In another tacit admission that he believes American equates to whiteness, President Trump has ordered the cease and desist of any government funding for anti-racism federal training programs because they are “anti-American propaganda.”
The edict was delivered by Russel Vought, director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget in a chilling—and telling—memo on Friday, in which he expressed Trump’s outrage that sessions about critical race theory and white privilege were taking place in federal agencies.
“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,” Vought wrote. “We cannot accept our employees receiving training that seeks to undercut our core values as Americans and drive division within our workforce.”
It’s another clear statement of what the Trump administration’s values are at a time when racial injustice in the United States continues to fuel the summary execution of Black people by police with impunity, as well as national protests and conversations about how this country’s deep history of anti-Blackness still shows up in all kinds of institutions.
Describing attempts to change this unjust state of affairs as “divisive,” Trump has ordered all federal agencies in the executive branch to take immediate measures ensuring their white employees don’t have to consider the idea that they have privilege in America.
From the memo:
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. In addition, all agencies should begin to identify all available avenues within the law to cancel any such contracts and/or to divert Federal dollars away from these un-American propaganda training sessions.
The memo started off by making reference to press reports that said the trainings push the (apparently absurd) idea that “white people benefit from racism,” but Trump was likely inspired to make this move by one report from Fox News’ head white supremacist, Tucker Carlson.
On Wednesday, Carlson dedicated a segment on his show to talking about the tyranny of critical race theory training in federal institutions, which his guest called on Trump to “immediately abolish.”
November can’t come soon enough.