Biden's State Dept. diversity chief called for 'dismantling' American tradition

Zakiya Carr Johnson, appointed by Secretary Blinken, has championed anti-racist ideology and 'feminist leadership' to upend existing power structures.

Biden's State Dept. diversity chief called for 'dismantling' American tradition
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
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The Biden administration's new chief diversity and inclusion officer at the State Department has previously denounced America as a "failed historic model" and advocated for dismantling traditional structures and norms in the name of anti-racism, according to now deleted writings.

Zakiya Carr Johnson, whose appointment was announced last week by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, has embraced an ideology of "feminist leadership" that seeks to counter "White-centered feminism" and redefine how power is distributed in society, Fox News reports.

In a 2020 webinar, Carr Johnson stated, "In order to make any change, we've literally got to be about the work of dismantling that traditional structure at every juncture." She argued that ingrained "systems" are "so deeply rooted in patriarchy and colonialism and racism and otherism" that resistance to upending them is inevitable.

Previously, in a 2019 article that has since been deleted, Carr Johnson wrote that America represents a "failed historical model" with a "colonizing past." She declared, "We understand that a cultural shift is on the horizon and in order to save us all, we must be prepared to change."

Carr Johnson has co-authored a "Feminist Leaders for Feminist Goals" toolkit that calls for analyzing and redefining existing power structures to achieve "transformative change." The guide states, "Feminist leadership must change power structures...How can we redefine, value, use, share and distribute power differently?"

The diversity chief has also championed concepts associated with critical race theory, such as "intersectionality," which examines how various identities can compound discrimination. In 2018, she said, "I learned...to demand intersectionality in all spaces."

While touting Carr Johnson's "expertise" and "commitment to inclusive leadership," Blinken acknowledged her previous work involved "promoting entrepreneurship and access to opportunity for underrepresented populations."

A State Department spokesperson expressed "high confidence" in Carr Johnson's leadership, stating her decades of experience will help "build bridges of understanding" and ensure the diplomatic corps reflects America's diversity.

Critics, however, have raised concerns about Carr Johnson's avowed aims of upending longstanding American traditions and norms in pursuit of sweeping societal transformation along racial and gender lines.

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  • By David Menzies

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