DIE is everywhere and if you aren’t DEI enough, well then you just have to DIE. Every other value, accomplishment, merit or talent, will take second billing to the only value that now matters.
It’s happening all over so this is just one story in a million of ’em.
The new director of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA), whose tenures at previous institutions were punctuated by controversy, has abruptly canceled a major upcoming exhibition over a lack of diversity among the two dozen represented artists. Director Amada Cruz also eliminated the position of the museum’s longtime chief curator, Eik Kahng.
The decisions by Cruz prompted a searing response from the affected artists, who called her actions “outrageous” and “appalling” and said they continued “Cruz’s pattern of controversial leadership.”
“We consider these recent developments not only alarming but also insulting — to us, to the Santa Barbara art community, and indeed to all artists,” eight members of the group wrote in a formal letter of protest to the museum’s Board of Directors. “What is happening at SBMA now threatens the institution’s public and scholarly missions.”
In a statement to the Independent, Cruz defended her decisions. “When I joined the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in October 2023, one of the first priorities set together with the Board and senior leadership was to review the ways in which our Museum and programming can be more inclusive and more reflective of Santa Barbara County’s diverse community,” she said.
“In reviewing the exhibition plan, the checklist of around 20 living artists and estates slated to be included in the exhibition, and the catalog essays,” Cruz continued, “it was determined that it fell short from a diversity perspective. The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, like other museums of our size, has limited resources. So, it was decided to focus our resources elsewhere.”
Santa Barbara is almost entirely white and Hispanic. There’s pretty much no one else there. And while Hispanic is treated as a minority, and therefore oppressed, take a look up above at what Amada Cruz looks like. She’s a white lady born to two laywers. So are a lot of Cubans like her (not necessarily the lawyer part of that.) So are a lot of Hispanic descendants of Spanish settlers.
Cruz has done the ‘diversity’ thing everywhere she’s gone with usually unhappy results. This is nothing new for her. Staff leave, there are protests and accusations, and she claims that she’s promoting diversity.
And diversity means that somehow Amada Cruz, whose artistic accomplishments are of the bureaucratic kind, matters more than the artists because she, being a white lady from a Spanish-speaking country, is diverse, and they, being American, are not.
That’s DEI. And it’s another reminder of why DEI kills merit, accomplishment and talent while rewarding racial hucksters and grifters, many of them white.