In real-life context, companies draft DIRE policy statements to communicate faux commitment to progress. At most White advertising agencies, the letters could mean Deceptively Insincere Rhetorical Excrement.
The semi-clever term injects a performative sense of urgency, as well as a disingenuous challenge to counter the disrespect inherent with inequality and systemic racism.
For Adland, however, a better R-word might be Responsibility. That is, authentic dedication demands accountability. Firms barely view DEI as a business imperative—and steadfastly refuse to consider the moral and ethical implications. Yet resisting responsibility is a denial of reality.
As Spider-Man recognized, “With great power comes great responsibility.” The ruling majority in Adland has enjoyed its position of power forever. Regarding diversity, equity, inclusion, respect, belonging, or any other phrase in the lexicon, there has been an abject lack of responsibility.
With White power comes great irresponsibility.