher education institutions—a problem SB 6 aims to address.

MYTH #4: DEI staffing levels are insignificant on Kentucky campuses and only account for a small fraction of institutional budgets.

FACT: DEI bureaucracies have been expanding at public universities in Kentucky. As of March 2024, the University of Kentucky's DEI office has a staff of 57 individuals. This figure is notable, especially when compared to the university's history department, which consists of only 33 professors. The disparity in staffing ratios between administrators and academics highlights a skewed allocation of institutional resources, prioritizing ideology over education.

MYTH #5: This bill will deter employers from coming to Kentucky.

FACT: SB 6 would eliminate discriminatory hiring practices, aligning with the principles outlined in Title IV and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It mandates that individuals responsible for diversity initiatives at public postsecondary education institutions prioritize efforts to enhance intellectual diversity among students and faculty. Employers should welcome the opportunity to operate in a state that upholds the principles of the Civil Rights Act and welcomes robust academic debate.

MYTH #6: DEI brings students together, rather than sowing disunity.

FACT: DEI initiatives often lead to racial segregation within campus housing, events, and graduation ceremonies. By categorizing individuals as either oppressors or oppressed, these programs can harm students’ sense of belonging and exacerbate divisions. After the Hamas attacks on October 7 and the pro-Hamas response of college students across the Commonwealth, many Jewish students reported feeling unsafe, despite the significant investment in DEI on Kentucky’s campuses. DEI-friendly institutions maintain racially segregated student groups, spaces, scholarships, and events, which further perpetuates this separation.

MYTH #7: DEI operates independently from critical race theory (CRT).

FACT: Core tenets of DEI are deeply intertwined with CRT ideology, which both divide society into oppressors and oppressed groups. DEI traces its origins to “social justice philosophy,” often synonymous with advocating for racial preferences. Its main objective is to sow division among Americans and foster conflict as part of a broader Marxist agenda aimed at dismantling capitalism and American values.