Shortly after cancelling its own exhibition for being ‘racist, sexist and ableist’, Wellcome Trust advertised for a DEI role paying £211k (a substantially higher salary than their CSO). Such a role is just up Con-She’s street – so I applied:
I was excited to hear of the opening of Chief Equity, Diversity and Inclusion officer at the Wellcome Trust for £211k pa. I have noted the ‘EDI journey’ your organization has undertaken and celebrate your own conclusions that a charitable trust for funding health research is ‘built on a foundation of white supremacy’ and is ‘racist, sexist, and ableist.’ I would like to aid you in your struggle to achieve Our Glorious Goal of true equity.
In my tenure in this role:
- Every employee will have their Oppression Quotient calculated by me, on the basis of two immutable identity characteristics, in order that we know how to treat them, what job to give them, and whether what they say is correct or not. Naturally, anybody may self-identify as anything.
- I solemnly commit to the transing and queering of every historical lesbian and feminist icon.
- The organization will be deeply committed to a model of diversity that ensures everybody thinks exactly the same about everything. True diversity includes only those who think correctly.
- It will never go unrecognised that straight people with blue hair are The Most Oppressed ™ demographic there has ever been, and shall be ever untoppled from the throne of the grievance pyramid.
- We absolutely will not trust the public to be woke enough to understand our exhibits correctly. My ultimate vision for the collection is to have no items on public view at all – exhibitions will entirely comprise interpretation notices informing the audience of their racism and ableism.
- There will be a zero-tolerance policy on recourse to reality – enlightenment values are for bigots! You are anything you identify as, and anybody who thinks that the larping of the civil rights battles faced by lesbians and gays by people who have never faced oppression in their lives is grotesque, will be fired immediately.
- We must strive to render history inoffensive.
- Every part of the organization will be subject to rigorous re-education in correct thinking. There is only one purpose: Our Glorious Goal. Whatever a department thinks its job is – preserving objects, academic research – these concerns are subservient. ‘Diversity and Inclusion is at the heart of everything we do’: if your chief interest is, say, health, there is no place for you at Wellcome!
- Everything will be rebranded as Queer, to elicit maximum funding.
- We will not tolerate the public wandering in expecting to see historical curios, without reminding them that, merely by being here, they are enacting the ‘exclusion, marginalization, and exoticization of indigenous peoples’. (Remember: nobody born in Western Europe is ‘indigenous’.)
- These objects will not be viewed as an interesting collection of items put together by an inquisitive well-intentioned man, born in poverty, who went on to make sure we have such life-saving medications as insulin and antihistamines, and who bequeathed the collection to the nation that others might understand something of different times and cultures. Our job is not to be custodians of these objects for the nation – it is to ensure the public know that all Bad Things In History were done by Western Europe, and no Bad Things In History were ever done by anybody else.
Our Glorious Goal will do far more for humanity than this ‘wealthy white man’, born in a log-cabin, ever did. It is right and proper that we contextualise his ‘privilege’, whilst drawing our plentiful salaries from his bequest, and owing our very health to medications, the discovery of which, he funded. I take a lot of inspiration from Chairman Mao, from whom I feel we have so much to learn in contemporary EDI.
Achieving Our Glorious Goal is a never-ending task. £211k is merely the starting point – I anticipate I will require a salary of at least £1M annually to facilitate our collective striving. The £1M you have already spent in implicit bias training is merely a start. We shall not rest until every greengrocer displays a sign that reads ‘Our vegetables are committed to the values of equity, diversity and inclusion’.
Yours in Equity
- Lived Experience
- The only qualification needed for this role is Lived Experience. Lived experience is a superior form of knowledge than anything derived from evidence, reason, or other bigoted values of The Enlightenment. At the very least, I self-identify as a POC, disabled, and queer (but I’ll wait until I get to the equalities form at the end as I might have missed out something to self-identify as).
- Ideological Purity
- If Wellcome Trust were truly Doing The Work, you would know that a CV – qualifications and experience – are exclusionary, and evidence of whiteness. You would do well to follow the Smithsonian’s excellent example in this. N.B. this evidences my purity of thought.
- Intersectional Communication Skills
- I aspire to Judith Butler’s exquisite prose. In the interim, however, I find using ChatGPT to be indistinguishable from the real thing: ‘EDI is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon that requires a nuanced and sophisticated approach that takes into account the intersectional and relational nature of power and identity. In order to effectively address the systemic and institutionalized forms of oppression and marginalization that are perpetuated by dominant discourses and structures, we must engage in a critical and reflexive process of deconstruction and reconfiguration that foregrounds the agency and subjectivity of marginalized groups and individuals. By acknowledging the inherent contingency and instability of identity categories, we can begin to challenge the very foundations of the ontological and epistemological frameworks that structure our understanding of the world, and create new discursive and material possibilities for social transformation and collective liberation.’