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Politics Trump extends ban on racial discrimination training to federal contractors

03:25  23 september  2020
03:25  23 september  2020 Source:   thehill.com

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President Donald Trump on Friday night banned federal agencies from conducting racial sensitivity training related to "white privilege" and "critical race theory" that his administration says amounts to "divisive, anti-American propaganda

Three major federal agencies have forged ahead with plans to host critical race theory training for their employees, teaching them to "co-resist" and The State Department is embarking on a “21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge,” in which employees will be asked to make pledges to racial equity

President Trump on Tuesday extended his administration's ban on training involving race- and sex-based discrimination to include federal contractors, doubling down on an issue to appeal to his base, and white voters in particular.

a close up of a man who is smiling and looking at the camera: Trump extends ban on racial discrimination training to federal contractors © Getty Trump extends ban on racial discrimination training to federal contractors

The White House released an executive order that outlaws the teaching of "divisive concepts," such as the idea that one race or sex is superior, that the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist, that any individual should feel "discomfort, guilt, anguish" or physiological distress because of their race or sex or that an individual bears responsibility for past actions by others of the same race or sex.

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  The man behind Trump’s campaign against 'critical race theory' On Friday, Sept. 4, just hours before the start of Labor Day weekend, Russell Vought, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, issued a memo ordering all federal agencies “to cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund” diversity and inclusion programs for employees. The memo referred specifically to “critical race theory,” a previously obscure academic framework that analyzes how the legal system and social institutions perpetuate racism.

The Trump administration is set to roll back the Obama-era policies promoting diversity in universities, known as affirmative action, US media report. The Justice Department is also currently investigating Harvard over racial discrimination allegations. In April, it called for the public disclosure of the Ivy

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"[T]raining like that discussed above perpetuates racial stereotypes and division and can use subtle coercive pressure to ensure conformity of viewpoint," the order states. "Such ideas may be fashionable in the academy, but they have no place in programs and activities supported by Federal taxpayer dollars."

The order applies to executive departments and agencies, the U.S. military, federal contractors and federal grant recipients.

The president announced the order via Twitter roughly three weeks after his administration ordered federal agencies to cancel programs that discuss "white privilege" or "critical race theory." The latter concept teaches that racism and racial inequality are a result of systemic power structures.

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Trump has in recent weeks turned his attention to rooting out concepts that he claims "indoctrinate" Americans and school children into believing the country is inherently racist in an attempt to stoke cultural issues that appeal to his base, and to white voters specifically.

Trump last week announced plans for a new commission to promote "patriotic education" in U.S. schools through what he called the "1776 Commission," a swipe at The New York Times' "1619 Project," which focused on how the arrival of the first slave ships on the continent shaped American history.

The commission will be tasked with celebrating the upcoming 250th anniversary of the country's founding and with encouraging educators to "teach our children about the miracle of American history. Some critics mocked the program as a propaganda effort.

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