Several whistleblowers have exposed how critical race theory is being used in federal agencies. Now President Trump has directed Russel Vought, director of the Office of Management and Budget, to issue a directive banning this type of training. The directive is an excellent move by the president that will prevent the erosion of trust and productivity in our federal agencies. From the directive:
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.” According to press reports, in some cases these training have further claimed that there is racism embedded in the belief that America is the land of opportunity or the belief that the most qualified person should receive a job.
These types of “trainings” not only run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception, but they also engender division and resentment within the Federal workforce. We can be proud that as an employer, the Federal government has employees of all races, ethnicities, and religions. We can be proud that Americans from all over the country seek to join our workforce and dedicate themselves to public service. We can be proud of our continued efforts to welcome all individuals who seek to serve their fellow Americans as Federal employees. However, we cannot accept our employees receiving training that seeks to undercut our core values as Americans and drive division within our workforce.
This assertion is precisely correct, especially since the precursor to critical race theory training was given the label “diversity” training.
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Volumes of research have demonstrated that this type of training has virtually no return on investment, especially when the trainings are mandatory. From Harvard Business Review:
It shouldn’t be surprising that most diversity programs aren’t increasing diversity. Despite a few new bells and whistles, courtesy of big data, companies are basically doubling down on the same approaches they’ve used since the 1960s–which often make things worse, not better. Firms have long relied on diversity training to reduce bias on the job, hiring tests and performance ratings to limit it in recruitment and promotions, and grievance systems to give employees a way to challenge managers. Those tools are designed to preempt lawsuits by policing managers’ thoughts and actions. Yet laboratory studies show that this kind of force-feeding can activate bias rather than stamp it out. As social scientists have found, people often rebel against rules to assert their autonomy. Try to coerce me to do X, Y, or Z, and I’ll do the opposite just to prove that I’m my own person.
The programs also don’t increase diversity in organizations. The study gave an example from the financial industry:
It’s no wonder that Wall Street firms now require new hires to sign arbitration contracts agreeing not to join class actions. They have also expanded training and other diversity programs. But on balance, equality isn’t improving in financial services or elsewhere. Although the proportion of managers at U.S. commercial banks who were Hispanic rose from 4.7% in 2003 to 5.7% in 2014, white women’s representation dropped from 39% to 35%, and black men’s from 2.5% to 2.3%. The numbers were even worse in investment banks (though that industry is shrinking, which complicates the analysis). Among all U.S. companies with 100 or more employees, the proportion of black men in management increased just slightly–from 3% to 3.3%–from 1985 to 2014. White women saw bigger gains from 1985 to 2000–rising from 22% to 29% of managers–but their numbers haven’t budged since then. Even in Silicon Valley, where many leaders tout the need to increase diversity for both business and social justice reasons, bread-and-butter tech jobs remain dominated by white men.
If you were ever required to attend one of these training sessions, you might recall the concept of unconscious bias. The idea is that there are things you are not aware of that can lead to discrimination, and the training attempted to itemize them. Behaviors such a stereotyping and the halo effect were explained, and techniques for avoiding them were provided.
This training didn’t blame or accuse attendees. It was couched as providing information. As it turns out, the concept of unconscious bias has been pretty well debunked, but it is still used in many workplaces. Even though it was informational in nature, it was still ineffective and often activated bias.
Critical race theory training is far worse. The premise is that if you are white, you are racist. Also, you are part of a racist system constructed solely to oppress minorities. You are judged to be a part of a guilty collective and cannot escape its original sin. The failure of people of other races to succeed is because the system will not allow them to, and this confers privilege on you that you must acknowledge.
If you deny any of this, critical race theory states this proves you are indeed racist. If you ask for evidence, you deny your privilege. As Christopher Rufo noted after a leak of the training given at Sandia National Laboratory, the workplace training was just one big struggle session. The participants were required to pen apologies to minority employees for not recognizing their own privilege.
Insane? Without a doubt. The theory can also be repeated based on gender or any other immutable characteristic the social justice crowd is focused on. It will always place you in a group and assign oppressor or victim status to you. It is toxic beyond belief and will dissolve workplace productivity and relationships.
President Trump, recognizing how this training is antithetical to American values such as hard work, competence, and being judged as an individual, has taken an excellent step in the right direction. With any luck, this move at the federal level will give some CEOs courage to resist their woke HR interns and say no to this workplace culture-killing curriculum.
Hopefully, a similar directive will go out from the Department of Education. While I believe education is a local responsibility, the teachers’ unions and Black Lives Matter are pushing this curriculum on a nationwide scale. There have been hundreds of files leaked to Glenn Beck that give examples of incorporating social justice concepts into math, science, and social studies. You may have seen examples on Facebook or Twitter. Teachers are not coming up with this on their own. It is being given to them.
The only way to stop the toxic effects of critical race theories and other critical studies is to root them out of our institutions. Getting this out of the federal government is just one battle won. Public schools should be next.