The Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping issued by President Trump on Sept. 22 is a major step to stop discrimination and bigotry. The EO is based on well-established precedents like Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the regulations which govern federal civil service. It says.
“Therefore, it shall be the policy of the United States not to promote race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating in the Federal workforce or in the Uniformed Services, and not to allow grant funds to be used for these purposes. In addition, Federal contractors will not be permitted to inculcate such views in their employees.”
It was prompted by this new wave of what is called anti-racism training that teaches things like “All White People are racist” or “America is a White Supremacist country” both of which are major components of the best-selling book on this topic “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo.
I recently wrote a book debunking this called The Myth of White Fragility which examined the claims of this anti-racism agenda and found them to be largely unfounded. Many of them use the circular reasoning of citing examples of disparate outcomes like “More Blacks are in prison than their percentage of the population” and assigning Systemic Racism as the cause. Then they use the disparate outcome as proof that it is racism at fault.
SSG examined the supposed epidemic of police shootings of unarmed Black people and found it to be not an epidemic and not a proven result of Systemic Racism. Yet this example is still used by the activists to justify their anti-police agenda. This avoids examining many other root causes beyond racism that contribute to the problem.
This leads the Antiracists to the conclusion that all systems and institutions in the country are racist in nature, all White people are racists as beneficiaries and the country as a whole is a White Supremacist nation. I wish that was just my hyperbole, but all of those things are stated exactly like this in the White Fragility book and its counterparts such as How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Xendi.
Christopher Rufo exposed this training at Sandia Labs where:
“the white males must publicly recite a series of “white privilege statements” and “male privilege statements.” They must accept their complicity in the white male system and their role in creating oppressions.”
This is characterized as part of diversity training but is actually a perfect example of conducting discrimination based on race and sex, so ironically both racist and sexist. It had somehow flown under the radar as the country rightly tried to ensure all people are treated fairly. But doing so by perpetrating a clear civil rights violation is hardly the way to achieve that.
This policy was foreshadowed on Sept. 4 when a memo from OMB Director Russell Vought instructed the heads of all federal agencies to determine if this type of training was happening and if so to stop it.
The EO goes much further than that adding all federal contractors and institutions receiving grants. This will require many major corporations which are conducting this training for their own employees to cease that or stop doing work with the government. It also orders that:
“The Attorney General should continue to assess the extent to which workplace training that teaches the divisive concepts set forth in section 2(a) of this order may contribute to a hostile work environment and give rise to potential liability under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964”
This could lead to lawsuits based on separate and unequal treatment of White and male employees. But the place where you can expect to hear the loudest howls is academia based on the inclusion of federal grants in the order.
The programs in question all grew out of Critical Race Theory and other like philosophies in our universities and they have entire departments devoted to this. Almost all of them are taking federal dollars in some way and this could force them to walk away from that funding.
The idea that all Americans are treated equally under the law is a powerful concept we must support wholeheartedly. This includes when efforts to right past wrongs step over the line. This Executive Order will ensure that the cure is not as bad as the previous disease.
- Jim Hanson is President of Security Studies Group and the author of The Myth of White Fragility