Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Robinson made a rare appearance at the North Carolina Legislative Building on Wednesday to speak to the conservative group Moms for Liberty, telling them he wants to replace DEI.

DEI stands for diversity, equity and inclusion, and has been targeted by Republicans so far in the UNC System, which is eliminating DEI programs. Robinson wants more such eliminations.

“These agendas need to be removed from our schools,” Robinson told the Moms for Liberty members. “They need to be removed from our government. We need to get back to back to doing what we do best.” Robinson, who is now the lieutenant governor, said that DEI standing for diversity, equity and inclusion “sounds nice, but we all know, it’s wrecking systems all across the nation, all across the state.”

Robinson is running this fall against Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein.

“Our teachers deserve our respect and appreciation,” Morgan Hopkins, a spokesperson for Stein’s campaign, said in a statement. “Mark Robinson calls them ‘wicked people’ and ‘demons.’ “He just wants to fight job-killing culture wars. Josh Stein understands the importance of strengthening public education and as Governor, he will fight for badly-needed investments that support teachers and students and help strengthen North Carolina’s future.”

ROBINSON’S DEFINITION OF DEI Speaking to Moms for Liberty, Robinson said, “Well, I’ve got a plan to replace DEI with something I call DEI.

“My version of DEI is not diversity, equity and inclusion. My version of DEI is something ... this nation, this state, our institutions need to bring back.. ... It’s what we used to search for in this country: ... discipline, excellence and intelligence.” He was met with cheers from the crowd. Robinson praised Moms for Liberty for “standing up for what is right.”