Republican New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu recently approved a state budget that limits conversations concerning “systemic racism.” In response, the majority of his Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion resigned on Tuesday. If they can’t promote racist ideology, they don’t want to work for the governor.
In their resignation letter, the council members said they “accepted [Sununu’s] appointment to [the] council out of commitment and love for [New Hampshire] and [Sununu’s] stated desire to advance diversity and inclusion. Given [Sununu’s] willingness to sign this damaging provision and make it law, [they] are no longer able to serve as [his] advisors.”
Prior to the council members’ resignations, the entire council wrote a letter to Sununu, arguing that the new budget provision includes ambiguous phrasing they consider threatening. “Given your willingness to sign this damaging provision and make it law, we are no longer able to serve as your advisors,” they wrote.
Council Chair Ahni Malachi later challenged this narrative. “Despite some misinformation out there,” she said, “the new language placed as a budget amendment does not place a limit on the important discussions to be had across the state.” Malachi plans to “work with the Department of Justice to develop guidance that makes clear the legislation will not prohibit necessary conversations.”
The ACLU of New Hampshire director, Devon Chaffee, remains unconvinced. As one of the council members to resign, Chaffee criticized Sununu’s state budget. Sununu, in turn, slammed Chaffee and his organization for attempting “to insert politics into an otherwise fruitful mission in addressing many issues of race and discrimination in [New Hampshire].”
Sununu’s new legislation prohibits “the instruction that one ‘is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously’ as a result of some immutable characteristic — such as race or gender.”
Council members were upset by this legislation because it contains “provisions limiting government efforts to advance discussions centered around systemic racism.” They claim “systemic racism does in fact exist […] in New Hampshire.”
Systemic racism is one of the most common buzzwords used by proponents of critical race theory. Sununu’s legislation exchanges these buzzwords for color-blind rhetoric.