Majority of NH Gov. Chris Sununu’s ‘Diversity Council’ Resigns over Law Banning Teaching of Inherent Racism

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu addresses a gathering outside the Elliot Hospital, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

More than half of the members of New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu’s (R) Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion resigned Tuesday, days after the governor signed a measure that bans teaching that individuals are inherently racist because of their skin color.

The Union Leader reported ten members of the diversity council announced their resignations in a letter that read, “Governor, we feel obligated to inform you that — contrary to your recent public statements — systemic racism does in fact exist here in New Hampshire.”

Those council members resigning also reportedly wrote the governor’s approval of the legislation is in “direct conflict” with the council’s mission to “combat discrimination and advance diversity and inclusion,” reported the Center Square.

“We accepted your appointment to this council out of commitment and love for this state and your stated desire to advance diversity and inclusion,” the council members wrote. “Given your willingness to sign this damaging provision and make it law, we are no longer able to serve as your advisors.”

The ten diversity council members who resigned are:

  1. Dottie Morris, Keene State College diversity and equity leader;
  2. Maria Devlin, president and chief executive of Families in Transition;
  3. State Rep. Jim Maggiore (D);
  4. Salman Malik, a leader in the southern New Hampshire Islamic community;
  5. Cheshire County Sheriff Eliezer Rivera;
  6. Devon Chaffee, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) New Hampshire chapter;
  7. Sharon Harris, owner of Partnered Success;
  8. James Morse, superintendent of the Oyster River Cooperative School District;
  9. Pawn Nitichan, executive director of City Year New Hampshire;
  10. Allyson Ryder, a Carsey Fellow at the University of New Hampshire.

Morse said, according to the Center Square, the new law is “designed to hide, obscure, and deny racism, prejudice, and discrimination of many kinds.”

“If we are to grow as a state and community, we must recognize our past and learn from it – not hide New Hampshire’s difficult history from our schools, institutions, and workplaces,” he said.

Those who resigned also wrote, “We also hope that, in time, you will come to understand the true damage that this legislation has caused to the fabric of New Hampshire’s communities.”

The governor reacted to the resignations in a statement reported by the Union Leader:

These politically-charged actions will not deter the Council from advancing the good work they’ve accomplished and help move forward New Hampshire’s efforts around messaging, training programs and diversity in the workplace.

On Friday Sununu signed his state’s budget bill, which also included a ban on the teaching of concepts that are associated with Critical Race Theory, including that individuals are inherently racist due to their skin color.

State House Majority Leader Jason Osborne (R) noted the measure “put an end to teaching the unfounded idea that an individual is inherently racist simply due to the color of their skin.”

As the Union Leader reported, the legislation to address the teaching of concepts associated with Critical Race Theory “became a highly charged, polarizing issue this year in Concord.”

The report noted that, while the original measure introduced in the state House would have specifically banned the teaching of Critical Race Theory and other “divisive concepts,” following much controversy, the New Hampshire Senate and House agreed on another version with revised language.

State Senate Democrat Leader Donna Soucy condemned the measure as “anti-American” and said it would have a “chilling effect” on free speech.

However, state Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R) emphasized the legislation is “consistent with making sure that we do not train, do not instruct, do not teach our kids that they’re somehow inferior or superior, that they’re inherently racist, sexist or oppressive by virtue of the characteristics they’re born with.”

Ahni Malachi, executive director of the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights and a member of Sununu’s diversity council, asserted the legislation signed by the governor abandoned the term “divisive concepts,” and will not limit discussions about diversity and inclusion.

“It saddens me that Council members feel so strongly as to relinquish their seats at the table of discussion and ideas,” Malachi said about the resignations.

Critical Race Theory is a Marxist ideology that embraces the concept that all American institutions are systemically racist, with whites as oppressors and blacks as victims.

Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak explained further that Critical Race Theory “was the invention of a group of radical left-wing intellectuals known as the Frankfurt School, who developed it to achieve through cultural change what Marxism could not achieve politically.”

A Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released last week found 61 percent of 2,006 registered voters said children should not be taught America is “structurally racist,” in contrast to 39 percent who said children should be taught such a concept.

Additionally, 81 percent said elementary school students should learn about the First Amendment and the importance of free speech, as opposed to 19 percent who said American children should not learn about the First Amendment.

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