Trump Bans "Divisive, Un-American Propaganda Training" for Federal Workforce

COMMENTARY Civil Society

Trump Bans "Divisive, Un-American Propaganda Training" for Federal Workforce

Sep 9th, 2020 4 min read
COMMENTARY BY
Mike Gonzalez

Senior Fellow, Center for Foreign Policy

Mike Gonzalez is a senior fellow in Heritage's Allison Center for Foreign Policy and the Angeles T. Arredondo E Pluribus Unum fellow.
President Trump delivers remarks during a news conference at the North Portico at the White House on September 7, 2020. Tasos Katopodis / Stringer / Getrty Images

Key Takeaways

The consultants making a mint out of this racket label it “anti-racism” or “diversity” training. They are nothing of the sort.

These exercises have one goal: to completely transform America from what it has been since its founding, and into something it was never intended to be.

While a president cannot do anything about corporate America, we welcome this step with government service.

Highly paid consultants spouting toxic racist concepts meant to transform society, and ignobly masking them as “anti-racism” training, are to be shown the door of the federal workforce, and hopefully out of corporate America one day, too. And all courtesy of Donald Trump and his Office of Management and Budget director.

Yes, that same Donald Trump whom media types from CNN to the once-staid PBS and NPR call a racist. He has just banned indoctrination sessions currently being imposed on the federal workforce. Not a minute too soon.

The consultants making a mint out of this racket label it “anti-racism” or “diversity” training. They are nothing of the sort. In fact, they push racist concepts that all Americans should spurn. That they are making use of the present crisis following the death of George Floyd to ram their reeducation camps down Americans’ throats is disgraceful.

A well-known example of this indoctrination came recently from the National Museum for African American History and Culture, a Smithsonian institution all taxpayers fund. 

Until Trump rightly criticized it and administrators took it down, the museum ran a supposedly “anti-racist” chart that included “hard work,” “cause and effect relationships,” “hard work is the key to success,” “work before play,” and “objective, rational linear thinking” as attributes of “white dominant culture, or whiteness.”

It is truly astonishing that racist messages such as these are not just accepted, but that the trainings that include them are now widespread in the corporate world, academia, and government. 

There isn’t a more damaging thing to say to a black child than hard work, delayed gratification, and the use of reason are exclusively the province of white people. And yet, this is the toxic messaging “anti-racism” training spreads every day.

For this reason, it is welcome that Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought (a Heritage Foundation alumnus) has announced that “The President has directed me to ensure that Federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions.”

All agencies will forthwith be “directed to begin to identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on ‘critical race theory’ and ‘white privilege,’” wrote Vought.

For all its talk of “privilege,” the consultant class conducting these preposterous exercises is enriching itself on the public dime. One such consultant has already billed the federal government more than $5 million for conducting these sessions, according to Heritage visiting scholar Chris Rufo.

Rufo’s tireless crusade against these nefarious training sessions have done much to bring them to the attention of the Trump administration.

Rufo is right. These exercises have one goal: to completely transform America from what it has been since its founding, and into something it was never intended to be: a state divided into subnational identity groups whose members are filled with grievances so they can seek to change society top to bottom.

These collectives supplant the individual as the main actor of society. Whereas the Founders, influenced by Enlightenment thinkers, believed that individuals had been endowed by their creator with inalienable rights, the new hard left believes that collectivities should be the new agents.

They make use a Marxist tool to change society called “critical theory.” They have more in common with the Maoist struggle sessions of communist China’s Cultural Revolution than with professional advancement seminars.

Critical theory is an unremitting attack on all the norms, traditions, and institutions of American society. It is now all the rage at universities, from critical legal theory in the law schools to critical race theory in the humanities departments, from gender studies to ethnic studies. From there, it has infected the rest of society.

The federal government, until now, has not been an exception. Here are but three sample agencies where this training has taken place:

  • The Treasury Department, which held a session telling employees that “virtually all White people contribute to racism.”
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission, where one such session demanded that employees examine their thoughts about “structural and systemic racism.”
  • The FBI, whose “Office of Diversity and Inclusion” is now hosting weekly “Intersectionality Workshops.”

Our national security may even be compromised. The Department of Homeland Security has hosted a training on “microaggressions, microinequities, and microassaults,” where white employees were told that they had been “socialized into oppressor roles.” 

Meanwhile, employees at Sandia National Laboratories, a federal agency that conducts nuclear research, held a three-day reeducation camp for white males, at which they were forced to write letters of apology to women and people of color.

And the federal government is but the tip of the iceberg. According to The New York Times, one of the most sought-after consultants doing these struggle sessions, Robin DiAngelo, since Floyd’s death in May has seen her inbox “flooded with urgent emails: requests to deliver (virtually because of the pandemic) workshops and keynotes at Amazon, Nike, Under Armour, Goldman Sachs. The entreaties went on: Facebook, CVS, American Express, Netflix.”

The examples are too many to record, but we see the consequence of this thinking all around us. The mayhem we are seeing on our streets in Kenosha, Wisconsin; Portland, Oregon; Chicago; New York, and other urban centers is the direct result of this indoctrination.

While a president cannot do anything about corporate America, we welcome this step with government service and hope he uses his bully pulpit to impact corporate America, too.

This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal