On Friday, Russell Vought, director of Republican President Donald Trump’s Office of Management and Budget issued a memo on Trump’s direction telling the heads of all federal agencies to end anti-racism and diversity training programs.
The memo called the programs “divisive, anti-American propaganda.” The programs largely focus on the different lived experiences of people of color, immigrants and people from other marginalized identities.
While the Vought wrote that his office will issue more detailed guidance on eliminating these programs soon, he said all federal agencies should identify all programs related that discuss “white privilege” or that “teaches or suggests … that the United States … or any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil.”
“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,” Vought wrote.
In an explainer article about federal diversity and anti-racism training, Vox explains:
Critical race theory is a school of thought that examines how race and racism is perpetuated through existing legal and cultural systems. It supposes that examining and critiquing social institutions — and creating spaces for people to color to share their experiences — can help create a fairer world. Examining the advantages white people enjoy in social, economic and political areas (also known as white privilege) is a part of understanding and challenging those systems.
In the past, Trump has called the Black Lives Matter movement a “symbol of hate”, has called racial justice protests a form of “domestic terror”, and called and people demonstrating against police brutality “thugs.”
The Black and anti-racist publication The Root called the memo Trump’s “tacit admission that he believes American equates to whiteness,” and added that his memo came the day after Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson discussed the “tyranny of critical race theory training in federal institutions” with his guest calling on Trump to “immediately abolish” it.
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