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Asian American lawmakers fight backlash against diversity

Asian American congressional leaders fired off a letter to the country’s 100 largest companies to urge them to stand by their diversity efforts, USA Today reports.

The missive from the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus comes as conservatives chip away at programs promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.

ABC News reported that DEI positions nationwide have been disproportionately hit by layoffs.

After the beating of George Floyd by police in 2020 stunned a nation, corporations rushed to bolster their diversity efforts.

That trend reversed itself this summer when the Supreme Court banned the consideration of race in college admissions.

Some have framed these programs as disadvantaging White workers.

“DEI is just another word for racism. Shame on anyone who uses it,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk wrote in a social media post, according to CNN.

But others say just the opposite is not only untrue but shortsighted.

“Doing away with DEI makes companies more – not less – susceptible to lawsuits, to costly levels of turnover among employees, reputational harm not only among employees but also among customers and clients and prospective partners who will refuse to work with a place because it’s such a mess,” said Shaun Harper, founder and executive director of the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center.

Asian Americans remain underrepresented in leadership positions and community leaders this is not the time to turn back the clock.

The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus is asking the companies to report back on the hiring of Asian Americans in corporate leadership.

“With this letter to Fortune 100 companies, we will determine whether the largest businesses in America have followed through on their promises and encourage them to continue this crucial work – even in the face of assaults on diversity, equity, and inclusion from Republican officeholders,” Judy Chu, D-Calif., chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said in a statement.

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