Trump Bans Diversity Training In The Name of Diversity
Donald Trump has lost his fucking mind.
Whether he was ever all the way there to begin with is debatable, but we have now reached peak racist old grandpa who yells at the TV while slobbering all over himself. The problem is that this particular racist old grandpa who exclusively gets his information from Fox News also happens to be the commander-in-chief.
This week, the White House released Trump's "Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping," which, amazingly enough, bans trainings on how to combat race and sex stereotyping in the workplace.
While those of us in the US who aren't white supremacists have taken the last few months to really look at how to combat systemic and institutional racism, the GOP has taken this time to really work on perfecting its white nationalist talking points. So here we are.
Earlier this month, Trump issued an Executive Order banning certain types of diversity training from federal agencies. This week's order also bans federal contractors from using them, too.
The EO, naturally, was announced via Twitter in the midst of one of the commander-in-chief's adderall binges.
...with our Country, the United States Military, Government Contractors, and Grantees. Americans should be taught t… https://t.co/3cBtTzAynw— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1600815203.0
Donald Trump and the other
Stephen Millers white supremacists in the administration are at war with the 1619 Project, critical race theory, the concept of white privilege, and anything that might not instill PRIDE in American history. Appropriately, Trump's obsession with murdering critical race theory appears to have originated with a segment on white supremacist Tucker Carlson's show.
I realize satire died somewhere back in 2016, but the lack of self-awareness here is really astounding. In the same breath as he bloviates about the importance of "defend[ing] the legacy of America's founding, the virtue of America's heroes, and the nobility of the American character," Trump actually refers to diversity and inclusion training as "propaganda." Because this is the bad place.
As badass founding critical race theorist and intersectional feminist and law professor at UCLA and Columbia University Kimberlé Crenshaw told Vox,
"They've lumped everything together: critical race theory, the 1619 project, whiteness studies, talking about white privilege," Kimberlé Crenshaw, a founding critical race theorist and UCLA and Columbia University law professor, told Vox. "What they have in common is they are discourses that refuse to participate in the lie that America has triumphantly overcome its racist history, that everything is behind us. None of these projects accept that it's all behind us."
The Executive Order, as you might imagine, is quite the read.
At the very beginning of the executive order banning racial sensitivity training, Trump invokes the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. So that's adorable.
As you might imagine, Trump's version of America's history is ... just a little bit entirely bastardized.
From the battlefield of Gettysburg to the bus boycott in Montgomery and the Selma-to-Montgomery marches, heroic Americans have valiantly risked their lives to ensure that their children would grow up in a Nation living out its creed, expressed in the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." It was this belief in the inherent equality of every individual that inspired the Founding generation to risk their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to establish a new Nation, unique among the countries of the world. President Abraham Lincoln understood that this belief is "the electric cord" that "links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving" people, no matter their race or country of origin. It is the belief that inspired the heroic black soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment to defend that same Union at great cost in the Civil War. And it is what inspired Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to dream that his children would one day "not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
Thanks to the courage and sacrifice of our forebears, America has made significant progress toward realization of our national creed, particularly in the 57 years since Dr. King shared his dream with the country.
I, for one, am particularly impressed with the fact that the EO talks about the Civil War without actually mentioning slavery. The retconning here is kind of incredible.
Without irony, the EO says that
Today many people are pushing a different vision of America that is grounded in hierarchies based on collective social and political identities rather than in the inherent and equal dignity of every person as an individual.
... and then immediately trashes any attempt to come to terms with our country's racist and sexist past (and present).
This ideology is rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country; that some people, simply on account of their race or sex, are oppressors; and that racial and sexual identities are more important than our common status as human beings and Americans.
Because apparently, we should just ignore systemic and institutionalized white supremacy and misogyny. It makes the old white men uncomfortable.
Yes, this is fucking unconstitutional
How is Trump's latest bullshit illegal? Let me count the ways.
There are obviously some pretty major First Amendment issues with this racist, sexist nonsense. The feds have the ability to place limits on their contractors, but the breadth of this order is NUTS. The EO may even limit what colleges and universities teach in courses about critical race theory and women's studies, since basically all higher learning institutions receive federal money.
I will just be waiting here for the Bretbug Stephens's of the world, who love to bloviate about free speech on college campuses, to get all up in arms about this one.
There are also First Amendment issues with the vagueness of the language and the broadness of the order. Even after reading the whole order, it's hard to figure out exactly what it seeks to ban. Snopes looked into what the EO actually banned and basically came back with "idunno." The First Amendment requires that laws not be overly broad or overly vague and this seems to be both.
There are several potential statutory problems with it, too, since there is a very real chance that it conflicts with federal civil rights laws and rules promulgated by federal agencies. Since, you know, diversity is actually a good thing and we have been passing civil rights laws for the last half-century in an effort to improve the lives of people who had historically been disenfranchised.
Does it matter that this bullshit is illegal?
Ehhh, probably not.
This thing is going to be challenged. That's a given. But where, exactly those challenges will go remains to be decided.
The way I see it, by the time this disaster works its way through the court system, one of two things will be true; either Trump will still be president, Amy Coney Barrett will be the ninth member of SCOTUS, and the Supreme Court will rubber-stamp all the fascist Trump ideas ... orrrrrrr Joe Biden will be President and rescind every executive order Trump ever issued.
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