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President Trump recently announced on Twitter an upcoming government purge of seminars teaching “critical race theory” or “white privilege” in federal agencies. A Sept. 4 letter from the Office of Management and Budget then ordered the termination of federal funds for employee training involving the two phrases, or any activity that suggests the United States is “an inherently racist or evil country” or that any race or ethnicity is intrinsically racist and evil. At its core, critical race theory argues that racism is ingrained in American society and upheld through our various political and legal institutions.
Government-Funded Nonsense No More
Attention to this issue was brought up on July 15 via a tweet by Christopher Rufo, Director of the Center on Wealth & Poverty at Discovery Institute. Mr. Rufo pointed out the existence of a course called “Difficult Conversations about Race” organized at the Treasury Department and shown to employees. The program called for all white employees to pledge “allyship” after George Floyd’s death. The stated goal was to convert all employees in the federal government to anti-racism. While innocent enough at first glance, the devil was in the details.
Nobody is Innocent
Rather than being solely about combating prejudice, the course attempted to indoctrinate any participants into fully believing in aspects of critical race theory. The class claimed that virtually all white people contribute to racism, that white employees needed to accept their bias, white privilege, and white fragility, and that they should be urged to keep quiet when black employees vent or talk about their problems. In one of the more egregious statements, the course even claimed that whites broadly do not support the dismantling of racist institutions and should be considered racist for pointing out racial progress since the 1960s.
While actions taken by the Trump administration are only against federal agencies, the issue is not restricted to government departments. On college campuses, administrators, professors, and students are encouraged to portray themselves as racists for the crime of being white. It has quite literally become woke for white progressives to call themselves racists and succumb to intersectional voices only for their skin color.
Trump Takes Action
According to President Trump, upon finding out about the issue, he directed the Office of Management and Budget to track down agencies approving courses similar to those held at the Treasury Department and to cease the courses immediately if taught by outside instructors being paid with federal funds. Critical agencies like the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Laboratories had already begun these seminars and workshops, with dozens of other smaller agencies implementing them as well.
The Crackdown Criticism
The usual critics of President Trump have called this memo a crackdown on conversations about race, calling it a cover for the president’s own supposed bigotry against blacks, Latinos, and immigrants more broadly. What these critics knowingly fail to mention is that there are fundamental differences between discussing America’s history of racism and attempting to indoctrinate whites into feeling guilty for actions that did not involve them personally. These radical indoctrination attempts do not end there; multiple attempts have been made to associate normal behavior with whiteness and white privilege. Individualism, hard work, objectivity, the nuclear family, respect for authority, and being on time were associated with white privilege by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, a federally-funded museum and part of the Smithsonian Institutes.
Twitter was in a frenzy on both sides over the announcement. Republicans cheered the crackdown against the belief system attempting to criminalize American history, while the usual progressives expressed anger over not being allowed to use intersectionality to indoctrinate white employees of federal agencies. Their real fear comes from the possibility of President Trump going even further and withholding federal funds from any institutions or states encouraging the teaching of critical race theory, which many reports suggest is soon to come.
Read more from Jose Backer.