WH orders end to 'anti-American' diversity training across agencies
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Sep 10, 2020
The White House, through the Office of Management and Budget, has issued a memo ordering federal agencies to stop implementing what it says is “anti-American” diversity training for employees.
For many years, executive branch employees have had diversity training and been issued related educational materials. In the last decade, those efforts were expanded. President Obama called for improved diverse federal hiring in 2010 and established an initiative in 2011 for a more diverse federal workforce. In October 2016, he issued a more specific memo aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion in national security agencies, and in November of that year he held a summit meeting on developing and promoting diversity, government-wide.
This year, in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, several other racial flashpoint events and the widespread protests that followed, federal agencies (like companies, nonprofits, and state and local governments) have implemented new and sometimes significantly more intensive diversity education efforts.
But President Trump, as is made clear in the new memo, has found serious fault in these efforts.
“It has come to the President’s attention that Executive Branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date ‘training’ government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda,” the OMB memo says—stating outright that shutting down the training is a a move ordered by the president himself.
“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 memo states.
While not identifying any single office or department’s recent diversity program or materials, the memo did note that content referring to “white privilege” specifically would be targeted.
The document also promised that OMB “will shortly issue more detailed guidance on implementing the president’s directive.”
What data or reports of trouble led to the action? The informational basis for the president’s move, referred to in the OMB memo, is not detailed. The memo simply cites “press reports”—without identifying which media outlets—as the source of the data behind the decision.
But multiple national media stories in the Washington Post, the New York Times and others reported that the president’s criticism of the recent federal push on diversity training appear rooted in certain media reports—most notably, from Fox News.
A piece carried by that network notes too that the president’s “move comes after” after one of the network’s on-air commentators publicized the issue. No internal government reporting, audit or staff feedback was cited in the presidential memo.