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PJ Media
PJ Media
25 Mar 2023
Mark Tapscott

NextImg:Pentagon Decision to Re-Assign DEI Minister Shows Transparency is Big Government's Worst Enemy

Did you hear about the Pentagon’s Woke Minister of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Kelisa Wing, getting a new job? It’s not the job she wanted and it surely has the look of a huge demotion, one that might even prompt her to leave the Department of Defense entirely.

House Republican Conference Chairman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) announced during a Thursday subcommittee hearing that Wing had been transferred out of her job as DEI Chief in the Department of Defense Education Activity, which oversees the hundreds of k-12 schools attended by the children of active service members in the United States and many overseas facilities.

In addition to Wing being transferred out of the DEI slot, the DOD’s DEI website was taken down, according to Stefanik. She had a tense exchange with Gilbert R. Cisneros, DOD’s Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Stefanik was not happy that she had raised the issue of Wing’s fitness for the office in September 2022 and only received a written response from Cisneros on Thursday — a few hours ahead of his appearance before the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Military Personnel.

When Cisneros tried to suggest that, contrary to Stefanik, DOD officials had previously conferred with Hill aides about the Wing matter, the feisty New York Republican sharply interrupted him.

“No, there was no response to our letter. We were promised a response in 30 days. Thirty days after September would be October … don’t cover up for the trend of the Biden administration. This is the second hearing in two weeks where the response to a letter delayed is given the day of or the day before the hearing,” Stefanik told Cisneros.

Stefanik then pressed Cisneros to commit to making the results of an ongoing Pentagon investigation into recent statements by Wing available to Congress and members of the military services. The DOD official waffled.

Wing is the author of three books bearing these titles: What is White Privilege?, What Does It Mean to Defund the Police?, and What is the Black Lives Matter Movement?

Cisneros admitted under Stefanik’s grilling that he has not read any of Wing’s books, and he further admitted that he didn’t know that Wing’s three books are now carried in DOD school libraries.

Stefanik then quoted Wing from a presentation she made recently in her former capacity as the DOD DEI chief, saying “My passion work is dismantling discipline systems and I am hugely passionate about dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. I have written a book entitled ‘Promises and Possibilities: Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline.’ Shameless plug.”

Along with Stefanik, the other hero in this episode is Open The Books (OTB), the gritty Chicago-based nonprofit watchdog that files thousands upon thousands of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests at all levels of government, seeking to make the facts about public spending available to everybody.

At the same time Stefanik began pushing DOD for answers about Wing’s activities, OTB began doing the same thing. “We found radical ideologies premised on Marxist and Critical Race Theory frames; questionable ethics; substantial conflicts of interest; and even side businesses,” the group said in a statement released following the subcommittee hearing.

In the statement, Adam Andrzejewski, OTB’s president, also explained why, in his view, exposing Wing was a vital public interest:

“We uncovered a troubling pattern and Kelisa Wing would not answer our questions regarding her ethics, controversial social media posts, side businesses, educational techniques and curricula, and video statements.

But the real concern was the philosophies she was pushing on children from our military families, at taxpayer expense. Following the money and fighting for transparency is our model, and this news is more evidence that it works.

Sunlight on Wing’s philosophy and activities was critical: she was the inaugural appointee to the DEI post and would have an outsize role in shaping its mission and impact on DODEA schools.”

“It took multiple investigations from us and multiple hearings from Congress to finally get some answers and some action from the Department of Defense.

Unfortunately, there are still outstanding questions for the Pentagon, including whether they plan to eliminate the role or find a replacement for Wing. The DoD also should account for how much public money is being spent on DEI material and trainings all across the Defense Department.”

Related: Air Force Will Pay Big Money for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Jobs

It is highly doubtful that the Pentagon would have removed Wing from the DEI position and shut down the DEI website had OTB not begun sharing its discoveries with the public, and Stefanik hadn’t insisted on answers from DOD. Sunshine is indeed the best disinfectant.

Transparency produces accountability. But before Stefanik, OTB or anybody else celebrates and then moves on to another issue, the reality is the Biden administration will almost certainly find another way to continue Wing’s infiltration of racist ideologies into the DOD educational system.

That is why transparency and accountability are full-time jobs. The price of liberty, after all, is indeed eternal vigilance.