In an address to the faculty and staff of the Virginia Military Institute during its annual Inclusive Excellence training, Martin Brown, the Chief Diversity, Opportunity, and Inclusion Officer for the Commonwealth of Virginia, declared that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is “dead”. Chief Brown said, “We’re not going to bring that cow up anymore. It’s dead. It was mandated by the General Assembly, but this governor has a different philosophy of civil discourse, civility, treating — living the golden rule, right?”
In his comments Chief Brown reaffirmed what the Spirit of VMI Political Action Committee has said for over two years, that VMI is good, and always has been. He noted that through its structure and history, VMI has been a model of diversity and inclusivity. Brown explained, “Starts with the Rat line. I mean because you’re bringing folks together from different spaces and they’re all treated equally bad.” Chief Brown continued by criticizing those that have made their primary mission “equity”. Brown said, “Generally, when you are focusing on equity, you’re not pursuing merit or excellence or achievement.”
Chief Brown appeared at the invitation of Superintendent Major General Cedric Wins ’85 and answered questions after his remarks, some supportive, some critical. As would be expected his remarks were met with condemnation from the usual sources. The Virginia NAACP has called for his resignation and six VMI faculty disparaged his remarks in the Washington Post.
This reaction starkly highlights the importance of the 2023 election cycle in the Commonwealth. Since the election of Governor Glenn Youngkin much has been accomplished in the fight against DEI and its divisiveness. Chief Brown’s remarks, and the reaction to them, show there is much work to do. The opposition to the advancement of Governor Youngkin’s policies is deep-seated and will be difficult to ferret out but must be done. Support for the candidates willing to take on that battle is the mission of the Spirit of VMI.
The Spirit of VMI applauds Major General Wins for inviting Chief Brown to Post to deliver his remarks. It is a message long overdue. The Spirit of VMI enthusiastically endorses Chief Brown’s message and supports the efforts of the Youngkin administration in ensuring our educational system is pursuing excellence as its mission.
Founded in 2021, the Spirit of VMI PAC is a registered Virginia Political Action Committee whose purpose is to restore VMI’s reputation as an elite leadership institution.