President Trump has ordered his administration to stop paying for so-called “critical race theory” diversity training in federal agencies, with a top official calling the sessions “un-American propaganda,” The Washington Times has learned.
In a memo issued to federal agencies on Friday, Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought said it has come to the president’s attention that the executive branch has “spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date ‘training’ government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda.”
Citing press reports, Mr. Vought said employees across the executive branch have been required to attend training sessions where they are told that “virtually all White people contribute to racism” or where they are required to say that they “benefit from racism.”
“According to press reports, in some cases these training have further claimed that there is racism embedded in the belief that America is the land of opportunity or the belief that the most qualified person should receive a job,” Mr. Vought said in the memo. “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.”
The City Journal and the New York Post, citing whistleblower documents, reported that a private diversity-consulting firm conducted a training session in June for several federal agencies titled “Difficult Conversations About Race in Troubling Times.”
The session called on White employees at the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the National Credit Union Administration and the Office of the Comptroller to pledge “allyship [sic] amid the George Floyd Tragedy,” they reported.
Howard Ross, the consultant who created the training, reportedly has billed the federal government more than $5 million for such trainings since 2006. Since Mr. Trump took office, Mr. Ross personally has conducted at least 17 of these trainings for federal agencies including the Justice Department, the National Institutes of Health and the Office of the Attorney General, according to the reports.
Among the lessons Mr. Ross conveys are that the policing system in the U.S. has always been about race and “keeping freed slaves in their place.”
Sandia National Laboratories, the federal government’s top nuclear research lab, also has sent all of its White male executives to a mandatory three-day training in 2018 and 2019 called the “White Men’s Caucus on Eliminating Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia in Organizations.”
Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette has ordered an investigation into the training, which allegedly was to expose “White privilege” and deconstruct “White male culture.” The opening session required the men to make a list of associations about White male culture; the trainers’ list included “MAGA hat.”
In a letter to Mr. Brouillette, Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican, demanded an accounting of all money spent on such training.
“I fail to see how this fixation on the crudest imaginable gender and race stereotypes is productive or worthy of the expenditure of taxpayer dollars,” Mr. Hawley wrote. “The focus on providing trainings specifically for ‘White men’ is similarly concerning: while the race of the various participants in these workshops is not altogether clear, the use of overtly race-segregated diversity trainings would likely violate federal civil rights law.”
Mr. Vought said the president has directed him “to ensure that federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions.” He said OMB will issue detailed guidance soon, and directed all agencies in the meantime to identify any contracts related to “critical race theory” or “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 president, and his administration, are fully committed to the fair and equal treatment of all individuals in the United States,” he said. “The president has a proven track record of standing for those whose voice has long been ignored and who have failed to benefit from all our country has to offer, and he intends to continue to support all Americans, regardless of race, religion, or creed. 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.”