Launching another attack against critical race theory, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office warned state agency leaders that using Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion criteria when hiring employees violates state law.

Gardner Pate, Abbott’s chief of staff, sent a letter to all Texas state agencies, including public universities, informing them that DEI programs lead to discriminatory hiring practices.

Over the past few years, universities and other public institutions have created DEI departments and councils to promote divisive racial policies. Although seemingly innocuous, DEI initiatives are commonly associated with CRT, and activists in these departments often push for equal outcomes instead of equal opportunities.

In his memo to agency leaders, Pate warned state officials that filtering potential employees through DEI initiatives would lead the agencies to favor “some demographic groups to the detriment of others.

“Indeed, rather than increasing diversity in the workplace, these DEI initiatives are having the opposite effect and are being advanced in ways that proactively encourage discrimination in the workplace,” wrote Pate. “Illegally adding DEI requirements as a screening tool in hiring practices or using DEI as a condition of employment leads to the exclusion and alienation of individuals from the workplace.”

Pate explained that hiring employees based on factors other than merit violates Texas’ anti-discrimination laws.

“As the head of your agency, you have a duty to follow the law,” wrote Pate. “When a state agency adjusts its employment practices based on factors other than merit, it is not following the law. Rebranding this employment discrimination as ‘DEI’ does not make the practice any less illegal.”

Abbott’s move follows increased public scrutiny of state agencies promoting CRT principles and programs.

Last month, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission uploaded a job posting for a library management and equity consultant with experience in “EDIA,” or equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. The state agency removed the listing after citizens raised concerns over the position’s inclusion of CRT principles.

The memo also applies to public universities, many of which have recently come under fire for creating DEI departments and promoting CRT.

This week, Texas Tech University suspended a hiring requirement in one department that mandated potential employees agree with their “diversity, equity, and inclusion statement.” The university promised to investigate other departments and remove any DEI hiring requirements.

Investigative journalist Christopher Rufo—who has exposed CRT in institutions, government agencies, and corporations—praised Abbott’s memo and condemned racially divisive policies.

“The fight against left-wing racialist ideology has just begun—and we will not stop until colorblind equality is the law of the land,” said Rufo.

Texas Family Project President Chris Hopper also supported Abbott’s move and criticized DEI programs in public schools and universities.

“This is a move in the right direction,” said Hopper. “Schools should educate, not indoctrinate and DEI needs to D-I-E.”

Katy Marshall

Katy graduated from Tarleton State University in 2021 after majoring in history and minoring in political science.