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Trump directs federal agencies to cease anti-racism training

President Donald Trump has directed a ban on certain federal agencies training on racial sensitivity. Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI
President Donald Trump has directed a ban on certain federal agencies training on racial sensitivity. Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 5 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump has directed federal agencies to stop anti-racism training that includes sessions on "White privilege."

Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought said in a White House memorandum late Friday that Trump gave him the directive.

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"The president has directed me to ensure that federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions," the memorandum said.

Vought sought to identify all contracts and training on "White privilege," and "critical race theory."

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"For example, according to press reports, employees across the executive branch have been required to attend trainings where they are told that 'virtually all White people contribute to racism,' or where they are required to say that they 'benefit from racism.'"

He also directed agencies to identify any other training that "suggests either (1) the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil."

"In addition, all agencies should begin to identify all available avenues within the law to cancel any such contracts and/or to divert federal dollars away from these un-American propaganda training sessions," the memo added.

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The directive comes after recent Fox News segments have criticized "diversity and inclusion" efforts.

"It's absolutely astonishing how critical race theory has pervaded every institution in the federal government," Chris Rufo, the right-wing Discovery Institute's research fellow, told Fox News. "What I have discovered is that critical race theory had become, in essence, the default ideology of federal bureaucracy and is now being weaponized against the American people."

Experts say anti-racism training is needed to rectify systemic racial inequalities that persist in the United States, including in the federal government.

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Studies have found that the federal government disproportionately awards contracts to white-owned businesses.

M.E. Hart, an attorney who has given hundreds of diversity training sessions for businesses and the federal government for more than two decades, said that racial awareness trainings help officials realize unconscious bias in awarding contracts from the federal government, the country's largest employer.

Hart added that the trainings increase the diversity of perspectives, improving morale and efficiency.

"If we are going to live up to this nation's promise -- 'we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal' -- we have to see each other as human beings, and we have to do whatever it takes, including taking whatever classes make that possible," Hart said. "These classes have been very powerful in allowing people to do that, and we need them more than ever."

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