Civil Rights Groups File Lawsuit Against Trump Administration Over Diversity Training Ban

Illustration for article titled Civil Rights Groups File Lawsuit Against Trump Administration Over Diversity Training Ban
Photo: Brendan Smialowski (Getty Images)

In September, The Root reported that the commander-in-white-fragility that y’all call president ordered all federal agencies to end anti-racism training and any other training that implements critical race theory.

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Well now, Trump’s order against hurting white people’s feelings is facing its first legal challenge as three civil rights groups filed a lawsuit Thursday arguing that it violates Americans’ constitutional right to freedom of speech.

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The Associated Press reports that the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the National Urban League and the National Fair Housing Alliance filed the complaint in federal court in Washington, D.C. Aside from violating free speech, the complaint alleges that Trump’s order to contain white tears stifles efforts in federal workplaces to address racism, sexism and other forms of bigotry that workers may experience.

From AP:

The executive order “unconstitutionally forces Plaintiffs to choose between censoring speech on these important issues or forfeiting any opportunity to enter into a federal contract,” the groups argued in the complaint.

Trump’s executive order, signed last month, called out workplace trainings that explore deep-seated racism and privilege that the administration says could make white workers feel “discomfort” or guilt. The president ordered the Labor Department to set up a hotline to investigate complaints about training sessions that Trump has called “anti-American” and “blame-focused.”

The directive uses a 55-year-old presidential order spurred by the Civil Rights Movement that sought to ban discriminatory practices at companies that contract with the federal government. Critics say Trump’s order twists President Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1965 initiative into vehicle for white grievances.

Imagine being so racist and afraid of having your racism challenged that you basically appoint a whole injustice league task force to eradicate federal anti-bias training everywhere. Imagine being so fragile that you use all the power your position provides to attack critical race theory—a concept that is backed by decades worth of academic research—all because you’re afraid of white “discomfort,” a.k.a. the only type of racial discomfort that matters to conservatives.

Ajmel Quereshi, senior counsel with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, told USA Today that the Trump administration is “trying to keep individuals from even expressing their thoughts.”

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“What this case does is challenge this executive order on both First Amendment grounds as well as Equal Protection grounds specifically because it tries to keep any federal contractor, federal employee or federal grantee from speaking about the history of systemic discrimination in the United States and its continuing effects,” Quereshi continued.

Of course, the Department of Labor responded to the lawsuit by defending Trump’s order to keep white peoples’ undergarments unbunched arguing that it doesn’t prohibit anti-bias training, it just prohibits anti-bias training that makes color-redacted folks feel bad...or something like that.

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More from AP:

The Department of Labor says the order does not ban “unconscious bias” training that discusses “pre-conceptions, opinions, or stereotypes” that people might have about others. But it prohibits training that that implies anyone is racist or sexist “by virtue of his or her race, sex, and/or national origin.”

In a statement, the Labor Department said it “is confident it will prevail in this lawsuit.”

“The elimination of race and sex stereotyping and scapegoating in employment is a key civil rights priority of the Trump Administration,” the department said.

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Riiiiight. The guy who won’t stop referring to the coronavirus as the “China virus,” characterized undocumented immigrants as “animals” and “rapists” and allegedly referred to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” is suddenly worried about unfair stereotyping.

This administration will say anything to avoid dealing with the fact the president of brittle white feelings turned his own fragility into an executive order.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

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DISCUSSION

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I'mSofaKingSickofWonderBread

It’s obvious upon one look at the order that it really means nothing, but the fact that organizations are already removing things out of fear means it’s working perfectly.

Biden had better win and get right to fixing public education, because we are the stupidest country ever, and we will fight tooth and nail against our own best interests if we don’t start learning better.