In cities and counties across America, local politicians have in recent months begun proposing comprehensive race-based policies such as redrawing school boundaries to dismantle schools with too many white or Asian students.
They have pushed for radical changes that have roiled even liberal-leaning constituents. The justification on all of their lips is oddly similar: “Equity.” The same buzzwords appear again and again.
“School board meetings suddenly became like Mad Libs. They started repeating certain phrases, jamming them into every sentence. It was very odd,” Margaret McCreary, a Fairfax County, Virginia, parent who eventually learned that the board members were using the “equity” language to push a proposal that could move her children out of their schools, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“It seemed like they were all in cahoots to do something, but at first we didn’t know what to make of it, because we didn’t know what they were talking about,” she said.
Fairfax was one of multiple local governments to pass sweeping changes requiring every policy to be seen through the “lens” of race. The changes were justified by academic research from the University of Southern California (USC) that was tough for any city or county, rich or poor, to pass up: If they enacted certain policies, they were told, the cities’ economies could gain billions of dollars.
An investigation by the DCNF found that across the country, these changes are being pushed on local governments by a constellation of groups who share the same funders, including George Soros. One of those groups alone is active in 33 cities and counties covering 1 in 10 Americans.
A group tied to USC called the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) functions to create research — at the behest of funders — that promises billions of dollars in economic growth. Another set of groups introduce the research to individual cities and counties, where it is used to justify a mandate to include “equity” in every government policy. The language is often vague and comprised of obscure jargon.