Senior Diversity and Inclusion officer at the State Department, Sara Suiseth, was questioned by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) about an internal email that stated, among other things, that “straight white men” as well as members of certain religious groups and those with disabilities are being discriminated against in the hiring procedures.
Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the Department of State’s senior Diversity and Inclusion officer,was questioned by Senator Ted Cruz about an internal email that stated that “straight white men” and those who are not a part of the “correct religion” have been discriminated against in the employment process.
Senator Cruz identified the sender as a “senior State Dept. official.” He added that “hiring practices have evolved in the State Department,” and that certain applicants may be excluded.
Then, he took quotations directly from the email, stating that those who “have a disability, are white males, are straight white males, are not of the correct religion” would be discriminated against.
“I’ve never seen that before,” Abercrombie-Winstanley said when asked whether she had approved the hiring guidelines. “This is the first time I’m seeing it,” she added.
“You’re the top diversity officer, and you’re claiming that you are sure there hasn’t been discrimination at the state department,” Cruz continued. “Is that correct? Is it your testimony?”
“It’s not exactly proof that race or religious prejudice is happening at the State Department,” said Abercrombie-Winstanley. “I would argue comments do not indicate it is really happening.”
“You have been given power in your position in an unprecedented way,” Cruz told Abercrombie-Winstanley. The Senator from Texas went on to accuse the official of being ignorant of anti-white and religious prejudice. “In your statement, you talk about establishing a data working group on hiring practices… You claim that you didn’t realize this prejudice was occurring,” he said.
“What is your mission if not to prevent prejudice?” he questioned. “I believe that in practice, your role is to actually encourage this discrimination,” he added.
Author: Blake Ambrose