In a Sept. 4 memo to the Office of Management and Budget, director Russell Vought said President Trump believes diversity and inclusion and anti-racism trainings are “divisive [and] anti-American propaganda.”
The document, which comes at a time when corporations are putting out statements condemning racism and vowing to improve diversity and anti-racism training, claims that these trainings foster resentment. The statement says some of the trainings’ messages, including that all white people contribute to and benefit from racism, “run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception.” The memo cites unspecified “press reports” as sources for this information.
The statement goes on to indicate that the government values having a diverse workforce, but simply cannot use taxpayer money to fund messaging that suggests the U.S. is inherently racist or evil, or that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil. It therefore dictates that all federal dollars be diverted away from these programs.
On Sept. 5, Trump also tweeted a Breitbart article covering his memo, calling anti-racism training a “sickness that cannot continue.”
Trump Orders Purge of ‘Critical Race Theory‘ from Federal Agencies https://t.co/ygXcTXRHsQ via @BreitbartNews This is a sickness that cannot be allowed to continue. Please report any sightings so we can quickly extinguish!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2020
The wording of the memo describes anti-racism training as more than status quo diversity training. Anti-racism, a term coined by author Ibram X. Kendi in his book, How To Be An Antiracist, places importance on the acknowledgement of racism and the necessity of decisive actions to combat it.