President Donald Trump is seeking to ban federal agencies from conducting cultural sensitivity training after claiming such anti-racist and equality programs are “divisive, anti-American propaganda.”
"It has come to the President's attention that agencies within the executive branch have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date 'training' government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda," the White House Office of Management and Budget said in a statement.
According to the report, employees within the executive branch of the government have been attending meetings where they are told that "virtually all white people contribute to racism" or have to admit that they "benefit from racism."
In addition to defunding the cultural sensitivity trainings, the executive order directs the federal agencies to eradicate lessons on "critical race theory," ban discussions related to "white privilege" and stop suggesting "that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country."
The memo describes the trainings as "counter to the fundamental beliefs" of the country.
"We cannot accept our employees receiving training that seeks to undercut our core values as Americans and drive division within our workforce," the report stated. "The divisive, false, and demeaning propaganda of the critical race theory movement is contrary to all we stand for as Americans and should have no place in the Federal government."
The ban against cultural sensitivity trainings is the latest controversial measure coming from the Trump administration. Last month, the 74-year-old tried to implement a rule against international students, saying they would have to transfer or leave the country if their schools held classes entirely online during the pandemic. But the president rescinded the bill after facing lawsuits from several universities, the Associated Press reported.
According to NPR, Trump took another unpopular step in July when he decided to stop accepting new applications for DACA, which protects immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children.
Naturally, the move garnered some massively warranted criticism.
"If diversity training is 'anti-American', the soul of America is getting sicker and sicker," activist Bernice King tweeted.
If diversity training is “anti-American,” the soul of America is getting sicker and sicker. https://t.co/Frfdhs6T6y
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) September 5, 2020
As some people see it, diversity training is the exact opposite of what is described in the White House statement.
Diversity training is not what feeds racist propaganda, it's what kills it. We as a country need to do better than this… https://t.co/d3Iss02Tzp
— Kevin Thiel | Black Lives Matter (@thielwx) September 5, 2020
The latest report adds to the overwhelmingly negative perception of the president, with many labeling him as racist.
— Charlie_VOTE!_Kravetz (@charlie_tca) September 5, 2020
Still, the Trump administration is acting as if there.
"The President, and his Administration, are fully committed to the fair and equal treatment of all individuals in the United States," the White House Office of Management and Budget stated. "The President has a proven track record of standing for those whose voice has long been ignored and who have failed to benefit from all our country has to offer, and he intends to continue to support all Americans, regardless of race, religion, or creed."
M.E. Hart, an attorney who leads diversity training sessions for businesses and the federal government, said racial awareness helps to address unconscious bias.
“If we are going to live up to this nation’s promise — ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal’ — we have to see each other as human beings, and we have to do whatever it takes, including taking whatever classes make that possible,” Hart told The Washington Post. “These classes have been very powerful in allowing people to do that, and we need them more than ever. There’s danger here.”
Hart added that racial sensitivity training improves morale and cooperation in the workplace and increases overall efficiency.