Last month, the Biden administration revised Policy Directive No. 15, also known as Directive 15 or more simply as SPD 15, to include a “new population group that historically had experienced discrimination and differential treatment because of their race or ethnicity.” Those who identify as MENA, the acronym for Middle Eastern or North African, now qualify for government entitlements and set asides because of their newfound protected status. Incidentally, they also qualify as “separate and distinct from the White category.” My arguments against this kind of misdirected effort at forcing equity appeared in this column on March 26, 2024. Read it here.

Why this new group—which the Obama administration tried and failed to constitute—and why now might be anyone’s guess. The creation of another voting bloc, perhaps? The sudden occurrence of pro-Hamas rallies around the country we are currently witnessing seem oddly of no coincidence. Or, perhaps not so much since our government started its identity creation business on the heels of national turmoil. Whether organic or “Astroturf,” in my estimation, the protests bear the stamp of master conjurer of animus Saul Alinsky’s directive “to never let a crisis go to waste.”

Allow me to explain. 

In 1966, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) initiated a requirement for companies with over one hundred employees to gather data using its EEO-1 form, identifying employees as “Negro, American Indian, Oriental, and Spanish-surnamed.” Borne out of the ashes of the civil unrest following Reverend M.L. King’s assassination and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, the policy intended to monitor the impact of EEOC mandates on people perceived as disadvantaged, tragically morphed into government-endorsed victimhood and racial preferences. Plainly contradicting the original aim of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which sought to combat racial discrimination. In “The Swamp” the law of unintended consequences is written in the sediment.

In 1977, the Office of Management and Budget followed up with the creation of Policy Directive No. 15, directing the Census Bureau and all other agencies to employ what is known in think tank jargon as the “ethnoracial pentagon” of “black,” “white,” “Hispanic,” “Asian,” and “Native American” creating concocted categories. However, it was with the caveat that “[The] classifications should not be interpreted as being scientific or anthropological in nature, nor should they be viewed as determinants of eligibility for participation in any Federal program.”  

Yet here we are.

Today there are some four hundred—and counting—federally-administered programs stipulating “race,” ethnicity, or “gender” as factors in considering eligibility for employment, shelter, transportation, cash, and, most notably, protection. Not even Fidel Castro borrowed from the Cosa Nostra operation manual as much as the Office of Management and Budget. I fear we are slouching toward a kiss the ring of identity politics or one will not eat policy.

The racket continued in 1997 when OMB revised Directive 15 under the guise of “new responsibilities to enforce civil rights laws.” Data “confirmed” that government programs were ineffective. The reason, of course, was inadequate resources applied in an insufficient period of time. Economic inequality stubbornly persisted in spite of government action. 

The Biden administration’s March 2024 revisions of Directive 15 among other stipulations, require what it calls Agency Action Plans on Race and Ethnicity Data and “timely compliance with SPD 15.” In other words, make America more racist again.

Even if measures taken under EEO-1 were well-intentioned, it is easy to recognize  EEO-1 with its first cousin SPD 15, for what they are: vote buying schemes. Evidence Joe Biden’s recent (unconstitutional) attempt to contrive yet another protected group: our microscopic population of the transgendered, just in time for the November presidential contest. The intended special status proposed transfers to an entire community anxious to embrace nonconformity in exchange for pizzu, or in the case of MENAs, wasta. 

America is on the brink of collapse. The melting pot is divided into a multitude of simmering cauldrons boiling with the stoking of community influencers. One only needs to turn on the news to see the seething chaos in our streets. Whether instigated by criminals released by rogue DAs or the clamoring of university students spewing vulgarities at the same people who make it possible for them to occupy the entitled halls of the Ivy League, our new normal is unsettling at the least, destabilizing at worst. 

If we are to survive as a nation, urgent action is needed now. Dismantling the scaffolds bolstering identity politics will take hard work. The hustlers who corral people into made up affinity groups are powerful. The solution is what has been referred to as a Civil Rights Act 2.0.

Before his death in 2008, the renowned political scientist Samuel Huntington speaking on the then immigration crisis—but the same principle applies now—wrote in the forward of Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity, “All societies face recurring threats to their existence, to which they eventually succumb … yet some societies, even when so threatened, are also capable of postponing their demise by halting and reversing the process of decline and renewing their vitality and identity.” 

In other words, the current outlook may appear bleak, but we can turn this mess around. “To halt and reverse the process of decline,” we must, first, cease funding our own demise. There are numerous transfer programs that reward those who choose to belong to an aggrieved group for benefits and political power. Identity politics enables loopholes that have turned the social safety net into a hammock. Eliminating the federal register would go far to overcome most if not all of the graft.

Second, we must also stop the category creating business. For the last six decades, government and its agitators have been constituting groups, imbuing them with grievances, and then rewarding members with set asides and handouts. We must stop the march toward communism by halting the slide toward the socialist state that interferes with every aspect of life. Our next president must be courageous and take the bold steps to slay the multi-headed Hydra. All versions of Directive 15—the original 1977 version, the revised 1997 version, as well as the latest 2024 version—should be cast into the graveyard of history and a wooden stake driven through each heart.

Last but not least, Republicans, as conservatives, must get out of the identity politics game. I emphasized its obligation to be persistent in my 2021 book You Are Not Your Race: Embracing Our Shared Humanity in a Chaotic Age. We are the true conservators of the Constitution. We must not adopt the other side’s tactics. My colleagues may think they’re helping by compromising in the name of pragmatism or “engaging the other side,” but that was the sin that corrupted righteous Lot. He thought he could sit at the gates of Sodom and not become a Sodomite.

In just a few weeks the Republican Party of Texas will convene in San Antonio for its state convention. Too many republicans I know say they won’t be attending because, to quote one, “Local politics has just become too toxic. It is no longer fun.” I couldn’t agree more, but I am going with a mission.  

I put forth a resolution at the Harris County GOP convention calling for the end of racialized data collection in the State of Texas. Lovers of liberty know that there is no security in having one’s every need provided by the government. Eventually government will taketh away whatever it hath giveth.

Will you join me in asking state lawmakers to end the abhorrent practice of reducing people to the level of melanin in their skin? Of purposefully sowing discontent and hostility rather than promoting healing and unity? Of reminding us that God has made of one blood all nations versus dividing everyone into contrived groups. 

As goes Texas so goes the whole nation. Let’s begin a revival to recognize the most fundamental foundation of our republic—That all men are created equal. When we gather at the state convention later this month, let us serve as reminders to the entire nation that the promise of a free and colorblind society is alive and well in the Lone Star State.

Visit and sign the petition.

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Fe Bencosme

Fe Bencosme is the author of You Are Not Your Race: Embracing Our Shared Humanity in a Chaotic Age (Lioncrest 2021). She is an advocate for a colorblind society from her homebase in Houston.