President Trump on Tuesday extended his administration’s ban on training involving race- and sex-based discrimination to include federal contractors, doubling down on an issue to appeal to his base, and white voters in particular.
The White House released an executive order that outlaws the teaching of “divisive concepts,” such as the idea that one race or sex is superior, that the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist, that any individual should feel “discomfort, guilt, anguish” or physiological distress because of their race or sex or that an individual bears responsibility for past actions by others of the same race or sex.
“[T]raining like that discussed above perpetuates racial stereotypes and division and can use subtle coercive pressure to ensure conformity of viewpoint,” the order states. “Such ideas may be fashionable in the academy, but they have no place in programs and activities supported by Federal taxpayer dollars.”
The order applies to executive departments and agencies, the U.S. military, federal contractors and federal grant recipients.
The president announced the order via Twitter roughly three weeks after his administration ordered federal agencies to cancel programs that discuss “white privilege” or “critical race theory.” The latter concept teaches that racism and racial inequality are a result of systemic power structures.
…with our Country, the United States Military, Government Contractors, and Grantees. Americans should be taught to take PRIDE in our Great Country, and if you don’t, there’s nothing in it for you!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 22, 2020
Trump has in recent weeks turned his attention to rooting out concepts that he claims “indoctrinate” Americans and school children into believing the country is inherently racist in an attempt to stoke cultural issues that appeal to his base, and to white voters specifically.
Trump last week announced plans for a new commission to promote “patriotic education” in U.S. schools through what he called the “1776 Commission,” a swipe at The New York Times’ “1619 Project,” which focused on how the arrival of the first slave ships on the continent shaped American history.
The commission will be tasked with celebrating the upcoming 250th anniversary of the country’s founding and with encouraging educators to “teach our children about the miracle of American history. Some critics mocked the program as a propaganda effort.