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Nate Jackson / Jun. 18, 2020

Introducing the BSA's 'Diversity and Inclusion' Badge

Yet another move pandering to the cultural sensibilities of leftist board members.

I am an Assistant Scoutmaster in a local Boy Scouts troop, and two of my three sons are currently Scouts — one Life, the other Tenderfoot. Two of my sons, adopted brothers, are also black. Here at The Patriot Post, we rarely write in first person, but I tell you this by way of saying that the BSA’s latest pandering effort hits very close to home for my family and me.

Earlier this week, the National Executive Committee for the Boy Scouts of America announced a new Eagle-required “diversity and inclusion” merit badge, along with other measures to train staff and review “property names, events and insignia” to ensure total inclusion.

On the one hand, I personally am glad to see the BSA say, “There is no place for racism — not in Scouting and not in our communities. Racism will not be tolerated.” I’m glad to see the BSA, which once upon a time did not allow black Scouts in white troops, leave such division in the past.

Unfortunately, those welcome ideas are accompanied by the requisite groveling to the race-baiters of the Black Lives Matter movement. Black lives do matter, and few of these elitists suffering from white guilt know that better than I do, given all that my wife and I have sacrificed and done to raise two black boys and provide short-term foster care for several other black children. But Black Lives Matter has little to do with black lives and everything to do with the Democrat Party’s political agenda of racial division and socialist redistribution. The BSA shouldn’t touch that with a 10-foot pole.

To add another personal note to this story, last year my young black Scout went to his first summer camp, where he was introduced to a word he’d never heard before. He was called a “n—er” … by other black Scouts. The gasping hoopla that ensued left him feeling embarrassed and singled-out, primarily by the camp’s well-meaning white staff.

This year’s struggle is explaining to that same 12-year-old why the summer camp’s packing list contains the item “sports bra.”

Some of you may be wondering why my family would remain in the BSA after all of the leftist cultural pandering the organization has undertaken over the years. The answer is simple: Our troop is outstanding and this cultural flimflam is mostly relegated to media headlines and the national office, with little bearing on our troop’s activities. My boys treasure the friendships and skills they’re building, and we’re not (yet) willing to walk away. Frankly, this latest badge brings not outrage but an eye-roll, and it will provide a teachable moment in my home. All five of our children, after all, earn the “diversity and inclusion” badge every day of their lives. Of course, that doesn’t mean each new pander, largely brought about by the corporate “progressives” on the BSA’s national board, doesn’t bring new heartache as we lament the decline of a once-great organization.

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