A previous version of this article erroneously claimed that Twitter suspended New York Times columnist Brett Stephens after he denounced equity as racism. Stephens voluntarily deactivated his Twitter account in 2019. The original claim has been removed; the article and its headline have been revised.
The New York Times posted Bret Stephens’ latest column, titled “The New Racism Won’t Solve the Old Racism,” on its website on June 28 and published it in the print issue dated June 29.
In the piece, Stephens wrote that the drive to bring about intersectional “equity” — often designated by the term “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” (DEI) — “is insulting to everyone who still believes we should be judged by the content of our character.”
The idea that the government should redistribute wealth along racial lines has taken on new life since Ibram X. Kendi made it the central pillar of his bestseller, “How to be an Antiracist.” Kendi wrote:
[R]acial discrimination is not inherently racist. … The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.
Stephens argued that DEI violates the morality of most Americans in both sly and blunt ways.
“Sly is the redefinition of the word ‘equity,’ which in common English means the quality of being fair and impartial, to mean something closer to the opposite: the quality of being anything but impartial to achieve a desired, supposedly fairer result,” wrote Stephens. “And blunt is the racial preference, the explicit segregation, the insulting assumption-making and the overall intellectual sophistry that is antiracist ideology in action.”
Stephens noted, for instance, that requiring Jewish employees to join “whiteness accountability” is ludicrous, given the ways white supremacists have victimized Jews at home and abroad.
“It shouldn’t be hard to see that trying to solve the old racism with the new racism will produce only more racism,” Stephens concluded. “Justice is never achieved by turning tables.”
On June 30, a Twitter reader erroneously claimed that Twitter had suspended Bret Stephens’ Twitter account, @BretStephensNYT.
“Just read a piece by Bret Stephens in the int version of @nytimes/@nytopinion, thinking ‘that’s gonna be controversial’. Turns out his Twitter is already suspended. Wow that’s fast!” the tweet claimed.
Just read a piece by Bret Stephens in the int version of @nytimes/@nytopinion, thinking “that’s gonna be controversial”. Turns out his Twitter is already suspended. Wow that’s fast! pic.twitter.com/VWD8KxxHHw
— Sabrina Elise Katonoff (@EliseKatona) June 30, 2021
Stephens’ Twitter account now says merely, “Account suspended. Twitter suspends accounts which violate the Twitter Rules.”
Stephens previously wrote a devastating critique of the New York Times’ 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones’ Pulitzer Prize-winning undertaking to date America’s founding from the importation of the first African slaves. Stephens noted the comprehensive scholarly rejection of Hannah-Jones’ assertions before calling the undertaking a “thesis in search of evidence.”
In February, Stephens penned a column objecting to the way longtime New York Times science reporter Donald G. McNeil Jr. “resigned” after public backlash that he had said the n-word while chaperoning his daughter’s field trip — to ask about the context in which it was used. The New York Times ultimately refused to print Stephens’ column, which was published by the New York Post.