The U.S. State Department has suspended diversity and inclusion training sessions after President Donald Trump’s September executive order, which banned the teaching of critical race theory or other “divisive” ideas to federal agency employees.
Reuters reported that beginning on Friday, Oct. 23, the department had issued an internal message outlining the pause of such training programs.
“Beginning Friday, October 23, 2020, the Department is temporarily pausing all training programs related to diversity and inclusion in accordance with Executive Order … on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping,” the agency directive stated.
The department added, “The pause will allow time for the Department and Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to review program content.”
The State Department has not commented publicly on the reported move to suspend diversity training seminars.
The Sept. 4 memo stated, “It has come to the President’s attention that Executive Branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date ‘training’ government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda.”
“For example, according to press reports, employees across the Executive Branch have been required to attend trainings where they are told that ‘virtually all White people contribute to racism’ or where they are required to say that they ‘benefit from racism,’” it said.
“These types of ‘trainings’ not only run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception, but they also engender division and resentment within the Federal workforce. We can be proud that as an employer, the Federal government has employees of all races, ethnicities, and religions,” the memo from Trump added.
The directive was particularly harsh against the ideas of critical race theory, which essentially links the country’s institutions and power structures to a culture of white supremacy.
The memo stated that “all agencies are directed to begin to identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on ‘critical race theory,’ ‘white privilege,’ or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that 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,” it concluded.
The issue of Trump’s banning diversity training for federal employees about white privilege and diversity came up during last month’s first presidential debate in a question asked by moderator, Fox News host Chris Wallace.
Trump defended cutting the train programs.
WALLACE: “Why did you decide to do that, to end racial sensitivity training — and do you believe that there is systemic racism in this country?”
— Bloomberg (@business) September 30, 2020
The president stated, “I ended it because it’s racist. I ended it because a lot of people were complaining that they were asked to do things that were absolutely insane, that it was a radical revolution that was taking place in our military, in our schools, all over the place.”
He added, “We would pay people hundreds of thousands of dollars to teach very bad ideas and frankly, very sick ideas. And really, they were teaching people to hate our country, and I’m not going to do that, I’m not going to allow that to happen.”
Trump argued the country must get back to its “core values” with regard to equality in the workforce.
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