Dr. Tabia Lee

Dr. Tabia Lee is a senior fellow at Do No Harm.

Before joining Do No Harm, she was hired to head the DEI department at Silicon Valley’s De Anza College as a tenured faculty member.

You might find this surprising at first, given that Do No Harm was founded to protect patients and practitioners from divisive ideologies, including toxic DEI initiatives at medical schools. 

But Dr. Lee’s personal experience at De Anza College is a chilling cautionary tale.

“As a black woman, I was the perfect person for the job—on paper,” Dr. Lee explains. But once she started her new role at De Anza, things got ugly. 

You see, Dr. Lee was excellent at her job. She treated students as individuals and rejected racial stereotypes. She advocated for diversity and inclusion, not just in the way people look, but also in how they think and what they believe. 

After Dr. Lee received worries from students that the campus was antisemitic, she promoted inclusion by hosting Jewish speakers on campus. She was called a “dirty Zionist” for doing so. The school refused to promote the events or issue a condemnation of antisemitism.

I have never encountered a more hostile environment toward the members of any racial, ethnic or religious group.”

Dr. Lee refused to give up. She showed up to work every day and continued to treat people like human beings, not categories of identity politics. But the abuse got worse. 

She was told that Jews were “white oppressors” and that she was aiding white supremacy and colonialism. She was told she wasn’t the “right kind” of black person. She was told to keep her mouth shut. And then she was fired for unwillingness to accept destructive criticism that was not grounded in any objective facts or reality about her job performance and for her unwillingness to cooperate with uncritically promoting adopting and encouraging others to adopt without question so-called anti-racism ideologies.

Dr. Lee filed a lawsuit because she was personally marginalized and bullied, and she joined Do No Harm because she knows there are others. She hears from her colleagues all the time who reach out in support and to express their own concerns about toxic DEI in higher education—some of them she knows, and others she’s never met before. 

“Countless faculty and students on campuses nationwide have told me the DEI ideology encourages antisemitism… Look no further than ‘White Coats for Black Lives,’ a national group of medical students with chapters in more than 100 public and private universities. On Tuesday, just days after Hamas murdered Jewish families in their beds, the DEI-driven group proudly declared it has ‘long supported Palestine’s struggle for liberation.’ How could a Jewish patient ever trust a medical trainee or professional who subscribes to such blatant antisemitic hatred? It’s tantamount to threatening their lives, and it raises questions about whether such hate-filled people should even be allowed to practice medicine.”

When medical practitioners are too scared to think for themselves, patients suffer. When free and open inquiry is run out of medicine, the integrity of the field is lost. 

We need to get toxic DEI out of colleges and medical schools, and we are lucky that Dr. Tabia Lee has the courage to lead the charge.

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