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WH orders end to 'anti-American' diversity training across agencies

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.

Reader comments

Mon, Oct 5, 2020

This is a great case for reverse discrimination. The Big Outfit in Bethesda went through this numerous times in the 1970s were Caucasians, Orientals, Spanish could not be considered for employment because of the quota system. Also they made sure that management was well compensated y large bonuses when hiring the targeted audience they were told to hire. This stopped for a while and now it goes on as a on going needed basis. Promotions were as directed to certain racial groups even while others who deserved the promotion based on competency did not have a chance.

Fri, Oct 2, 2020

The training is a joke and should of been retired a long time ago. Why should I be asked to go sit in a class and be pressed to name 5 famous Black Americans and stop there. Why wasn't I asked to name 5 Native Americans, Chinese Americans, Indian-Pakistani Americans. Why are we making the focus of racism only about Black Americans. We could of solved this problem long ago if we focused on ending racism for all people not just the flavor of the day or who yells the loudest.

Fri, Oct 2, 2020

Diversity training at the Big Out Fit in Bethesda is a major joke that should be reserved for the minion tv. The managers are the worse bigots when it comes to race, gender and age bias. The managers go out of their way to run the careers of hard working employees while they cheat on telecommuting, give each other large bonuses. They are not accountable for their actions and employees who have taken legal action are provided compensation without addressing the real problem which is total removal of the corruption that managers are famous for.

Tue, Sep 29, 2020

One way to make diversity more likely to work, to really work in making a more fair federal employment, is to go back to focusing on making early life more integrated. Black kids and white kids and latino kids and Asian American kids mixed together, growing up at school. The things aren't so strained later. Many articles have been written about how many school districts have slid back into segregation, because where people live has become more segregated again.

Thu, Sep 17, 2020

to the person who thinks diversity and fairness should just happen automatically. what if the people who are supposed to naturally diversify don't do it. doesn't that make some nudge like a policy actually ok? people weren't doing it enough on their own. not letting black and hispanic hires rise through the ranks as some deserved. long term that is a very bad problem. this is a diverse country. discrimination like that will lead to anger by those discriminated against and to social breakdown. and a lousy workplace for sure. so a nudge was necessary. don't you see that? it's not about just unfairly giving minorities a boost for nothing. it's correcting discrimination. and it's only giving some help to a fraction of those being promoted. I don't see how you can't see this.

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