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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

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.

Thu, Sep 17, 2020

The fact that so many of us feds are getting this issue wrong is a tribute to our mainstream media. Systemic racism is a necessary leg of the "antiracism narrative." If only isolated incidents of police brutality - some of which are inadequate components of a deeply flawed narrative - are used to buttress the BLM narrative, these incidents could be conceivably rectified by more vigorous prosecutions of offending police, and improved police accountability. But BLM's activist ambitions go much deeper. They want radical bail reform, defunding the police, citizen review boards and other increasingly radical initiatives. If there was no widespread belief in SYSTEMIC racism throughout the U.S., none of these severe, draconian proposals would be necessary. The great irony of this racial offshoot of Marxist/postmodern critical theory is that we already recognize the most hideous aspect of racism is that it is an attack on a person's being. An attack on an unchangeable aspect of who a person is. But this is precisely what critical race theory attacks! "Whiteness" under CRT IS first and foremost the scarlet letter affixed to white people and not necessarily what he or she has DONE. The sin of racism seems to be secondary to the color of one's skin. There is no upside for a white person even if they have led an exemplary life with regard to how well and how often they have related to those of other races. Because whites are upholding the power structures in our current society, their power must be taken away from them according to CRT. In a world that I thought had rejected stereotypes and categorical scapegoating, CRT has pushed for us to again embrace such pernicious evils.

Wed, Sep 16, 2020

Diversity should happen autmatically by the people who apply and are qualified. Diversity by requiring diversity is actually discrimination!

Tue, Sep 15, 2020

This article totally misrepresents what that memo was about. The memo is not ending diversity training or labeling diversity training as unAmerican. Stop spreading a lie. The memo had to do with a program of Critical Race Theory. I heard a presentation on CRT at my agency and it is very unAmerican. If you do not know what CRT is you need to know. Look it up. It is a narrative pushed by the far left and coming out of the universities. Shame on you for trying to dividing us, just look at the outrageous comments it generated. All Americans need to pull together and find common ground to heal our land, your article and CRT just creates divides.

Mon, Sep 14, 2020

To "Diversity training didn't do much good ... " etc. Honestly, do you believe what you wrote? You're commenting on top politicians, anyway. This news story was about regular federal employees. Diversity training is helpful when you have a bunch of people of all backgrounds and ethnic groups working together, and there is evidence of that. There are studies that show that. And this is likely to be even more important at a time and in an environment where the top boss in the executive branch talks a lot of nonsense and repeats racist tropes even re-tweets racist publications. You're very misguided. But you're likely just saying this because of political reasons. That's not how federal employees normally see their work.

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