Nina Howe-Goldstein ‘25
Mandate of Heaven and Chief Satire Writer in Chief
In his recent book Elite Capture: How the Powerful Took Over Identity Politics (And Everything Else), philosopher Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò posits that modern “identity politics” have become far removed from their solidarity-building origins and become co-opted by the powerful to divide. Drawing on the history of Black radical tradition, he dissects “identity politics” with its sibling “deference politics” (“an etiquette that asks people to pass attention, resources, and initiative to those perceived as more marginalized than themselves”) as mere facsimiles of their true liberatory potential, having fallen victim to the worst impulses of liberals and progressives alike.
Dr. Táíwò doesn’t know it, but he actually has based his entire career around the fact that I had to learn how a Deloitte consultant could “personalize their social impact profile in Philanthropy Cloud” as I held an unopened Topo Chico in the Motley.
I’ve had quite the summer. I’ve seen it all, baby: Tony Fauci in a swimming pool; antivax truckers stalking my house. I found out that I’m allergic to red meat. My manuscript got rejected by sixty literary agents. I rewrote it. Entering the fall semester, I only raised one thing in prayer: for everything on this campus to be normal for once.
So you might imagine my surprise when I instead opened the SAS newsletter to learn that Deloitte would be having a DEI-themed info/networking session in the Motley (of all places). The blurb promised a “unique opportunity to hear from speakers … with vast experiences in DEI-specific consulting projects,” and encouraged the attendance of “students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and first-gen/low-income students.”
I RSVP’d, obviously. LOL.
The dress code was allegedly business casual, but it was 103 degrees and I dressed accordingly. The Scripps Girlies (the best possible way I can think of to describe them; you know the type) wore lovely blouses and heels. The scant few men wore shorts, t-shirts, and Adidas slides. There were six green chairs up onstage, they went entirely unused. They had bottles of chilled Topo Chico; they had no bottle opener.
Other delightful details:
An intro video, against the background of a globe made of multicolor threads, simply declared: “we believe in the power of sharing our identities.” Full stop. They did not know how to pronounce Simu Liu’s name. Emphasis was placed on “supplier diversity,” defined as businesses in possession of ownership from marginalized groups, with nary a word about ethical work conditions for employees or the cultural context through which “diversity” is defined. (I heard “dee-ee-eye” stretched to the point of semantic satiation, and the actual words “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” maybe … twice in total.)
At the Club Fair, I was speaking to an anonymous member of SAS, explaining my intent to roast the Deloitte event in the opening issue of TSV.
“Why?” she asked in all earnesty. “What’s wrong with Deloitte?”
Actually, it seems as though most people at this college fail to understand why it’s kinda fuckin weird for SAS to promote a protest against a new L.A. County jail in the same email as a McKinsey-Goldman Sachs recruiting event. So I’ll make this easy for everyone: megacorporations like these are, on net, bad. They have figured out that they can win over the vague young woke class by preaching the now-standard values of dee-ee-eye and promising a good salary; simultaneously, the vast majority of their work furthers the direct opposite aims. I dare you to go to each of their Wikipedia pages and scroll down to the “controversies” sections.
We can’t absolve the Motley of their role in this absurdity, either. In a desecrated post-COVID world, the coffeehouse still remains a fascinating relic of pre-2020 feminism. The wall is lined, as my mother once put it, “with boobs.” One begins to understand why they rejected “Derin Evidson” (names changed to protect the innocent) with upwards of a year’s worth of barista experience; “work history” wasn’t even a question posed by the application, but “woke history” sure as shit was.
(Nina, will you be boycotting? Absolutely not. Those sweet chais, light ice, whole milk — they’re calling my name. Besides, I dream of selling my earrings there one day.)
At one point, a Deloitte “practitioner” had emotionally recounted his team’s encouragement of the mention of his boyfriend in the face of “conservative Southern” clients. He never seemed to touch on the ethical weight of his work for those same clients; it was simply a matter of how he felt at the end of the day. That, at its core, seemed so telling and so deeply saddening to me — to that man (if I have to type “practitioner” again I’m gonna vom- wait fuck), such a moment of solidarity was the absolute peak of progress possible to achieve. What a depressing prospect.
I’ve drunk the haterade on all sorts of things lately, and after witnessing such delightful performance art as a Deloitte Diversity Equity and Inclusion event in the Motley, meant to convince the org studies majors of Scripps College that their involvement with the megacorporation designed to do nothing but evade taxes and circulate money to the young professional class will be entirely in line with the values learned here (they have “46.8 percent racial and ethnic diversity among the Deloitte US workforce,” don’t you know), I cannot do anything but drink the haterade with absolute prejudice.
But I can promise you this, in case you were equally weirded-out by such an event: none shall be spared from my haterade-drinking quest — neither the Deloitte-sympathetic among us nor those who disdain it on the grounds of their own moral purity. I have little affection in my heart for our future corporate overlords; nor, for example, shall I absolve all the relentless misusers of the term “mutual aid” on Instagram (spoiler alert, it’s not fucking mutual aid if they’re not in your community). Blocked, blocked, blocked, blocked. None of you are free from sin.
Cancellation will come for me one day, of course. I know it in my soul. On a scale of my king Chasten Buttigieg (as-of-yet-uncancelable) to a party advertised on @5c_nightlife_ (certain to be), I am far on the latter side of the spectrum.
And I embrace it! With open arms, I stand before you, haterade in hand, full of nothing but grievance and my typing fingers.
Welcome back, Scripps. Let’s get this bag.
Image Source: Isabel Suh ‘24