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Silicon Valley Bank collapsed Friday after depositors panicked and attempted to pull $42 billion out of the bank on Thursday alone, creating a run on the bank. 

But Gov. Ron DeSantis pointed to another reason why the bank failed: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

“I mean, this bank, they’re so concerned with DEI and politics and all kinds of stuff. I think that really diverted from them focusing on their core mission,” DeSantis said on Fox News Channel’s Sunday morning show.

There is no evidence DEI played a role in the bank’s collapse.

Financial experts said SVB failed because of bad investments. On Wednesday the bank announced it had sold a lot of securities at a loss and would need to raise $2.25 billion to shore up its balance sheet. That triggered a panic among venture capital firms, who advised companies to withdraw their money from the bank. On Friday federal regulators took the bank over. 

Michael Steele, a Black man and former chair of the Republican National Committee Chairman, slammed DeSantis on Twitter.

“Would you stop with your ‘woke’ BS @GovRonDeSantis You know damn well DEI had nothing to do with the collapse of #SVBBank. Have you seen their executive team? So you’re saying bringing people of color into executive leadership caused the bank to fail. You’re just unserious,” Steele tweeted. “ about poor fiscal management, an inability to raise capital, miscalculating the impact of higher interest rates on its portfolio and the collapse of crypto being a better cause for #SVBank to fail than trying to diversify its board. Good grief.”

SVB is a regional bank in California catering to the tech industry. Federal regulators also took over a second bank in New York on Sunday after facing a “crisis of confidence,” according to the Wall Street Journal. This the second and third largest bank failures in the U.S.

Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, a major donor to DeSantis’ re-election campaign, echoed the governor’s faux concerns about DEI.

“I feel bad for all of these people that lost all their money in this woke bank. You know, it was more distressing to hear that the bank officials sold off their stock before this happened,” Marcus told Fox News. “It’s depressing to me. Who knows whether the Justice Department would go after them? They’re a woke company, so I guess not. And they’ll probably get away with it.”

SVB’s website features a page on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with the tagline “We believe inclusion ignites innovation.”

“We embrace diverse perspectives and foster a culture of belonging,” the webpage reads. “We also know that diverse perspectives and inclusive environments ignite new ideas to power innovation.”

The New York Post also ran with the “woke” narrative in a story Saturday, “While Silicon Valley Bank collapsed, top executive pushed ‘woke’ programs.”

The article detailed all the ways in which SVB supported the LGBT community including its “first month-long Pride campaign and a new blog emphasizing mental health awareness for LGBTQ+ youth.”

 Photo credit: Minh Nguyen, via Wikimedia Commons.