The White House has ordered federal agencies to end taxpayer-funded diversity training for employees about “critical race theory” or “white privilege”, calling them “divisive, un-American propaganda sessions”.
“It has come to the President’s attention that Executive Branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date ‘training’ government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda,” Russell Vought, director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB, wrote in the memo.
He went on to direct agencies 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”. The OMB will issue more detailed guidance shortly.
The memo comes amidst a national discussion about racism triggered by the killing of George Floyd, an African American man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis in May.
While President Donald Trump has condemned the incident, he has denied there is systemic racism in the country and has opposed ‘Black Lives Matter’ and defended the police. He has used anti-racism protests and unrest to the protests to stoke fears of lawlessness, seeking it to tie it to Democrats and Joe Biden, their presidential nominee, more specifically.
Jacob Blake, the black man whose shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, added another flashpoint to the unrest, pleaded non-guilty on Friday in a virtual appearance in a court hearing charges of sexual assault and disorderly conduct stemming from a complaint filed by an ex-girlfriend prior to the shooting. Blake survived the shooting but is paralyzed waist down.
Amid the national debate on racism, a professor at the prestigious George Washington University in Washington has admitted to pretending to be black for years. “To an escalating degree over my adult life, I have eschewed my lived experience as a white Jewish child in suburban Kansas City under various assumed identities within a Blackness that I had no right to claim,” Jessica A Krug, who is white, wrote in an online post. “First North African Blackness, then US rooted Blackness, then Caribbean rooted Bronx Blackness.”
Krug teaches African and Latin American studies. The university has said she will not be teaching while her case is being reviewed.