Tuesday, October 20, 2020
By now most are familiar with the Trump Administration Memorandum ordering the dismantling of all trainings intended to assist in eliminating racial bias. The administration was clear that the order is intended to dismantle any trainings that emanate from critical race theory. As one reporter noted “Trump has attacked diversity training, critical race theory, the 1619 project, and anything that reckons with America’s racist past.”
Hoping you have your sense of irony available, the memorandum says in part “These types of 'trainings' not only run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception, but they also engender division and resentment within the Federal workforce…The President has directed me [Russell Voight of OMB to ensure that Federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions.” The memo appears to have been influenced by the work of the Commission on Unalienable Rights.
The sentiments are not surprising. What is concerning – in addition to the elimination of training – is the memorandum’s written perverted reasoning of why the trainings are harmful. The memorandum is a frightening authoritarian document denying the existence of white supremacy. Reportedly government employees have been told that the training topics are not to be discussed in the workplace. The instruction is the most concerning part of this change. The instruction is a preview of what speech will be banned more broadly should this administration continue.