Black DEI director: I was called white supremacist for questioning woke policies

Scut Farkus

“I’m passionate about elevating multiple perspectives and creating spaces where you can do that,” Dr. Tabia Lee told the Post. “And that’s literally why I was harassed and bullied out of my position.”

Since becoming the faculty director for the Office of Equity, Social Justice, and Education at De Anza College in August of 2021, Lee said, she endured “non-stop hostility” on campus.

Now, she claims, she’s out of a job after colleagues retaliated against her for questioning certain diversity, equity, and inclusion policies at the Cupertino, California, school.

But her vision of diversity and inclusion, it seems, was the wrong one.

“I’m trying to create safe spaces for everyone,” Lee said. “But some people wanted me to create spaces that were just safe for them, and that’s not my mission as an educator. That’s not what I’m here to do.”

After years of working as a middle-school teacher and an adjunct professor, and founding a network to help minority teachers attain national board certification, Lee was excited get a tenure-track position at De Anza, where her job includes designing workshops to promote inclusion.

“I researched them, and I thought we had similar values around diversity, equity and anti-racism,” she said. “I was selected, and I was like, wow, this is a dream come true.”

But she quickly woke up to a rude reality.

Lee said other college employees unleashed “daily, endless harassment right from the start.”

When she tried to help streamline staff communications by creating a Google Doc system, she said she was accused by a colleague of “white-splaining” — a term used to describe when white people patronizingly explain things to people of color — and of supporting white supremacy.

“I’m a black woman, and [they’re] telling me that I’m white-splaining,” Lee recalled. “[Everyone] acted like I had injured [my colleague] instead of it being the other way around, because I didn’t confess to my white supremacy or whatever.”

It happened again when she raised questions about an official school communication capitalized “Black” but not “white.”

Approved ~ FS

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