During a recorded Appropriations and Budget meeting on Thursday, Democrat Oklahoma state Rep. Regina Goodwin referred to the diversity, equity, and inclusion agenda as "God" and called for voices opposed to those initiatives to be silenced.
Goodwin's comments were in response to HB 2077, an education transparency bill introduced by Republican Rep. Chad Caldwell.
Caldwell's legislation would require the Oklahoma Department of Education to allow parents to review their schools' curriculum on an "online transparency portal." He referred to the proposed bills as a "simple middle-of-the-road common-sense solution" that would address parents' education concerns.
The bill would "support parental rights to access, review, and comment upon curriculum, instructional materials, textbooks, and library materials being used by the school district where their child attends school, and which their child might be exposed to without prior parental knowledge or consent."
Goodwin pushed back on the legislation during a March 2 meeting, calling it "a very controversial bill" that would burden educators with "government overreach."
"Long story short, this is a very controversial issue, it's a very controversial bill, there's nothing that's simple about it," Goodwin said. "And when we start having government overreach, which I often hear folks talk about here, this is a prime example of government overreach, and I would hope that we would allow our teachers and our folks that are really trying to do the work of educating — leave them be."
Goodwin argued that teachers should not have to "share every waking moment of what they do, and how they do it" because it is "not productive."
The state representative compared DEI initiatives to God and called for silencing those against the agenda.
"That's very disturbing, to say the least, when we have, again, a state superintendent who does not want to have anything to do with diversity, equity and inclusion," she said. "DEI is a deity; diversity, equity and inclusion is God."
Videos of the meeting circulated on Twitter, where users blasted Goodwin's extreme views on DEI initiatives in education.
"Well there it is. 'It's not like a religion, it is a religion,'" one user wrote.
"She sounds like someone whose worldview has been thoroughly framed through womanist (black feminist) liberation theology," another Twitter user replied.
When Caldwell asked Goodwin to provide an example of voices she would like silenced, Goodwin replied, "Voices that should be silenced, quite frankly, I would hope any thinking human being would know anybody that thinks diversity, equity, and inclusion is a bad idea, perhaps those voices that don't want to include all of humanity in this world and in our curriculum and in are education, perhaps those are the voices that should be silenced."
Representative Goodwin's office did not respond to a request for comment, Fox News Digital reported.
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