Trump expands ban on anti-racism training to federal contractors

President Donald Trump tweeted yesterday that he had expanded his “ban” on racial sensitivity training to federal contractors. 

“A few weeks ago, I BANNED efforts to indoctrinate government employees with divisive and harmful sex and race-based ideologies,” he wrote. “Today, I’ve expanded that ban to people and companies that do business with our Country, the United States Military, Government Contractors, and Grantees.” 

President Donald Trump answers questions from reporters Tuesday before traveling to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for a campaign event. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

He wrote that “Americans should be taught to take PRIDE in our Great Country, and if you don’t, there’s nothing in it for you!”

Trump has denounced training that includes any reference to “white privilege” or “systemic racism.” 

His executive order announced last week was called “Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping.” 

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A section called “Purpose” begins “From the battlefield of Gettysburg to the bus boycott in Montgomery and the Selma-to-Montgomery marches, heroic Americans have valiantly risked their lives to ensure that their children would grow up in a Nation living out its creed, expressed in the Declaration of Independence: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”

The order goes on to reference Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln and more. It notes that a “malign ideology is now migrating from the fringes of American society and threatens to infect core institutions of our country.”

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“Such activities also promote division and inefficiency when carried out by Federal contractors,” it continues. 

“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.”

Trump also announced last week a commission to study “patriotic education,” a move is seen as largely symbolic because the president has no authority to establish an educational curriculum. 

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M.E. Hart, an attorney who has facilitated hundreds of diversity training sessions for businesses and the federal government, told The Washington Post that these kinds of classes “have been very powerful in allowing people” to “see each other as human beings.” 

“We need them,” he said, “more than ever.”

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